The Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is pleased to announce that the Mt. Vernon Middle School has received a $15,000 grant from Bayer Pharmaceuticals, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. School districts across America were nominated and selected by a panel of teachers and farmers to receive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) grants through the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program with Bayer. The funds received will be used to support a second Robotics/Engineering course at Mt. Vernon Middle School, specifically for eighth grade students to challenge their learned skills from prior STEM classes.
With the implementation of the Robotics/Engineering II course, students will learn to build and code complex robots. Not only will students build on their previous knowledge from Robotics/Engineering I, but they will also enhance their imaginations, problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills. The funding from Bayer is greatly appreciated because it will provide enough robots for each student to receive a hands-on experience in the Robotics/Engineering II course.
Mt. Vernon has a rural, agricultural base to it, as seen in the school gardens, specific high school agriculture courses, Future Farmers of America (FFA) program, and the local farming heritage. However, as the school progresses and grows, the curriculum has integrated agriculture with STEM. Not only does the inclusion of more STEM classes accommodate a growing suburban population of students, but it also introduces a more technologically advanced approach for students to apply to their agriculture-related classes in the life sciences field.
Scott Shipley, the Director of Curriculum, led a team of educators from the middle school who applied for the Bayer grant. The team noted in the application, “We want ALL students to get excited about learning and the study of robots is something middle school students truly enjoy. We want them to feel the magic when they experience the moment that they create something with technology. We want kids to learn how much fun it is to solve challenging problems, and learning through robots allows this to occur.”
Shipley continues, “Mt. Vernon would like to thank Bob Cook and Courtney Wiedenhaupt, the local farmers who nominated our district to apply for the Grow Rural Education Grant, as well as Bayer Fund’s Farmer Advisory Council, who believed we could positively impact students’ lives with the funds.”
This opportunity may spur additional career interests for students to explore before entering high school where they will be able to pursue advanced engineering courses. Mt. Vernon High School students have the opportunity to take several dual credit Project Lead the Way courses.
The Mt. Vernon Community School Corporation is one of the first districts in the state to become Kindergarten through Grade 12 STEM Certified by the Indiana State Department of Education. STEM courses are infused in students’ educational experiences from kindergarten through their senior year.
The STEM opportunities that the Bayer Fund has provided will help to infuse a love of learning as they engage in the next level of engineering skills. There’s no limit to how Mt. Vernon students of the future will make the world a better place with a strong STEM education.
This project was made possible by local farmers and America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by Bayer Fund.
To view a complete list of winners or to learn more about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, visit AmericasFarmers.com or follow along on Facebook at facebook.com/AmericasFarmers. Farmers are also encouraged to participate in Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, which is accepting farmer enrollments through November 1, 2020. Grow Communities protects the programs and institutions that keep farmers and their communities thriving by allowing farmers to enroll for a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite local eligible nonprofit organization.
About America’s Farmers
America’s Farmers, sponsored by Bayer Fund, is focused on strengthening rural America through three community outreach programs that partner with farmers to make an impact in communities where farmers live and work. The programs have given more than $57 million to rural America since 2010 and include:
America’s Farmers Grow Communities supports rural communities by allowing farmers the opportunity to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite local nonprofit organization.
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education supports rural education by providing $15,000 merit-based grants to enhance STEM education.
America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders supports students pursuing ag-related studies by offering $1,500 scholarships towards higher education.
To learn more, visit America’s Farmers at www.americasfarmers.com.
About Bayer Fund
Bayer Fund is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where Bayer customers and employees live and work by providing funding for food and nutrition, education and community development projects.