Polk County Middle School recently received a $5,000 Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant to help expand and extend its STEM program.

The grant project, titled “Students Engaged in Transformational Modalities,” will be used to purchase a Makerbot Replicator+ 3D printer, Backyard Brains Human to Human Interface kits, a Makey Makey STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) pack and a Sphero robot.

The Makerbot Replicator+ 3D printer will be used to introduce students to the world of 3D along with computer aided design (CAD) software. Planned projects include CO2 dragsters, catapults and bridges.

The Human to Human Interface kits from Backyard Brains are designed to help students learn about neuroscience in a fun and exciting way and will be used as part of seventh grade studies on STEM and the human body.

The Makey Makey STEM pack will be used to help introduce coding and electricity. These devices – connected to a computer – extend the computer’s functionality and allow the user to do such things as playing music using bananas as the keyboard, create create musical artwork using conductive paint and code using Scratch.

The Sphero robot will also be used to teach coding and with various engineering challenges.