Greenon plans to purchase drone and robotics equipment, professional photo editing and graphic design software, and state-of-the-art computers, cameras, and video equipment, district officials said.
Jenkins, who teaches 8th-grade science and STEM at Greenon Junior/Senior High School, said the donation is going to have a huge impact on his curriculum and allow the district to expand its STEM offerings to students, especially at the 8th-grade level.
He added that new technology purchased by the district will allow his students to use equipment such as robotic and drone kits that are already used at the high school level.
Up to this point, there have been a limited amount of those kits at the district’s disposal. Jenkins said the added funding will also allow him to incorporate more coding as well as digital design into his STEM classes.
"Our main purpose for 8th grade STEM is just to teach them the engineering and design process. Regardless if they become engineers or not, we all use that process in our lives," Jenkins said, noting that all 8th graders in the district are required to take a semester of STEM.
Greenon is a 1,600-student public school district in Clark County, just northeast of Fairborn. The district is currently building a new K-12 campus, located in Enon, anticipated to open in 2021.
Speedway President Tim Griffith presented the donation to the Greenon school board at its Dec. 19 meeting.
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District spokeswoman Megan Anthony said Greenon is one of only two Ohio high schools selected for the Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam through the elite Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Teacher-student teams receive grants to invent technological solutions to real-world problems.
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Jenkins’ Greenon team is working on an invention that would prevent man-made debris from entering waterways. Anthony said Greenon students will travel to Washington D.C. this summer to present their project at the Smithsonian.