LIMA — Lima schools received a commitment Tuesday from Nutrien to provide $30,000 over three years to help fifth-graders from South Science and Technology Magnet, Lima North Middle School and Liberty Arts Magnet to learn more about science through the Imagination Station program.
“We’re an informal science educational facility and we design our outreach, if it’s coming to the schools or if it’s the students coming into the science center to use our exhibits to help further their test scores, to help further their understanding of science, engineering and math. Using it in an informal way, and we also provide curriculum to the educators to use back in the classroom as well,”said Lori Hauser, Chief Executive Officer for Imagination Station.
Officials from Nutrien and Lima schools were on hand at the Nutrien Administration building on Fort Amanda Road to make the donation official.
“We’re just proud to sponsor this partnership between Imagination Station and Lima City Schools. It’s been going on for a few years. The program they have really helps kids get an interest in STEM by making it exciting, and I think from what the information we’ve seen, the research shows that if kids get exposed to this prior to the eighth grade, they’re three times more likely to go into those fields,” said Todd Sutton, general manager of Nutrien Lima.
“When referencing the need for STEM careers, we need to build this next generation for jobs that we don’t even know will exist. It is projected in the next 10 years, there will be over a million needed STEM professionals, and so we’re making sure we are building that workforce. There are some kids going into these programs that don’t have an interest in science and we can help spark that, or we can actually enhance it, and get them to dive a little deeper into that,” said Hauser.
Through the Adopt-a-School program, the fifth-graders will gain hands-on experience and other learning opportunities through field trips to the science center in Toledo, classroom workshops and science festivals.
“We are excited to have this partnership. It is a great partnership with our teachers and our students and it helps to inspire our students and engage them in developing their thinking skills. So it’s really been a positive influence and we’re excited to continue,” said Joel Steinmetz, science curriculum team leader for Lima schools.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409