ORWELL — Grand Valley Local Schools received a large donation which will bring some new technology to students in the district.
Grand Valley Future Farmers of America received a $10,000 grant through the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program. The program, sponsored by the Bayer Fund, partners with farmers to nominate their local school district to apply for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, grants.
The district will use the grant to purchase a plasma cutting CNC machine system called Plasma Cam. Lowell Moodt, Grand Valley agricultural instructor, said the machine will be used in all his classes and the computer classes will also be involved in programming the machine.
This machine is a tool that will help provide students with some real world experience, Moodt said.
"Basically you can program designs into this machine and the plasma cutter will cut designs into metal," Moodt said. "Benefit-wise I think this is great for kids thinking about entering industry or into college for engineering or agriculture. These machines are used all over the place."
Since 2011, the program has given more than $18 million dollars to more than 1,000 rural public school districts, according to information from Grand Valley Local Schools.
This year, the Bayer Fund partnered with local farmers to nominate rural schools and awarded more than $2.3 million in grants to enhance their STEM programs.
America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is a unique program because farmers play an important role throughout the process, from nominating schools to selecting the grant winners, according to Al Mitchell, president of the Bayer Fund.
“With the incredible support of local farmers, countless grant-winning schools have shared with us how Grow Rural Education funds have made their STEM programs more engaging and, in several instances, positively impacted test scores,” Mitchell said.