Oak Hill Montessori School in Shoreview received a grant that will turn its geodesic growing dome into a full living laboratory.
The school received a $7,500 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) grant through the Minnesota Independent School Forum’s (MISF) STEM Program this spring. The award came just nine months after its community raised the funds to build a geodesic growing dome on campus. The greenhouse dome was constructed by volunteers in May.
Oak Hill will use the grant to create a “living” laboratory within the growing dome to offer hands-on learning and exploration related to environmental science, food sustainability and alternative energy sources. Specifically, funding will be used toward teacher training and new curriculum development in those areas, as well as furnishing the inside of the growing dome with garden beds, soil, plants and equipment.
“We feel extremely fortunate to offer this new and exciting learning space for all our students. We look forward to working with several different organizations and groups within the community as the curriculum unfolds,” said Head of School Erin Doan. “We are grateful to our community and MISF for helping to make this a reality.”
Oak Hill is one of 23 school across the state awarded the MISF grant funding that assists schools in developing hands-on curriculum to prepare students to be workforce leaders in STEM careers. Supporters of the MISF STEM Program are the 3M Foundation, Schott Foundation, and Xcel Energy Foundation.