Saluda Elementary School has received a Learning Links grant totaling $2,508 to be used for an Innovation Nation STEAM project providing hands-on learning opportunities to students in grades 3-5.

The grant, written by fifth grade teacher Ginger Rackley and Media Specialist Kevin Burnett is provided by the Ben W. and Dixie Glenn Farthing Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. STEAM, the integration of art with science, technology, engineering and math, is a cross-curricular approach that involves students using the iterative design thinking process to find and solve problems.

“We want our students to think outside the box – to invent, create, and design,” Rackley said. “We also want our students to work together on projects to better learn how to collaborate. The materials for our makerspace will allow the students time to work on these skills.”

The grant will be used to acquire materials for a makerspace within the school media center as well as materials for a small makerspace within the classroom.

“Beyond gaining valuable skills with tools, students will learn spatial reasoning, problem solving, group work, and gain a sense of accomplishment,” Burnett said.