Kent, Federal Way schools recognized for STEM programs

Two South King County schools were recognized on Thursday as Lighthouse Schools and will each receive $20,000 grants so they can share best practices with other schools developing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education programs. Martin Sortun Elementary in Kent and Saghalie Middle School in Federal Way were two of the six statewide recipients and the only ones in King County.

“The robotics program at Martin Sortun Elementary provides young students with hands on experience and makes learning STEM skills fun,” said Sen. Joe Fain, who represents Kent and serves on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. “This grant will allow teachers and their community partners to help more South King County students.”

Schools are selected based on experience creating programs that focus on personalized learning, STEM projects and for partnering with local businesses and community groups. Those chosen as Lighthouse Schools receive the grant to help them share with schools in the early stages of developing STEM-focused learning environments.

A total of 29 schools have been recognized since 2010 when the Legislature created the program, which is administered through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Martin Sortun Elementary and Saghalie Middle School are the first schools in Kent and Federal Way to receive the designation.

Photo courtesy of the Kent School District.