The Weld Trust has seven funding initiatives within health and education for nonprofits, schools and government entities located in Weld County. The first set of grants under the key initiative, Access to Resources, was awarded in the Fourth Quarter 2021. These grants funded eight separate programs across the county to support K-12 students with resources necessary to succeed in school, including mental and emotional health, workforce development and academic support.
Several of the academic support grants implemented or expanded Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs. One of the grants awarded by The Weld Trust in academic support was to the Success Foundation Serving Greeley-Evans School District 6. The Success Foundation is working to build 15 SmartLabs in 15 District 6 elementary, middle and K-8 schools over the next four years. SmartLab Learning engages all students in a personalized project-based approach in which STEM disciplines are integrated. This type of environment empowers students to shape their learning to meet their individual interests, abilities and learning styles.
Another grant provided by The Weld Trust was to Weld County RE-1 School District, comprised of the La Salle, Gilcrest and Platteville communities. The program by RE-1 is for the establishment and maintenance of a STEM learning program focused on robotics and coding for their middle and high students. Through this grant program, the school district will also offer an Unmanned Aerial Systems (drone) program which allows students to learn the mechanics and physics of drones, as well as how to build and fly a drone. The proposed curriculum will expose students to current technologies and skills to enable them to pass the Level 7 FAA certification exam to become a FFA drone pilot.
The Weld Trust grants included another STEM learning program for Thunder Valley K-8 in St. Vrain RE-1 school district. This school, located in Frederick, is creating a STEM curriculum to prepare the students for the rigorous STEM programs at Frederick High School. The Thunder Valley students will use hands-on educational technologies to learn computer science, robotics and bioscience. These new programs will emphasize entrepreneurial thinking with career-aligned classroom activities.
These Access to Resources grants by The Weld Trust will support student-driven learning, provide students with the opportunity of exploring career options early, and help ensure all students have equitable access to STEM learning.