April 1, 2016 – The Northrop Grumman Foundation announced it is launching its online contest, Fab School Labs, to encourage today’s children to become tomorrow’s innovators by creating science classrooms and technology labs that inspire. Now in its second year, the classroom makeover contest is open to public middle schools and will make five grants of up to $100,000 available to five winning schools to fund a school lab makeover. The submission window for applications begins May 1 and closes June 17, 2016.
The contest is designed to drive students’ interest in science and technology by giving public middle school teachers and school administrators the chance to create the science or technology lab or classroom of their dreams and provide students with access to the latest learning tools and technologies that will stimulate as well as teach.
Inadequate funds to purchase equipment and an overall lack of facilities are frequently cited problems by teachers and educators as it relates to science and mathematics education at the elementary and middle school level, according to the National Science Board and other education sources. To help meet the educational demands of today’s fast-paced, technology-driven world, the Northrop Grumman Foundation – through its Fab School Labs program – is helping today’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) labs and classrooms become places of inspiration, imagination and opportunity for students.
“Access to the latest technologies and learning tools can help our teachers be more effective in motivating the next generation of innovators, which is why we created the Fab School Labs contest,” said Sandra Evers-Manly, Northrop Grumman vice president, global corporate responsibility and president of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. “Children are naturally inquisitive and adept at many of the technologies available to us today. With the help of teachers and the community at large, we look forward to giving more kids the chance to succeed and thrive as they engage in the exciting field of science, technology, engineering and math.”
Beginning May 1 and continuing through June 17, 2016, teachers, principals and school administrators can enter their eligible school by visiting www.FabSchoolLabs.com, where they can learn about the contest and submit their application with video and photos to help tell their story. Semifinalist schools will be chosen and their videos will receive online votes of support to assist with the final selection process. The winning schools will then team up with Fab School Labs contest partner Flinn Scientific Inc. to design a state-of-the-art lab complete with all of the tools, resources, furnishings and finishes needed.
In 2015, the program’s inaugural year, nearly 200 public middle schools nationwide participated in the contest. The five schools selected to receive a grant of up to $100,000 for a classroom makeover were: Benjamin Syms Middle School, Hampton City Schools, Hampton, Virginia; Clifton Middle School, Monrovia Unified School District, Monrovia, California; Aurora Frontier P-8, Adams-Arapahoe 28J: Aurora Public Schools, Aurora, Colorado; Lucille M. Brown Middle School, Richmond Public Schools, Richmond, Virginia; and Bertha Sadler Means Young Women’s Leadership Academy, Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas. The five schools are currently working with Flinn Scientific to create and finalize design plans for their new and improved labs before renovations get underway later this year.
In addition to the website, teachers are also encouraged to follow the competition at www.Facebook.com/FabSchoolLabs.
Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation are committed to expanding and enhancing the pipeline of diverse, talented STEM students globally. They provide funding to sustainable STEM programs that span from preschool to high school and through collegiate levels, with a major emphasis on middle school students and teachers. In 2015, Northrop Grumman and the Northrop Grumman Foundation continued education outreach efforts by contributing more than $17 million to diverse STEM-related groups such as the Air Force Association (CyberPatriot), Conservation International (ECO Classroom), the REC Foundation (VEX Robotics), National Science Teachers Association and the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering.