In early 2020, Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education partnered with local farmers to nominate rural public schools and award grants to enhance their science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.
According to a news release, with the help of local farmers, through Grow Rural Education, Bayer Fund awarded a $15,000 grant to G.C. Burkhead Elementary School.
The America’s Farmers programs have awarded more than $57 million to rural America since 2010. G.C. Burkhead is one of the many schools across the country chosen by the Bayer Fund’s Grow Rural Education program.
Grow Rural Education grants have helped schools purchase an array of STEM-related materials, such as augmented-reality sandboxes, weather-forecasting and robotics equipment. G.C. Burkhead will use the Grow Rural Education funds to purchase robots and iPads to power them.
Local farmers Jeannie Langley, Summer Langley and Kevin Mobley presented a check to G.C. Burkhead Principal Hal Bender and STEM teacher Heather Korrell on Thursday.
“As educators, we are constantly thinking of new ways to engage our students and help them realize the importance of STEM skills now and in the future,” Bender said in the release. “We would like to thank the local farmers who nominated our district to apply for the Grow Rural Education Grant, as well as Bayer Fund’s Farmer Advisory Council who believed we could make a difference with the funds.”
To qualify for a Grow Rural Education grant, farmers nominate a public school district to compete for a merit-based $15,000 grant. School districts that are nominated, then submit a grant application describing their STEM-focused project.
Grow Rural Education’s Farmer Advisory Council, consisting of a panel of math and science teachers and approximately 30 farmer leaders from across the country, review the finalist applications and select the winning school districts, including G.C Burkhead.
“The items purchased with this grant will help all students build a better foundational understanding of how robots work, how they are built, their different parts and extend their learning and understanding of programming and coding,” Korrell said in the release.
Farmers are also encouraged to participate in Bayer Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Communities program, which is accepting farmer enrollments through Nov. 1. Grow Communities protects the programs and institutions that keep farmers and their communities thriving by allowing farmers to enroll for a chance to direct a $2,500 donation to their favorite local eligible nonprofit organization.