Source: NorthFulton.com

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Chattahoochee Nature Center gets $10K CH2M Hill STEM grant
Will use money for education program

by Hatcher Hurd

December 18, 2013

On hand for the CH2M Hill grant awarded to the Chattahoochee Nature Center are, from left, CNC Development Director DeAnn Fordham, County Commissioner Liz Hausmann, CH2M Hill Atlanta Vice President and Area Manager Gregory Wilson, CH2M Hill Principal Project Manager Lillian Furlow and CNC Director of Education Dr. Tom Howick. HATCHER HURD/Staff.
ROSWELL, Ga. The Chattahoochee Nature Center got a big boost for its cooperative STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) educational program with a $10,000 grant from the CH2M Hill Foundation.

At a Dec. 3 presentation at the CNC's Discovery Center, CH2M Hill executives, CNC staff and county officials met to accept the check.

CH2M Vice President and Area Manger Gregory Wilson said the Nature Center was selected from competitive applications for the grant.

"This grant symbolizes our values surrounding STEM education youth involvement, environmental education and stewardship of nature," Wilson said.

Programs such as the Nature Center's STEM education program are important for CH2M Hill's future also, Wilson said.

"Science, technology, engineering and math education is important to our future and to our long-term economic development. By using the environment and natural sciences to explore STEM topics, we can give our students a strong foundation while providing them with opportunities to utilize creative skill sets that will prepare them for careers and professions in engineering and other fields," he said.

The grant will fund a pilot STEM program that will be integrated with the Fulton County Schools curriculum working with five elementary school third-grade classes and five fifth-grade classes.

CNC Development Director DeAnn Fordham accepted the check on behalf of the Nature Center, thanking CH2M Hill for its ongoing support over the last 20 years.

"We are grateful for the foundation's support of our efforts," Fordham said.

Fulton County Commissioner Liz Hausmann, representing the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, said the board is grateful for the corporate grants made by the CNC's business partners.

"Fulton County has a long history of supporting the Chattahoochee Nature Center dating back to 1976. We applaud CH2M Hill for their support of this new STEM initiative that will benefit Fulton County students and expand the pilot program initiated this year," Hausmann said.

CNC Education Director Dr. Tom Howick said CNC will be working with schools so that students learn to see the connection between STEM education and nature.

The initial program is being piloted this year at five elementary schools. Those schools include River Eves, Mimosa, Oak Knoll, State Bridge Crossing and Northwood Elementary for the third and fifth grades.

Teachers are also involved in the program so that after field trips to CNC, the students get reinforced instruction that directly ties to what they have seen at CNC.

"The Chattahoochee Nature Center feels strongly about the use of STEM in environmental education programming. Our grounds and the schools' outdoor classrooms provide excellent spaces for students to study the STEM components. We are committed to promoting the role of natural science education through this STEM initiative," Howick said.