Bellevue Schools Foundation awards 71 grants

A middle school student works with Dr. Pinky Nelson, former astronaut, to assemble a satellite circuit board for the Near Space Satellite STEM project. - Courtesy photo
A middle school student works with Dr. Pinky Nelson, former astronaut, to assemble a satellite circuit board for the Near Space Satellite STEM project.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

The Bellevue Schools Foundation awarded 71 Enrichment & Innovation Grants totaling $60,000 to teachers in classrooms across the district.

Bellevue public school teachers and principals were eligible to apply for the grants to fund innovative educational projects, class field trips, or in-school experiences that enhance student learning.

The grants support high-impact activities like the “Lake Hills Jaguars are College Bound” project to help Lake Hills Elementary School fifth graders set their sights on college and visit the University of Washington.

“For these students, many of whom will be the first in their family to attend college, the experience will help them grow to believe that a college education is not only beneficial, but is realistic and within their grasps,” said Heather Edlund, Lake Hills Elementary Principal.

The grants are funding science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects in elementary, middle, and high schools. For example, Newport Heights Elementary School 5th graders will engage in a year-long “Engineering our Future” project; students at Tyee and Highland Middle Schools will build and launch satellites to collect data in near space (to 90,000 feet) as part of the “Near Space Satellite STEM” project; and Newport High School students will learn about cutting-edge energy technology by building cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Cultural programs and visual and performing arts are also broadly supported through 30 grants. For example, grant funding will provide Ardmore Elementary School students a multi-cultural “musical trip around the world” with visiting musicians Miho and Diego. Students at 11 of Bellevue’s elementary schools will participate in “Poetry Alive!” theater performances and poetry workshops at their schools. At the secondary level, an internationally-renown ceramic artist will conduct workshops at Sammamish High School and the International School to teach the art, culture, and science of pottery and firing techniques.

“The Enrichment & Innovation grants will involve students in every school and provide exciting opportunities to inspire their learning,” said Bellevue Schools Foundation Executive Director, Roxanne Kröon Shepherd. “We are grateful for the support from our community to provide these educational experiences.”

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