Brookhaven’s Montgomery Elementary School has set a goal of $150,000 for the end of the fiscal year to start and maintain a science, technology, engineering, arts and math certified program for its students. Projects, such as collecting loose coins in tanks, nicknamed change tanks, are helping The Mustang Fund, a nonprofit founded to support the school, with its ultimate goal of STEAM certification.
The fund relies on individual contributions, corporate donations and community fundraising events to achieve its mission.
“There has been a lot of interest among parents and staff members to have more STEAM related programs integrated into everyday learning,” said Principal Dan McGuire, who started his position with the school about three weeks ago.
Funds raised by the nonprofit, made up of parents and teachers, will go toward enhancements to the school to give students access to more science and math-related learning tools.
“We want to build a science laboratory and provide block building kits, among other things, to encourage our students to become interested in science, math and engineering as early as possible,” McGuire said.
He said the community’s hope is that students who get involved in the initiative in elementary school will want to pursue math and science degrees later in their academic careers.
“We’re already working on moving our school forward with integrating technology and learning more and more,” McGuire said.
Although the school and the fund would like to achieve its financial goal by the end of the year, McGuire said incorporating STEAM programs into every classroom will be an ongoing effort.
“Changing the structure of a curriculum will take time, but my goal is to give our students as many STEAM experiences as possible and keep that momentum going for them at the elementary, middle and high school levels,” he said.
For more information on Montgomery’s fund and to watch a short video on the school’s STEAM initiative, visit www.mustangfundinc.com.