3 Cassia County schools receive $25K from NASA grant

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DECLO, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - A few Cassia County schools will be receiving a total of $25,000 in grant money to help kick-start their STEM programs, thanks to a mother who helped write the request.

Declo Elementary mother Nelliene Stevens said their elementary school, along with Declo Junior High and Albion Elementary, were granted the money from the NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium.

"There are only two of these grants awarded throughout the state so we’re thrilled to have that funding come to Declo to now be in schools," Stevens told KMVT.

She says the money will be used in three ways.

"The first of our goals is to focus on family participation," she said.

They plan to have a STEM night in the fall, inviting family members and community partners to present some science experiments for the kids.

She added that they wanted to have more hands-on experimental learning opportunities for the kids in the classroom as well.

"We were surprised and excited and just thrilled," Stevens said of winning. "We definitely took our time coming up with our goals and plans and we’re careful about the steps we take and the mission statements."

"It's more of an exciting thing and hopefully we'll start an awesome program and something we can perpetuate here and have as our own," said Kevin Lloyd, Declo Elementary principal.

He went on to say that this grant will help create a system where they can continue STEM education for their kids.

"We’re working very hard with our PTO and others to retrofit two of our classrooms and make STEM labs, that way we can support the junior high initiatives and pushes for STEM in both the elementaries, Albion and Declo," Lloyd explained.

Part of the money will also help employ a staff member to coordinate the program in all three schools.

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