WILLIAMSTON, Mich. — Williamston Community Schools has been named a 2019 Education Excellence Award winner by the SET SEG Foundation in partnership with the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB). The Education Excellence award recognizes the district’s leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) education, particularly the elementary STEAM program at Discovery and Explorer Elementary Schools.
In 2015, Williamston Community Schools initiated a community task force to investigate how to promote interest in STEAM-related classes in the district, especially among girls. The goal is to “hook” students on STEAM concepts at the elementary level so that interest will continue in secondary school and beyond. The STEAM Laboratory is a converted science lab on Williamston’s Elementary campus which is utilized by all developmental kindergarten through fifth-grade students. As one of the first districts in Michigan to fully adopt the Next Generation Science Standards framework, the lab requires students to work through complex concepts in a collaborative setting. The expectation of the lab is for it to be noisy, messy, and engaging. Closing the STEAM field gender gap between boys and girls is fully expected in the lab as hands-on activities immerse participants in subjects such as engineering, programming, and graphic design. The recognition includes award money that will be used to purchase robotic supplies, a water table for science experiments, and materials to push the program to its full potential.
“It’s an honor for us to recognize Williamston Community Schools and their educators, and to help support and advance their efforts,” said Lisa Truscott, SET SEG Foundation Executive Director. “Dedicated, passionate teachers and staff in public schools are what help provide opportunities to learn, grow and build brighter, stronger futures for students in our communities and state.”
The Education Excellence Awards are produced through a partnership between the SET SEG Foundation and MASB. In 2019 the SET SEG Foundation awarded $2,500 grants to 10 extraordinary Michigan public school programs. Education Excellence Award recipients receive a $2,500 check to grow their program, an “Education Excellence Winner” road sign, and trophy. This year, the SET SEG Foundation received more than 200 applications from schools throughout Michigan working to have a positive impact on their students and community.
The SET SEG Foundation is a branch of SET SEG and is fueled by its mission to enable students to pursue enrichment opportunities that advance learning, leadership and civic responsibility by providing services, scholarships, grants, and financial support directly to Michigan public schools and Michigan public school students. For more information about the SET SEG Foundation, visit www.setseg.org/foundation.