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Cottonwood receives Westar STEM grant

Posted Date: 08/25/2016

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Cottonwood Elementary was one of three finalists selected for the Westar Energy STEM Innovative Curriculum grant. Each project receives a $3,000 grant from Westar to increase student interest in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines as applied to electrical energy. The winning projects provide creative, fun ways to inspire learning and expand awareness of career opportunities in science and engineering.

The grants are awarded based on submissions from Kansas public education K-12 teachers. Each presentation must include a budget, measurable goals and links to state standards. A committee of Westar Energy, Kansas Association of School Boards, and Kansas State Department of Education selects the winners. 

Shari Rooks, principal of Cottonwood Elementary, submitted an after-school program called STEAM with Wind, Jewelry and Electricity. It focuses on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) disciplines, environmentally friendly energy, magnets and electricity. Students will study the production and uses of electricity through hands-on projects, like designing wind turbines or creating electric bracelets to study circuitry. An electricity art show in May will display the bracelets and art the students created in the program.