West Jackson Elementary School is one of six around the state receiving a $10,000 grant from Governor Deal’s office. The school is participating in the FY 2018 Innovation Fund Accelerator.
Dr. Amity Hardegree, the school’s principal says this will allow them to visit other schools with successful STEAM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math, programs.
"This will allow our team to really dig into the data and refine our ideas," said Hardegree.
The school received funding under the priority area: Applied Learning with a Focus on STEAM Education. It’s for the AIM program, which stands for Accelerate, Innovate and Motivate students.
"So our fifth grade students have been exploring microgravity. One experiment from Jackson County Schools will actually fly into space. We'll have an experiment that will be conducted by astronauts. We also have started an aquaponics garden. Students have been researching that," said Hardegree. "And we've been able to partner with the High Museum of Art. So we've got some groups that will be going to the High Museum for workshops."
The grant supports school districts, traditional public schools, charter schools and Regional Educational Service Agencies in developing innovative education programs. This puts West Jackson in the running for a $45,000 grant to implement a pilot program.