Richmond middle school to unveil STEM lab today (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

by STEMconnector

Richmond middle school to unveil STEM lab today (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Lucille M. Brown Middle School will publicly unveil its $100,000 STEM lab at a ribbon-cutting this morning.

The lab includes a laser engraver, a new wood shop, an acrylic fabrication lab, a forensic science lab and Raspberry Pi robotics.

The lab is the end result of the school winning the Northrop Grumman Foundation’s Fab School Labs contest last year.

The contest was created to “drive student interest in STEM by giving public middle school teachers and school administrators the chance to create the STEM lab of their dreams and provide students access to the latest learning tools and technologies that will stimulate as well as teach.”

The school partnered with a design and engineering company to build the lab with what the contest program calls “all of the tools, resources and furnishings needed” for learning about STEM subjects science, technology, engineering and math.

Educators say STEM learning is critical for students as schools try to make sure young people are graduating with the skills needed to work in a rapidly changing economy.

One portion of the contest included an online vote held on Facebook.

While the vote was not the sole criteria in choosing the winners, it went a long way toward picking the winners that received grants, prompting Lucille Brown officials to urge the public to support the school.

More than 45,000 votes were cast, but organizers did not disclose the per-school vote count.

Lucille M. Brown was one of five schools to win the grants last year.

The other winners were middle schools in Colorado, Texas and California, as well as Benjamin Syms Middle School in Hampton.

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