HomeMt Laurel NewsLockheed Martin gives $20K to Mt Laurel schools

Lockheed Martin gives $20K to Mt Laurel schools

Lockheed Martin Corporation, an advanced technology firm located in Moorestown, has contributed a total of $20,000 to Mount Laurel Schools’ Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) course initiatives this year.

Jack Grdinich, director of facilities and operations, said some 22,000 Lockheed employees are actually based in satellite offices located within Mount Laurel. Many of Lockheed’s local employees are also parents of Mount Laurel students, he added.

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“We are very interested in helping to promote the sciences in our schools,” Grdinich said. “And we are particularly pleased that not only are we contributing funds, but our engineers are also involved with the projects being undertaken in the STEM classrooms.”

Grdinich spoke at the Nov. 21 board of education meeting where he formally presented Lockheed’s contribution to STEM. Earlier in the school year, Lockheed committed $15,000 through its Computers for Schools Program in order to assist with the launch of new courses in fifth and seventh-grades.

The success of the STEM program prompted an additional contribution of $5,000 from the corporation, and will help to purchase additional technology.

In fifth grade, students in Lorraine Allen’s classes at the Hartford School are researching and testing the principles of invention, and will produce a number of products this year. At the Harrington Middle School, seventh grade and eighth grade students are working with Maureen Barrett to create remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for underwater exploration. The vehicles created by students will be tested in underwater competitions at Burlington County Special Services School, and later in the year, a team of students will take their ROVs to competition at Drexel University. The emphasis of the middle school course is underwater exploration.

The district is currently researching the availability of grant funding to extend the STEM courses to sixth and eighth-grades.

“We have heard nothing but positive feedback from students and parents since the program began,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Antoinette Rath said. “Students cannot wait to get into the course, and are saddened when it is completed.

“Parents are asking that we find ways to offer more in this area,” she added. “Our goal is certainly to expand STEM offerings wherever possible.

“Our aim is to continue to find alternate means of funding the program so that this positive growth does not negatively impact our taxpayers,” Rath concluded.

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