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  • Group posing with STEM grant checks

    District receives $1.7 million grant


    STEM education in the Davis School District just got a $1.7 million boost.


    Hill Air Force Base, Northrup Grumman Foundation and the National Math + Science Initiative (NMSI) announced a $1.7 million investment in the futures of Davis School District students during an assembly at Syracuse High School.


    The majority of the donation will fund participation in the NMSI College Readiness Program at Northridge and Syracuse high schools. Principals at both schools hope to see more students take the opportunity to participate in honors-level classes and earn college credit because of this opportunity.


    The Department of Defense contributed $1.2 million with Northrup Grumann adding another $250,000.


    Hill Air Force Base also invested $250,000 in a partnership with the State of Utah STEM Action Center to enhance and expand STEM programs.


    “These are the kind of partnerships that can yield life-changing experiences for our students,” District Superintendent Reid Newey said.


    Much of the funding helps incentivize students to take Advanced Placement classes, specifically in math, science and English. Students also will have opportunities throughout the year to learn from industry leaders in a variety of STEM areas. NMSI will also provide professional development and mentoring for AP teachers at those two schools.


    The grant pays for half of the cost of each AP test and awards students who pass the test with a $100 check.


    “We need all the help we can get to support our students in getting ready for college,” said Syracuse High Principal Wendy Nelson. “AP classes provide many students the means to attend higher education institutions if they pass their tests. Mentors often pave the way to success for our students; and STEM is vital to the future of our country, and our young people are that future.”


    The College Readiness Program’s goal is to increase the number of students succeeding in advanced coursework. The program focuses on serving students in areas with a large population of military dependents. This is the first time NMSI has funded students in Utah.


    “This is a great opportunity for our students,” said Syracuse High Assistant Principal Mark Pendleton. “We received the funding because of our higher concentration of military students, but in the end all of our students will benefit from this grant.”


    While STEM education is a focus across the country, the Air Force is especially motivated to inspire the next generation of engineers and scientists, says Alison Sturgeon, Hill’s STEM Program Manager.  


    “On average we look to hire more than 200 engineers and computer scientists at Hill Air Force Base every year,” she said. “Anything we can do to further those education opportunities and keep our younger generation moving toward those fields is a big priority for us and we’re excited to bring this grant money to our local community.”


    Brig. Gen. Steven Bleymaier, commander of Hill’s Ogden Air Logistics Complex, encouraged the 800 students in attendance to put their phones down, grab a piece of paper and write out their goals. Writing down goals makes them become a reality, he said.


    “All the technology of today, all the progress we hope to make tomorrow, all those possibilities start with a solid foundation in STEM education,” he said. “We are always looking to hire the best and brightest minds that unlock those possibilities. For that to happen, we need to promote and enable STEM education.”  

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