Earlier this month, 20 students from Mount Vernon High School and Walt Whitman Middle School visited NASA headquarters in downtown D.C. Students were given the opportunity to speak to astronauts Doug Hurley and Rex Walheim, who flew on the final mission of the space shuttle Atlantis.
This trip was made possible by a $1.2 million grant awarded to Mount Vernon High School and Walt Whitman Middle School by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) to support STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education.
The grant, called Operation Major Success, will help fund teacher training and after-school and summer programs, including the Summer STEM Institutes at MVHS, which will introduce students to rockets, robotics, and engineering.
The STEM grant will provide a variety of services to students at both schools, including the funding of a counselor who will provide academic and social support for military dependent students and their families at MVHS and WWMS. The grant will also provide funding to support academic seminars and after-school programs geared towards encouraging students to pursue STEM educational opportunities.
Part of the grant will help fund the construction of an additional technology classroom at MVHS and be used to update and purchase computers and STEM curriculum software. Additional funds will be used to enhance existing technology by purchasing iPads, netbooks, eClickers, compound microscopes with LCD displays, touch screen monitors, SMART Boards, smart pens, LCD projectors, graphing calculators, and document cameras.