NNPS awarded Verizon Foundation Grant for STEM Education
Newport News Public Schools (NNPS) received a $10,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation to support STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. The grant will fund materials for Engineering Design Challenges, STEM Labs at two elementary magnet schools and the annual STEM Community Day, which attracts nearly 10,000 students and community members.
Grant funding will provide supplies for inquiry-based learning in the STEM labs at Discovery STEM Academy, Newsome Park Elementary School and other school-wide STEM events.
The Verizon grant will also support quarterly division-wide Engineering Design Challenges that encourage students to work as teams to devise and solve real-life engineering projects.
NNPS elementary school students become civil engineers to design and build cell phone towers
Newport News fourth and fifth grade students became civil engineers as they designed and constructed a freestanding cell phone tower that can support a symbolic antenna. The design challenge, named Tower Power, was presented by Verizon, and taught students the science behind a text message and about the different types of cell towers.
The student teams learned about blueprints, scale models and binary coding before they began to build. Using a blueprint and some household items, the teams had to construct a lattice tower that could support a certain weight (symbolic of the antenna on top of cellular towers). While the students worked on their designs, family members were also given the opportunity to build their own cell tower. Verizon representatives and Heritage High School Governor’s STEM Academy students were on site to assist and answer questions.
Winners were selected based on the cell tower design, height and amount of supported weight. Greenwood Elementary School’s design earned them first place, the Jenkins Elementary team placed second and Newsome Park Elementary placed third in the challenge. The Design Challenge is part of the school district’s ongoing STEM education initiative.
NNPS recognized for award-winning budget
Newport News Public Schools has earned an award for financial management practices and transparency from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO). The Meritorious Budget Award (MBA) was presented to NNPS for excellence in preparation, presentation and distribution for the 2017-2018 budget document. The MBA promotes and recognizes excellence in school budget presentation and is conferred only to school districts whose budgets have undergone a rigorous review by financial professionals and have met or exceeded the program’s stringent criteria.
ASBO International Executive Director John Musso said, “The MBA program helps applicants create an accessible, accurate budget that builds trust with their community. This award recognizes districts that have made it clear they want students at the center of their fiscal plan and vision.”
The review team noted that the “budget represents a quality presentation of excellent data useful to the average reader.”