Sarah Kelly and Kylie Dunn are both in their first year at Brody Middle School and there must be a chemistry between the two science/math teachers because together they’ve been awarded a Project Lead the Way STEM Grant. The PLTW Gateway program aimed at students in grades 6-8 is funded by John Deere and worth $20,000 over the next two years.

The grant will enhance STEM curriculum at Brody for hundreds of 7th grade students, including the potential for collaborations with students and teachers all over the world, a feature that dovetails nicely with Brody’s status as an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School. Closer to home, opportunities like field trips to Deere offices in Johnston will give students a sense of what STEM careers like software engineering look like in practice.

When Kelly learned about the grant program last year, she approached Dunn to gauge her interest.

“I basically asked her if she would help me out,” Kelly said. No arm-twisting was required.

“Sure, let’s go for it,” Dunn replied.

They wrote their grant application in December and were notified of the award last week.

Kelly is in her 6th year of teaching and transferred from Pleasant Hill Elementary. Dunn is in her second year and moved to Des Moines this year from her native Illinois. At Brody, the rookies clicked. Like a chemical, and now congratulatory, reaction.

PLTW Grant at Brody

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