Northeast Ohio Impact Academy Wins $5,000 STEM Classroom Grant

CAMPBELL, Ohio — A $5,000 grant will allow Campbell City Schools’ Northeast Ohio Impact Academy to create and expand sustainable STEM-learning projects at the school.

The grant is through the Ohio STEM Learning Network Classroom Grant Program, funded by the Columbus-based Battelle. The academy’s Race for Impact project provides students with hands-on experience and problem-solving skills, according to a release.

Students will become familiar with the professional terminology and Federal Aviation Administration drone regulations through the completion of several Race Design Challenges created by the students to mimic drone racing.

“These courses will require students to put their knowledge into practice and demonstrate their ability to work safely and professionally while flying drones to accomplish this goal,” according to the release.

The idea is to introduce, instruct and develop students to be responsible and educated drone pilots, according to the release. Students will be trained on equipment, safety, building, piloting and racing skills, critical thinking and problem-solving. They will also explore industry entrepreneurial/professional opportunities after graduation.

“I am excited to bring this program to NEOIA,” Kent Polen, academy chief operating officer, said in the release. “It will provide students the opportunity to earn their drone pilots license. Once they have the license it will open many doors of opportunities for the students.”

Students will little or no small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS) experience can participate. Curriculum will also explore how sUAS have become integrated into society, and will identify how to connect those skills to careers and to problems of today.

Students will be required to pass the Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST) certification, which provides education and testing for recreational flyers on important safety and regulatory information. They will also learn about the manual flight of sUAS and will face an engineering design challenge, which focuses on a global health challenge of delivering a critical vaccine to a remote community via sUAS. Teams will be challenged to design, prototype and test their vaccine container to be safely dropped by sUAS from 20 feet.

“What excites me the most about this curriculum is furthering the students’ and myself’s thinking process and education,” said academy teacher Nadyne Stallsmith. “I want to be able to become a great resource for our district when it comes to flying sUAS and helping students understand the importance of sUAS technology in regards to future careers.”

The Ohio STEM Learning Network awarded 151 classrooms in 55 Ohio counties with these grants.

“The schools and educators awarded will create powerful new experiences to amaze and inspire students,” said Kelly Gaier Evans, director of the Ohio STEM Learning Network. “We invest in these programs to foster the next generation of Ohio innovators.”

“Battelle is proud to expand its impact in STEM education to support more educators across Ohio,” added Wes Hall, vice president of philanthropy and education at Battelle. “This program creates connections to the statewide network and STEM opportunities for thousands of new students.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.