Florence school gets grant for STEAM project

January 16, 2019
Erika Hartman, instruction technology coach at Lucy T. Davis Elementary School, applied for and received the grant from Lowe's that will allow the school to purchase items for STEAM education.

FLORENCE, S.C. – Lucy T. Davis Elementary School has received a $3,500 Toolbox for Education grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation to fund the school’s “Dreaming of STEAMing” project.

Under the project, Lucy T. Davis will purchase some Sony Koov kits, Cuebelets Stem Pack and Makey Makey circuit kits with the grant money to provide all K-4 students with a STEAM education that includes coding, programming and robotics. Through the implementation of these kits, the school hopes to provide students with the skills needed to one day compete in a global economy, according to a media advisory from the school. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics.

“It’s so important for their future, their jobs and where we’re going,” said instructional technology coach Erika Hartman. “It will provide hands-on, open-ended exploration, and it is basically a way to intentionally incorporate different subjects across an existing curriculum.”

Hartman, who applied for the grant, said the school has already received the money and should begin using the kits in the next few weeks.

Hartman said the school had an empty computer lab.

“I had this idea for this space and everything I wanted in it, but funding is not always there to support ideas,” Hartman said. “So, I have been researching several grants and came across the Lowe’s Toolbox grant and decided to go for it, and luckily it got funded.”

Hartman said she’s applied for grants before and gotten denied.

“It was just a really good feeling to know we’ve got the funding to purchase a lot of the items that are on our wish list,” Hartman said.

Lowe’s funds $5 million in grants in as many as 1,000 different public schools each year. The foundation has provided more than $54 million in grant money for schools over the past 12 years, according to the Toolbox for Education website.

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