EastSide Charter School in Wilmington to Launch Innovative New STEM Program, With Support from Verizon

$20,000 Verizon Grant Aims to Drive Student Interest, Achievement in STEM Fields
EastSide Charter School

WILMINGTON, Del. – Students at EastSide Charter Elementary School will soon begin work on a school greenhouse project, with support from Verizon. 

The school has been awarded a $20,000 Verizon Innovate Learning Grant. It is one of 80 public schools across the country to receive a grant this year as part of Verizon’s investment to help provide teachers with the resources they need to use technology more innovatively and effectively to engage students in science, technology, engineering and math.

The school greenhouse project will benefit 480 students and be used for classroom projects by as many as 40 teachers in pre-K through eighth grade. The greenhouse will expand a pilot project being conducted this year, and utilize scientific technology to integrate core scientific principles, with hands-on class projects focusing on plant growth, sunlight, water, etc. 

Teachers will have access to STEM technology such as soil pH meters, moisture meters, light sensors and microscopes to lead investigative experiments and connect classroom lessons with hands-on experience. Students will also use digital cameras to document projects and present findings. As a charter school serving low-income students, EastSide is excited to provide its students with the STEM-related resources that many of its students have never had access to.

“We created this program to support the integration of innovative STEM initiatives in schools across the country, and we are pleased to recognize the 80 schools that have been chosen to receive the award,” said Bonnie Metz, director of state government affairs for Verizon. “The proposal submitted by EastSide Charter School exemplifies the type of initiatives that will provide exposure to students around STEM fields, and also offer students hands-on, project-based learning opportunities that will help increase their interest and achievement in STEM.”

The significant demand for STEM-educated workers has been well documented in recent years, and a 2014 report found that the STEM job market is even larger than had been reported previously. 

“EastSide has made tremendous academic gains in recent years in math and reading,” said Lamont W. Browne, head of school at EastSide Charter School. “The school greenhouse project will enable us to further that growth through hands on learning and importantly expand our impact in STEM education. We recognize that our students’ futures will rely more and more on the use of technology, and this project will help prepare them for the challenges ahead.”

The Verizon Innovate Learning Grants program is part of Verizon’s commitment to the Obama administration’s ConnectED initiative, under which Verizon is providing up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions to drive student achievement, especially in STEM subjects.

About EastSide Charter School

EastSide Charter is a public charter school serving 480 pre-K-8 students, most of whom live in Wilmington’s eastside area, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the state. The mission of EastSide Charter is to educate children in a safe, caring and nurturing environment so that they can excel academically and socially. EastSide’s motto is: Strive for excellence, Succeed with integrity and Soar beyond expectations.

For more information, contact Matthew Clements, development director, at 302-762-5834 Ext. 163 or Matthew.Clements@escs.k12.de.us.

About the Verizon Foundation

The Verizon Foundation is focused on accelerating social change by using the company’s innovative technology to help solve pressing problems in education, healthcare and energy management.  Since 2000, the Verizon Foundation has invested more than half a billion dollars to improve the communities where Verizon employees work and live. Verizon’s employees are generous with their donations and their time, having logged more than 6.8 million hours of service to make a positive difference in their communities.  For more information about Verizon’s philanthropic work, visit www.verizon.com/about/responsibility/; or for regular updates, visit the Foundation on Facebook (www.facebook.com/verizonfoundation) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/verizongiving).