A Berwyn Development Corporation (BDC) philanthropic grant was awarded to the Hiawatha Elementary School STEAM Lab & Mini Museum at the Berwyn Park District’s Back to School Picnic. Hiawatha’s STEAM Lab allows students to carry out explorations and curricular extensions in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The project aims to support the STEAM Lab by including components of a children’s museum in the school, including a magnetic wall, a sensory center, ramps, gears, a light lab, ropes and pulleys, Makerspace materials, and more that will help students develop a sense of inquiry-based learning. In this manner, discoveries can be organically made and guided by collaborative conversation with teachers and peers.

BDC Board President Andy Sotiropoulos said, “The BDC is thrilled to be part of such an important project. It’s amazing to see schools putting an emphasis on STEM and arts programs, and Hiawatha School is taking the extra step by incorporating these crucial subjects in a fun, hands-on learning space for students and teachers alike.”

Hiawatha Elementary School Principal Jodi Meyer said, “On behalf of Hiawatha Elementary School, I would like to thank the Berwyn Development Corporation for generously supporting our school’s STEAM Lab. We developed our STEAM lab in 2017 and are looking forward to using the funds to add innovative materials to the lab. We believe in preparing our students for the future by encouraging collaboration, creativity, critical thinking and communication with peers. The STEAM lab helps us foster this learning environment for our students. Once again, thank you for supporting our school!”

Hiawatha School strives to have every student learn and succeed in a student-centered, technology rich learning environment that fosters teacher-student reflection and creates student awareness on the importance of becoming a global citizen.

For more information, please email info@berwyn.net or call (708) 788-8100.

About the BDC Philanthropic Program
The Philanthropic Commission reviews applications into the philanthropic grant program and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors regarding the BDC’s charitable giving efforts that align meaningfully with the BDC’s mission to benefit the City of Berwyn.

Organizations that are headquartered in Berwyn or substantially support the Berwyn population can send a letter of intent for the upcoming fiscal year and awards will be based upon available BDC funding. For more details regarding the philanthropic program, call the BDC at 708-788-8100 or visit Berwyn.net.

Special thanks to our BDC Trustees that help make these grants possible: Byline Bank, MacNeal Hospital, Morton College, Paisans Pizzeria & Bar, Republic Bank of Chicago, Turano Baking Company, World’s Largest Laundromat and Zeigler Pre-owned Berwyn.

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