A recent award by the John Deere Foundation will support three technology initiatives at Ottumwa Schools.
According to the John Deere Foundation's website, "As one of our core values, innovation is critical to John Deere's success. For innovation to thrive, however, vigorous educational opportunities must exist to teach and inspire our next generation of innovators. Therefore, we invest in projects that provide inspiring, rewarding and innovative educational experiences for youth, particularly in our home communities."
Funds from the foundation will be used to support the district's annual Technology Fair. In its third year, the fair provides an opportunity for approximately 90 third, fourth and fifth graders to spend the day at Indian Hills sharing a project and learning more about technology. Funds will be used for transportation and substitute teachers.
Evans Middle School plans to create a Maker Space in the school library. Funds will allow the school to purchase materials that will allow students to design, experiment, build, and invent as they engage in science, engineering, and tinkering. Four focus areas will include 3-D printing, computer coding, circuits, and building.
The district's Prime Time Youth Care program will purchase materials to create Maker Space activity kits that will be used at both Liberty and Wilson during program hours after school and during the summer. Items to be purchased will include tablets, littleBits, Makey Makey kits, robotics kit, tools, and a subscription to "Make" magazine.
"For the past several years, John Deere has supported STEM initiatives in Ottumwa Schools," said Angie Sheets, a secondary technology coach for the district. "The district is excited about expanding opportunities both in- and out-of-school time."