Watson Chronicle


Support for Educators in the Field

STEM SENC Hosts Mini-Grant Celebration

Sunday, May 01, 2022

On April 27, STEM SENC held a celebration to honor recipients of their 2022 Education Mini-Grants. The mini-grant awards were presented to 14 teachers in Brunswick, Columbus, Duplin, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Scotland Counties earlier this year to support the implementation of innovative STEM programs for students. These projects directly involved and provided ongoing benefits to students, included clearly defined goals and learning objectives, and used innovative and creative teaching methods. Priority was given to projects that reached underserved students. Teachers shared lesson plans, photos, and videos so that other educators could use the lessons in their classrooms.

Watson College Dean Van Dempsey joined STEM SENC Executive Director Heddy Clark and several members of the STEM SENC steering committee (Michelle Chadwick, Onslow County Schools; Kim Jones, Brunswick Community College; and Tiffany Lindstrom, Corning) in welcoming award recipients Natalie Caddell (Brunswick County), Maura Cleary (Brunswick County), Jennifer Williams (New Hanover County), Nikki Walker (Whiteville City Schools), Amy Hartman (Onslow County), Daniel Maldonado (Duplin County) and Amber Colon (Brunswick County) at the event.  Awardees were encouraged to bring guests, such as family members and principals, to join in the celebration. Educators’ projects were shared in a digital presentation created by Gianna Geiss, Administrative Associate for the STEM Learning Cooperative and the Center for Education in STEM (CESTEM).

“You could feel the energy in the room as projects were shared and stories were told, and several educators left the celebration with notes about new lessons and activities they would like to try in their classrooms,” Clark said. “It was truly an honor for STEM SENC to play a small role in helping these talented professionals to feel valued and provide a space for them to connect.”

An award from the Anonymous Trust that STEM SENC received for participation in the ReCONNECT Rural & Urban cohort at NC State’s Institute of Emerging Issues provided funding for the mini-grants. STEM SENC was one of five community initiatives selected for participation in the three-year, six-forum series focusing on bringing North Carolina and North Carolinians together across lines of division. Selected communities are actively working on efforts to address shared challenges, and promote and more effectively leverage interconnections between different community types.

For more information about STEM SENC and the mini-grant awards, visit the STEM SENC website.