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

Pete CodellaNews

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