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Mini-Grants Awarded to Educators for STEM Activities

FAO and SWN Award More Than $7,000 in Grants

Nelsonville, OH – Southwestern Energy (SWN) and the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) partnered to support STEM education activities in the classroom by offering mini-grants in Guernsey, Monroe, and Noble counties.

Public school educators were invited to apply for a grant to implement enhanced STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) learning materials, opportunities, and experiences. The partnership between FAO and SWN awarded more than $7,000 in grants.

”We are thrilled with the applications received for our first year presenting STEM grants to teachers in Monroe, Noble and Guernsey counties,” said Amy Dobkin, community relations manager, Southwestern Energy. “We can’t wait to see the results of these impactful projects.”

The eleven 2021 SWN and FAO grant recipients are:

Caldwell Exempt Village School District (EVSD) received a grant to support the STEM Based Learning and Career Technical Education in Caldwell Elementary project. This project will equip Caldwell Elementary students with tools and supplies to engage in meaningful student-centered learning activities. Materials, including microscopes, slides, and a document camera, will enhance Agriscience and STEM education, as well as career technical classes.

Cambridge City Schools received a grant to support the Challenging Minds with Vex IQ project. This project will help students foster and develop teamwork, critical thinking, project management and communication skills. The grant will be used to purchase a VEX IQ Challenge Field for students to build and test robotics. Teams will be created to compete in the Robot Skills Challenge where one robot takes the field to score as many points as possible.

Cambridge City Schools received a grant to support the Hands On Coding project. This project will allow students to explore the basic needs of animals as they design a code for a programmable mouse. This activity will teach students about writing and debugging code through the Engineering Design Process as they learn the value of rethinking and multiple solutions.

Cambridge City Schools received a grant to support the STEAM for Kindergarten project. This project will use STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) education to build strong work ethics and problem-solving skills for kindergarteners. The grant will be used for additional STEAM-related activities during open-ended play time each day, including activities such as building bridges to help students discover how to solve the problem of weak bridges by choosing different materials and creating support structures.

East Guernsey Schools received a grant to support the Tool Usage and Identificationproject. This project will supply tools to third-grade students who are interested in investigating vehicle parts, including the engine, transmission, and rear of a Ford Expedition. The goal of this project is to inspire youth and teach them teamwork and communication skills through basic tool identification and usage. 

East Guernsey Local Schools received a grant to support the Tumbling Towards Tomorrow’s Technology project. This project will teach a small group of current and potentially gifted students the principles of coding in a hands-on, screen-free way with six Turing Tumble “marble-powered computers.” Turing Tumble enables groups of students to work together building mechanical computers to solve logic puzzles with gears, bits, ramps, crossovers, interceptors, pressers, and boards. This project will provide a foundation for further coding work, bolstering executive function, and practicing cooperative team skills.

Noble Local School District received a grant to support the Ensuring Water Quality project. This project will allow students to monitor water quality and the impact of agricultural run-off from “Green Acres,” the district’s livestock farm. The school district will purchase materials to monitor the stream that runs outside the school building. Shenandoah Elementary students will learn about real world problems and develop strategies to protect the stream and other water sources.

Noble Local School District received a grant to support the Medical Pathway Clinic Classroom Renovation project. This project will provide visual aids and medical materials for students participating in the Medical Pathway program at Noble Local School District in collaboration with Zane State College. The Medical Pathway program offers courses to complete a multi-skilled health technician certification that aligns with the medical assisting program at Zane State College. A classroom will be created with a physician office area, hospital setting and lab, along with a standard desk-filled classroom. Visual aids and medical materials will teach students medical terminology and procedures.

Noble Local School District received a grant to support the Mobile Maker Lab Expands STEM Across Elementary project. This project will develop a mobile maker lab with a rolling tool cabinet to give students more access to a STEM Lab. It will provide teachers with equipment to continue creating engineering and design activities in their classrooms. The school district will purchase a rolling steel cart, tools, and safety equipment for students in the primary and upper elementary levels.

Noble Local School District received a grant to support the Programming for House Points project. The House Points program at Shenandoah Elementary groups students into teams to earn points schoolwide for positive behavior and achievements. This project will use the House Points system to encourage student participation in coding and programming. The school district will purchase Spheros Robots for children to code for tasks such as completing mazes and races. The robots also can roll along a story map to retell stories and work as engines for STEM designed cars.

Switzerland of Ohio Local School District received a grant to support the Raspberry Pi Computing project. This project will teach students how to properly assemble computer hardware, install operating system packages, and connect external devices, with the purchase of 5 Raspberry Pi mini-computers. These computers will also be used to teach coding and basic computer concepts for beginners.

Together, SWN and FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund address pressing educational needs by supporting and providing mini-grants toward STEM-based learning materials, opportunities and experiences. These grants aim to improve education and generate transformative change within Appalachian Ohio.

FAO’s I’m a Child of Appalachia® Fund works to increase quality of life, create access to opportunities and implement solutions. Education is a focus area for FAO, making up one of five Pillars of Prosperity. Each Pillar represents an essential piece to the quality of life in Appalachian Ohio. FAO’s other Pillars of Prosperity are: Arts & Culture, Community & Economic Development, Environmental Stewardship, and Health & Human Services.

About SWN
Southwestern Energy Company (NYSE: SWN) is a leading U.S. producer and marketer of natural gas and natural gas liquids focused on responsibly developing large-scale energy assets in the nation’s most prolific shale gas basins. SWN’s returns-driven strategy strives to create sustainable value for its stakeholders by leveraging its scale, financial strength and operational execution. For additional information, please visit and

About the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio
The Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) is a regional community foundation serving the 32 counties of Appalachian Ohio. A 501(c)(3) public charity, the Foundation creates opportunities for Appalachian Ohio’s citizens and communities by inspiring and supporting philanthropy. For more information about FAO, visit and follow FAO on Facebook and Instagram.