Thomas Jefferson Middle School receives STEM grant from Toshiba America

Published 12:20 am Thursday, March 23, 2023

Thomas Jefferson Middle School is receiving a $4,689 to supercharge new STEM education slated for next school year.

Toshiba America Foundation is making the donation to benefit the school’s Environmental Stewards Challenge Project for all incoming eighth grade students.

This project aims to ignite students’ curiosity in studying the effects of human activities on the environment through inquiry learning, scientific research and firsthand exploration.

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According to Asther Reyes, grant writer and project director of the school’s Environmental Stewards Challenge, the project covers EcoChallenge Exploration, EcoChallenge Immersion and EcoChallenge Solution.

Participants in the project receive an Eco Challenge Map with targeted areas for exploratory study. An environmental science exhibit culminates at the end of the three-week challenge with the presence of parents, students and community members.

Jefferson Middle Principal Dr. Kristi Lewis said the project begins during the 2023-24 academic year and involves STEM engineering design coursework.

“Our school is ready for the challenge of implementing 21st-century learning skills, and I applaud the effort of teachers who have positioned themselves as change agents at our school,” Lewis said.

District Superintendent Dr. Mark Porterie said educators are eager to see the culminating exhibit from the students’ hard work.

“I know they are ready to explore now in anticipation of what’s to come next year,” he said. “Wonderful and engaging instruction continues to happen in PAISD and we are very appreciative of Toshiba for awarding this grant to this campus so our students can enjoy studying the environment.”