Indianapolis Public Schools Washington Irving School 14 was recently awarded a $20,000 Verizon Technology grant, and the school is using that to expand STEM options throughout the different grades.

“Washington Irving is using the Verizon Grant to help start and sustain the STEM after-school program. We hope that this grant will afford us the ability to sustain the program for years to come by providing materials needed for STEM,” said Principal Karen Hastings.

The funds from the grant will enable Washington Irving to:

  • Begin after-school STEM programs for students in kindergarten
  • Offer LEGO Education to 1st and 2nd grade
  • Help students in 3rd and 4th grades participate in the Science Olympiad STEM program
  • Implement the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) classroom for the students in 5th grade and offer those students an after-school robotics club (PLTW is a curriculum that encourages students to use structured approaches, like the engineering design process, and apply STEM knowledge, skills and habits of mind)
  • Enable 6th grade students to participate in Math Pentathlon

Importantly, this grant will also enable the school to afford to transport students home from the after-school programs, meaning transportation won’t be a barrier to more students taking advantage of these extra learning opportunities.

”These types of programs are often associated with a lot of startup costs,” said Ben Palicki, District K-12 Science Coach. “Principal Karen Hastings and Lead PLTW teacher Daniel York reached out to me in regards to assistance with finding access to funds and I was happy to help.” They all worked together to apply for the grant, which focused on integrating technology in the classroom. Palicki said it “fit perfectly into what the school was trying to accomplish.”

The grant award has also boosted the excitement level of the staff. “We are excited about offering STEM to multiple grade levels. That’s what the Verizon Grant has done for Washington Irving,” Hastings said.

It’s great to see the hard work and dedication of those at both the school and district level pay off in these great STEM opportunities for Washington Irving students! We can’t wait to see the creativity and learning these programs will foster in the years to come.