Big Iron, a manufacturing business based in the Elmore City-Pernell School District, has donated a big chunk of change to the local elementary school.
The company recently donated nearly $34,000 to advance the cause of local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education with the purchase of additional technology for students at ECP Elementary.
“With the help and support of Big Iron and their focus on local education, our students in kindergarten through fifth grade will all have access to technology devices during the school day,” said ECP Elementary Principal Sheila Riddle.
The school first initiated a long-range STEM plan six years ago by integrating technology into classroom instruction on a regular basis.
“The success of authentic and relevant educational strategies now centers on utilizing technology in the learning environment, so our goal is to provide students with the latest technologies and provide our staff with the professional development required to fully integrated STEM-based strategies into their daily lessons,” Riddle adds.
“Doing this in a meaningful and well-planned manner will allow our students to expand their skills in the STEM areas required for careers of the future.”
ECP Elementary was certified as a STEM-ready school in 2013 and was the recipient of a $65,000 OETT grant the following year.
The grant allowed the purchase of 68 iPads with charging safes placed across across the campus for grade-level access.
The same grant also provided teachers with professional development through the University of Oklahoma's K20 Center.
Since then the ECP district has utilized local and federal funding to maintain the original iPads and purchase additional devices.
Another major turning point came this past September when Big Iron contacted the school with a desire to facilitate the technology vision by contributing funds to provide all local students with technology for school use.
Riddle says Big Iron's dedication to local education and support of the ECP School District has made it possible for the campus to purchase 65 Chromebooks for students third through fifth grades with charging carts and 35 iPads with cases for kindergarten through second grade.
This “visionary” donation allows ECP students to engage in research and application without leaving the classroom and provides teachers with the ability to fully integrate learning platforms, such as Google Classroom, into the educational “adventures” of ECP students.
“ECP Elementary is very appreciative of local educational partners such as Big Iron and looks forward to the many exciting possibilities this donation will provide in the years ahead.”