Garfield Elementary receives new name to go with new improvements; district embraces STEM initiative

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Sand Springs Board of Education held their regular monthly meeting Monday evening. The session was held at Garfield Elementary in the newly finished Lloyd Snow Media Center. The Board held a ribbon-cutting ceremony prior to the meeting.

The school itself has been undergoing extensive remodeling over the summer and is nearing completion. In addition to the new library, the remodel also includes a new music room, four new kindergarten classrooms, and a new dining space and kitchen. The project is part of an $8.8 million bond election, with $6.5 million going to Garfield.

The remodel is accompanied by a slight rebranding. Garfield Elementary will now be known as “Garfield STEAM Academy.” STEAM is a slight modification of the acronym STEM, or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, with the addition of the Arts.

This fall will see all Sand Springs elementary schools participating in the STEM initiative with curriculum from Project Lead the Way. The initiative will cost the school district approximately $65,000. That money isn’t coming from the schools, however, but from donations from community businesses and education foundations. Most recently, Webco made a $10,000 donation to the initiative, leaving the district just $4,000 short of their goal.

The district is also increasing the number of STEM electives available at Clyde Boyd Middle School and Central Ninth Grade Center.

Monday night’s meeting included presentations from three groups of STEM involved students.

Zachary Sprague, Connor Tanner, Isaiah Uebelhart, Grant Shelton, and James McDougal presented one of their creations. Subtitle Glasses for the Hard of Hearing were created as a solution for hearing-impaired movie-goers. By wearing lightweight plastic glasses, similar to the glasses one would wear for a 3D movie, an individual can see subtitles on screen that are invisible to the naked eye.

Aden Baughman and Greg Bodi presented a holographic projector that they built with their group including Aaron McKnight, Will English, Chase Smith, Nathan Richards, and Stephen West.

Samantha Pidcock, Ayden Meade, Breanna Biggs, Alesha Milsap, and Mason Curren presented an improved design for CNGC’s electromagnetic door locks.

Sandite Spirit Awards were given to Dana Weber and Kristen Valentine for their work in STEM Initiative fundraising.