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Mini-grants awarded to five schools
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Forsyth County News

RBM North Atlanta has given $10,000 in mini grants to five Forsyth County schools.

Liberty and Little Mill middle schools and Brookwood, Johns Creek and Matt elementary schools each received about $2,000 toward programs and projects.

The following is a look at how each school plans to use the money.

* Little Mill will use the funds for its First Lego League robotics teams.

The goal is to increase the number and preparedness of the students who plan to move onto the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, Academy at Forsyth Central High School or another local math and science-geared program.

The Lego robotics program is structured to allow students to experience applications of physical science, a variety of mechanical engineering concepts, computer programming and problem solving.

* Liberty Middle’s Project Inspiration Team, iTeam, will benefit from its grant.

The school has implemented inquiry-based, authentic learning strategies through the iTeam. The team has created learning units that feature real-world, current problems around which students post questions.

Students work collaboratively to research current information about a topic and then synthesize it with the skills and concepts provided by teachers.

* The grant money at Brookwood will go toward the Brookwood Plaza Project, a multi-use outdoor patio and shade structure that will turn the flat, non-shaded, dirt area into a partially shaded, environmentally friendly learning center and outdoor garden.

The plaza will provide an extension to the school’s successful Bobcat Science Den by allowing students to study the science of nature while being surrounded by it.

The plaza and garden will provide lessons in plant, animal and insect identification but also make a suitable work place for a garden club.

* The grant will help Johns Creek transform its media center into a place that supports and encourages students to be creative, critical thinkers who collaborate and communicate by providing work zones and modern technology.

Media centers have become centers for gathering information and producing products that demonstrate knowledge and understanding of standards.

In order to be college and career ready, students need to be resourceful collaborators who can use technology effectively.

* Matt Elementary’s Lego robotics program will be receiving new software to help students grow and compete.

As part of the school’s improvement goals, Matt is centering on increasing student percentile achievement in reading and math. Students’ learning goals depend on reasoning skills, which are supported by robotics through problem solving, calculation, programming language and making predictions.