OAK RIDGE, TN (January 2024) – The Navarro Community Commitment Grant Committee has awarded two STEM Grants, totaling $10,000 to Robertsville Middle School (Oak Ridge Schools) and Mill Creek Elementary School (Knox County Schools). The program was designed to recognize and support excellence in teaching by providing funds for specific projects or curricula in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Robertsville Middle School (RMS) will use the grant funding to support their project “Fast and Furious! F1 CO2 Cars Design and 21st Century Manufacturing.” Located in Oak Ridge, TN, RMS has approximately 700 students, grades five through eight.

For the Fast and Furious project, students will learn how to use Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software and design, manufacture and race the CO2-fueled cars they create. Through this grant, students at RMS will also have the opportunity to become Autodesk Certified. This certification is typically not available to students at the middle school level.

“At Robertsville Middle School, all students have access to these STEM classes regardless of academic performance, past placement or learning impairments,” said awardee Randy Doss, RMS 5th-8th grade STEM teacher. “Students with differing abilities and learning styles get access to and are able to learn much needed 21st-century engineering job skills that could change their life for the better by opening up their world to higher paying jobs of the future.”

Newly opened, Mill Creek Elementary School (MCES) will use its grant funding to implement its Otterly New STEM Program (ONS). The ONS program will outfit the MCES library with STEM-based learning materials, allowing teachers across the elementary school to utilize them. As a new school, MCES is not equipped with the same resources that schools build over time; they are utilizing the grant to bridge that gap.

“Many of our students traditionally would not have access to STEM learning opportunities without the exposure provided during school,” said awardees Jenny Smith and Megan Goebel, MCES Library Specialists. “We also have a large population of girls who often do not seek out STEM careers due to lack of exposure in their early years of life.”

As the founder, owner and CEO of Navarro, a successful, woman-owned small business, Dr. Susana Navarro understands the importance of exposing children to STEM. “Supporting the next generation of STEM professionals starts early,” said Dr. Navarro. “The students will be exposed to STEM as kids and will be able to utilize their acquired skills throughout their secondary and post-secondary education and as they enter the workforce. The programs they participate in now help develop a diverse and skilled society.”

Since the establishment of the Navarro Community Commitment Grant in 2021, Navarro has awarded over $31,000 to support local STEM initiatives in Oak Ridge and Knox County, TN, as well as Clark, Elko, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye and White Pine counties in Nevada. For more information, please email [email protected].

Headquartered in Oak Ridge, TN, Navarro is an award-winning federal contractor that provides client-focused solutions to complex challenges in the nuclear, environmental, and clean energy fields across the United States for federal agencies including the Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Defense, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Navarro specializes in environmental remediation, D&D, waste management, nuclear operations, clean energy, facilities management, and technical and professional services. For more information, please visit Navarro-inc.com.

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