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News Room

Classroom Grant Opportunity Inspires Teachers to Provide Hands-On STEM Learning

April 28 2016 - 12:08 pm

News Release
For Immediate Release
April 28, 2016

Kaitlin Felsted, Marketing Communications Specialist
STEM Action Center

Classroom Grant Opportunity Inspires Teachers to Provide Hands-On STEM Learning
Students raise and release trout into the Ogden River after receiving a STEM Classroom Grant

SALT LAKE CITY – As recipients of the Utah STEM Action Center’s PreK-12 Classroom Grant, Da Vinci Academy kindergarten students will release trout they have raised from eggs into the Ogden River on April 29.

The eggs, originally delivered in January by the environmental education program “Trout in the Classroom,” have been cared for by students of Eleanor Sather, a kindergarten teacher at Da Vinci Academy. The project has included regular trips to the release site throughout the school year for students to make observations about weather and other environmental changes as part of their sciences studies.

“‘Trout in the Classroom’ has transformed the way our kindergarten kids think about the river we visit weekly, about how fish grow and behave, and why it’s so important to keep our waterways clean,” Sather said. “Conservation isn’t an abstract concept to these 40 children; it’s highly personal. These are their fish going into their river. I never imagined the impact raising trout from eggs would have on the kids. The effect has been profound and moving.”

The Utah STEM Action Center’s PreK-12 STEM Classroom Grant is available for Utah educators and administrators to improve student learning experiences in science, technology, engineering and math. Awards are granted for innovative and creative projects in STEM subjects. These projects focus on classroom-level instruction that is unique to the needs of the students.

The Classroom Grant has funded more than 70 projects during the 2015-2016 school year, with $80,000 providing opportunities for nearly 7,000 students across the state.

“We are so excited to see how the classroom grant program is helping teachers implement creative STEM learning opportunities,” said Kellie Yates, program and engagement specialist at the Utah STEM Action Center. “The grant program was developed to help support these types of experiences, which really help students see how STEM subjects are exciting, relevant and within any student’s reach.”

The next solicitation for applications opens on August 15. To learn more about the grant program, visit

About the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)
The Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) charter is based on Governor Gary Herbert’s commitment to economic development statewide. Utah’s economic development vision is that Utah will lead the nation as the best performing economy and be recognized as a premier global business enironment and tourist destination. The mandate for this office is to provide rich business resources for the creation, growth and recruitment of companies to Utah and to increase tourism and film production in the state. GOED accomplishes this mission through the administration of programs that are based around targeted industries or “economic clusters” that demonstrate the best potential for development. GOED utilizes state resources and private sector contracts to fulfill its mission. For more information please contact: Michael Sullivan, 801-538-8811 or

About the STEM Action Center
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Action Center works to develop Utah’s workforce of the future by prioritizing STEM education. The program drives research and implementation of STEM education best practices across Utah by coordinating STEM-related activities, creating and coordinating proven STEM education best practices, facilitating educator access to those tools, align public STEM education and higher STEM education activities.


Last year Eleanor Sather, a teacher at DaVinci Academy, applied for a Classroom grant to experience the life cycle of trout. Eggs were delivered to their classroom by the DNR on January 11. Students have tracked their development and the project will culminate in the release of the fish this Friday.