TWINSBURG -- Twinsburg High School has received funds to start up a new advanced placement environmental sciences course next year aimed at encouraging participation and achievement by minority and female students.
Donorschoose.org, an organization that coordinates donations to school programs, and The College Board, a non-profit dedicated to increasing college preparation among public school students, have partnered to select more than 800 public schools across the country to be funded for new STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses.
The money comes from the Google Global Impact Award, a $5 million lump grant given to Donorschoose.org and The College Board for this purpose.
One of only 18 Ohio schools to receive funding from this partnership, Twinsburg High School was awarded around $8,000 for the creation of a new AP environmental science class, which is scheduled to start in the 2013-2014 school year.
Calling the grant a "very pleasant surprise," Twinsburg Schools Superintendent Kathryn Powers said she is glad Twinsburg High School now has the funding to start its new science course, a goal the school has had for more than a year.
"A year ago, we talked about growing an AP environmental science course because of the STEM initiative, so it was a pleasant surprise and one that we had looked to eventually do ourselves," Powers said. "Now we just have some seed money to get it done sooner than we otherwise would have done."
According to a press release from The College Board, each school selected received between $1,200 and $9,000 of funding depending on the cost and type of new class proposed.
Schools were selected for funding by the diversity of their student body and participation in STEM classes by underrepresented minority or female students. Deborah Davis, director of college readiness communications at The College Board, said the school community's financial situation and number of students receiving free or reduced price school lunches are also considered.
Powers said her district aims to embrace diversity in the student body and make sure all students have the opportunity to succeed in advanced coursework.
"I think we always want to strive to have opportunities for our students, where all students have an interest in these higher level courses," Powers said. "We are very pleased that our school district is one where we have a lot of diversity. We want to make sure that all of our students have an opportunity and that they're actually pushed to take courses that are challenging. It's a big deal for students to be prepared for those careers after going through college."