The Centralia School District has announced that it has been awarded a $3.602 million preliminary STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) grant award from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) and the WA STEM organization. The award is made to the district to fund construction of a new STEM education facility on the campus of Centralia High School and to fund equipment purchases.
“This is a monumental event for Centralia High School and for our community as a whole,” said Centralia High School Principal Josue Lowe. “This award is a perfect example of what can happen when a staff and community come together as a team to create a vision and to pursue it.”
Staff from the high school identified the grant opportunity in January and came
together to draft a proposal the same month. “Jo Martens (science teacher),
Phil Iverson (Director of Facilities), Josue Lowe (Principal), Mike Stratton
(Science Instructional Coach) and the entire science department really put
together a stellar proposal, that identified the needs and challenges our
current facilities present, and what we can do with proper financial support,”
said Superintendent Mark Davalos.
“The CHS Science department has been teaching science in makeshift classrooms never intended for science. Not only are there not enough classrooms to teach the 11 courses offered by the school,” Lowe said. “The facilities are also woefully inadequate and fraught with safety issues.”
“In order to reach our science department’s vision of becoming an exemplary STEM school we must address our basic infrastructure needs for our students. It is our belief that STEM is one of the best vehicles for reaching our student population by providing experiences that will prepare them for future STEM careers. This grant will be an essential component and first step in our District’s plan to modernize our facilities,” said Lowe.
As part of the requirements of the grant award, the District must gather community-based support in the amount of at least $100,000, which may be monetary or “in-kind” donations.