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Grants for innovation awarded to Columbia teachers

The Columbia Public Schools Foundation awarded more than 61 thousand dollars in grants for the 2013-2014 school year at a reception at Hickman High School Wednesday evening. Community Relations Director for Columbia Public Schools Michelle Baumstark says the grants provide opportunities for education that the district could not afford in the regular budget.

“They really help us to innovate, to be able to try to new things within our school district that we wouldn’t necessarily have a budget to be able to do," Baumstark said. "So, we have some really cool things that they funded for us this year that we are very excited about.”

The foundation issued grants for four projects ranging from at-home CPR education to 3D printing technology.

Craig Adams, Practical Arts Coordinator for Columbia Public Schools was awarded more than 23 thousand dollars for a 3-D printer. Adams says the students will be able to design a 3-D object on the computer and make it as well, right in their own classroom.

“They [can] design a medical product. [Then] they are 3D printing those medical products," Adams said. "My kids can do that. My 7th graders can now do that. They have that equipment…we have that equipment where we can do that rapid prototyping.”

Baumstark says for projects that are successful, funding will be integrated into Columbia Public Schools budget.