The head of the local school system serving military families stationed at Whiteman AFB, Mo., says two new grants totaling $2.3 million from the DOD Education Activity (DODEA) will provide a significant boost for its students by allowing it to enhance its STEM2, robotics, computer science and Advanced Placement offerings. The grants being awarded to Knob Noster Public Schools are for its GEAR UP 4 College and Career Readiness and GEAR UP 2 Lead STEM programs. About two-thirds of the school system’s 1,600 students are connected to Whiteman.
“Through ongoing support from DODEA and other engaged district partners, Knob Noster Public Schools continues to improve quality of life for our families while enhancing mission readiness for Whiteman Air Force Base,” Superintendent Jerrod Wheeler told On Base. “These grants will enable our students to engage in high-quality STEM2 learning and leadership development, while also creating a virtual learning platform that will extend across all school districts serving Global Strike Command, and beyond,” Wheeler said.
The grant programs cover a range of initiatives:
- expanded STEM Advanced Placement programs, including computer science;
- expanded STEM programming through FIRST Robotics, FIRST Lego League Robotics and FIRST Lego League Junior Robotics;
- the newly created Knob Noster Virtual Academy, which offers students in grade 7-12 access to hundreds of online courses taught by state licensed teachers with certification specific to the content area;
- personal leadership development programs for K-12 students through Franklin Covey’s The Leader In Me; and
- professional development for teachers.
State and local officials, and leaders from Whiteman will celebrate the award at a ceremony on the base Dec. 10. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Brig. Gen. John Nichols, commander of the 509th Bomb Wing, and Missouri Military Advocate Joe Driskill are scheduled to participate in the event.
Air Force photo by Airman Taylor Phifer