Bogue Sound teacher gets grant to turn classroom into STEAM lab

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NEWPORT, N.C. (WNCT) — A Bogue Sound Elementary School teacher was awarded just over $50,000 to turn a classroom into a functional STEAM (science, technology, education, arts and mathematics) lab.

Jason VanSant received the  $50,852.21 Lowe’s Education Toolbox grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation.

The grant will go toward a number of upgrades that includes installing cabinets, pegboard walls and converting a side room into a storage area for materials.

It will also cover a new Camcor wall-mounted projector with capabilities of turning the dry erase board into a touchscreen and a recording studio created for kids to podcast or create augmented reality projects.

“It’s beneficial for those kids who may not be great at pencil/paper and the kids who are really great at hands-on,” VanSant said. ” It allows them to shine in the area of making something and problem solving to figure out how something does work.”

There will be exploratory/sensory items such as a magnetic wall and PVC pipe run around the walls to demo sound travel.

A track will be installed in the ceiling for a moon model to be attached, so students will be able to see the different phases each day, and the ceiling tiles are being painted (each one to match the elements to the periodic table).

The lab will provide professional development for staff allowing homeroom teachers, specialized educators, and the STEAM facilitator to blend teaching styles and correlate on the development of lessons and activities related to the elementary curriculum standards, as well as create cross-curricular strands allowing grade levels to intermingle on similar topics and provide a greater depth of learning.

The STEAM lab will provide educators the opportunity to co-teach and students alternative methods to learn from one another.

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