Jefferson County Grant Awards Announcement
Jefferson County Economic Opportunities through Education (EcO15), along with the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County and Economic Development Partners, announces grant awards in the amount of $35,405 to enhance educational pathways in the industries that drive our regional economy.
EcO15 grant awards of $35,405 will enhance educational programming and create new learning opportunities for the students of Jefferson County.
“Our schools are doing exceptional work preparing students for successful careers as adults”, said Kathy Huffman, Jefferson County EcO15 Coordinator. “The partnerships we’ve developed between employers and educators through the last five years really support the efforts of our educators as they add and enhance programs that give students the technical skills employers’ value in their future workforce,” she said.
Madison Consolidated High School’s award will help with implementation costs for the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Biomedical Sciences program starting next year. The $24,164 grant will be used to purchase core class and lab inventory equipment. “Madison schools will use a similar model for the progression of the PLTW Biomedical Sciences program as was used to implement our PLTW pre-engineering classes. Our goal is to ultimately expand into the entire program,” said Superintendent, Dr. Ginger Studebaker-Bolinger. “We want to give students an opportunity to experience the medical field and create a pathway to secondary learning and/or the workforce,” she continued.
Southwestern High School was awarded $7,221 for equipment to enhance their Project Lead the Way Pathway to Engineering classes. “The equipment will include a Jet Stream 500 Wind Tunnel which will be used in the Aerospace Engineering class for lessons on the physics of flight and also in our Physics I class when investigating air resistance in the unit on Newton’s Laws of Motion,” said David Bramer, PLTW teacher.
Prince of Peace Catholic Schools will expand project based learning through educator training this summer at the Project Based Learning (PBL) Academy and with the purchase of Vex robotic kits. “We believe project based learning is important because it enhances critical thinking skills and problem solving skills in students”, said Shawe Principal Steve Hesse. “This grant will enhance our entire student body because the teachers who attend the PBL Academy will be spread out across the curriculum and grade levels.” Prince of Peace Schools was awarded $4,020 to send six teachers through training at the PBL Academy and to purchase eight robotic kits for use in their PLTW pre-engineering and technology classes.
EcO15 in Jefferson County is funded by a regional grant from Lilly Endowment, Inc. and the Heritage Fund, the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, to ten counties in Southeastern Indiana. “The grants announced today represent the final dollars from Phase 1 of the regional grant,” said Bill Barnes, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Madison and Jefferson County (CFMJC) which is the local entity responsible for the EcO15 funds. “These grants allow our community to continue building educational pathways for our residents. We are very pleased to assist our educational partners in this way,” he said.
Moving forward, the Jefferson County EcO15 Advisory Council, along with CFMJC and Economic Development Partners (EDP), has already begun implementing plans for the Phase 2 EcO15 funding award announced by Lilly Endowment, Inc. in July. The additional funding will continue to create seamless career pathways in the industry sectors that drive the local and regional economies. The goal is to move students through high school STEM-focused, project-based programs into postsecondary education programs in a ‘seamless’ manner to develop local talent, the human capital within the community.