PPS earns VDOE grant for STEM competitions

PPS earns VDOE grant to prepare students for STEM competitions
Posted on 09/01/2020
PPS earns VDOE grant to prepare students for STEM competitions

The Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) has awarded Portsmouth Public Schools (PPS) a $10,000 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) competition team grant.

Michael Kendzora, a PPS STEM instructor, applied for the grant to support the division’s elementary school Cooperating Hampton Roads Organizations for Minorities in Engineering (CHROME) clubs. The division works in partnership with Norfolk State University to offer these club opportunities to elementary school students. According to the CHROME organization, through CHROME clubs, students are provided STEM-enhancing experiences and they receive career education information specific to the jobs today performed by engineers, scientists and mathematicians.

With this grant, Kendzora will provide monthly professional development for the CHROME Club sponsors focused on problem-driven projects and special guest speakers, such as NASA engineers.

Sponsors will utilize the same guest speakers and STEM-infused lessons with their CHROME Club students.

The students will put all of these additional resources together to compete in the PPS CHROME LEGO WeDo Challenge: Mission Moon. For the Mission Moon, students will solve the problems faced to live on the moon, such as attaining and maintaining food, water, energy, air, shelter and the need for recreation while living on the moon.

The students will be utilizing critical thinking, creative thinking, collaboration, communication and citizenship, which will develop them into exemplary models of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate. The competition will take place during the 2021 STEM Expo. More information will be provided closer to the event.

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