2023 Meta Grants

NCSS Receives Approximately $65,000 in Meta Grants
Posted on 03/29/2023
Meta grant recipientsThe Newton County School System was the recipient of two community action grants from Meta totaling approximately $65,000. The Newton County School System received $40,000 for its STEM on the Go project to foster STEM and reading in elementary schools and the Newton College and Career Academy Technology Student Association (TSA) was awarded $24,299 to purchase Meta Quest Pros to enhance workforce readiness through the addition of virtual reality applications in the classroom.

“We truly appreciate the continued support of Meta,” said Samantha Fuhrey, superintendent of the Newton County School System. “Since the day they arrived they have been a tremendous partner in education. One of their goals is to improve STEM education and we will use these grant funds to do just that. These two grants will impact several thousand students in the Newton County School System and for that we are extremely thankful.”

According to Dr. Tiffany Merriweather, the school district will purchase STEM on the Go kits to provide teachers with ready to teach STEM lessons and materials to implement hands-on lessons. The STEM lessons embed reading-comprehension strategies that integrate the STEM subjects and English language arts through high-quality picture books.

“The ‘STEM on the Go’ kits will be used at the upper elementary level to support STEM education,” Merriweather explained. “The kits will be aligned to the Georgia Standards of Excellence and will include kid-friendly lessons which convey how science, technology, engineering, and mathematics intersect in the real world.”

She added, “The lessons included in the kits will embed reading-comprehension strategies that integrate the STEM subjects and English language arts through high-quality picture books. The materials provided in the kit will allow teachers to provide hands-on experiments to promote STEM education.”

At the high school level, Newton College and Career Academy’s Technology Student Association will use the grant funding to purchase 15 Meta Quest Pros for students. These offer an avenue for high school students to experience workforce development techniques and skills without any of the traditional risk associated with those skill developments. Virtual reality technology offers training in safety and professional skills through modern innovations and creativity.

According to Merriweather, each pathway will have access to these Meta Quest Pros and be able to incorporate the technology into daily instruction.

“The Meta Quest Pros offer virtual training without the risks,” said Merriweather. “The construction pathway could use the Meta Quest Pros to teach a lesson on safety in the workplace. Then, Agriculture Mechanics could facilitate a lesson on welding through virtual reality. There are just so many ways that each career pathway could utilize virtual simulations to aid in teaching future lessons.”

“We are very thankful for these grant opportunities for our schools,” said Merriweather. “The funding for these projects is greatly appreciated and our students are the true beneficiaries.”