Contractor to U.S. Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management funds local classroom STEM activities; Grant application period for next calendar year now open

Carlin Combined School students enhance their hands-on coding experience while programming the robots they are holding in this picture.   

Navarro Research and Engineering Inc., a woman-owned small business contractor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM), today announced three Nevada schools have been awarded classroom funding through the company’s new Community Commitment Grants Program. The grants program, in its inaugural year, is specifically designed to support educational activities that promote learning related to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in communities near the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS).

The three schools receiving funding for the 2022 calendar year are: Carlin Combined School in Carlin, Nevada, in the Elko County School District; Lied STEM Academy in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the Clark County School District; and Manse Elementary School in Pahrump, Nevada, in the Nye County School District.

With the initial round of grants awarded, Navarro further announced that the next application period is now open for the 2023 Community Commitment Grants Program cycle. Educators are encouraged to apply. Please see below for further information on grant eligibility and selection criteria. 

As a woman in a STEM field myself, I am proud that our new grants program supports Secretary Granholm’s vision for the Department of Energy and its contractors to play a lead role in breaking down barriers to increase access to STEM-based curriculum nationwide,” said Dr. Susana Navarro, President, CEO, and founder of Navarro. “We know that when we get children of all backgrounds interested in STEM at a young age, they are much more likely to go on to participate in highly skilled, highly rewarding STEM careers as adults. I thank these three schools for their impressive applications, and I look forward to seeing the incredible things teachers will do with this funding in the classroom.”

Robert Boehlecke, Program Manager for the DOE EM Nevada Program, noted that Navarro’s investment in local STEM education will help open the door to potential future career opportunities at the NNSS for local young people. “Much of the work we do at the site is very technical in nature and requires specialized education, training, and skills to get the job done,” said Boehlecke. “I am grateful to Navarro for doing their part to foster the development of a talented next generation workforce that will be ready and able to support the Department’s various missions here in Nevada and all across the nation.” 

Navarro selected the three 2022 grant recipients from a pool of 16 applications through a blind-scoring process that evaluated total benefit to student learning in the classroom. Each of the three school’s proposed projects will be fully funded by Navarro this school year, for a total investment of nearly $14,000.

Carlin Combined School will use its awarded funding to purchase equipment and materials to enhance an existing program that brings Wonder Workshop robots into the classroom to teach computer coding through hands-on learning. Carlin has launched this unique program at the elementary school level with plans to evaluate the approach for broader application to the full K-12 student enrollment. Carlin teachers Karleighn Goodale and Brande Johnson said, “STEM is an integral part of our K-12 education at Carlin Combined School, and we are thrilled to add visual art as a part of our coding curriculum.”

Lied STEM Academy will use its grant funding to implement Green Our Planet’s Hydroponics STEM Program. Lied administrators had been working with Green Our Planet for over a year to launch the program. The grant awarded by Navarro will provide the seed funding to make the project a reality. “Lied STEM Academy is honored to receive this grant awarded by Navarro,” said Lied Stem Academy Principal Derek Fialkiewicz. “We are excited to use this funding to continue innovating within education. This grant will assist us in providing our students opportunities for success in education and beyond.”

Manse Elementary School will put its funding to work to establish a second dedicated STEM class at the school. Manse educators plan to incorporate materials from Hand2Mind and Kinderlab Robotics to create an immersive STEM classroom experience for students. Manse Elementary School Teacher Jeanette Ogden said, “I feel strongly that, long-term, this STEM class will provide students with real-world skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and teamwork that are necessary to become successful in any career field or life situation. Thank you to Navarro for supporting our vision.

Navarro would like local schools to know that the application period for the 2023 Community Commitment Grants Program cycle is now open. Eligibility includes all public, private, and charter schools in the counties of Clark, Elko, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Nye, and White Pine in Nevada. Grants are expected to be awarded in early 2023. Preference will be given to applications supporting clearly defined STEM-based activities. For additional instructions to complete a grant application, please visit https://navarro-inc.com/navarro-community-commitment-grants-program/

For more information on the DOE EM Nevada Program, please visit https://www.energy.gov/em/nevada-national-security-site-nnss.

For more information on Navarro, please visit Navarro Research & Engineering, Inc. (navarro-inc.com).

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