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Eight Local STEM Teachers Each To Receive $1,000 Grants To Support STEM Education

Locally Owned Window World Of Joliet Makes Commitment to Community; Promotes Innovation and Energy Efficiency in Area Schools

Joliet, IL, August 29, 2017 – Window World of Joliet, a replacement window, siding and door company, today announced the recipients of eight grants in support of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The grants will go to winning teachers in Will and Grundy Counties. Each teacher will receive $1,000 to promote the advancement of STEM curriculum in the upcoming school year.

“Education is a key building block to the success of a community,” said Local Window World owner Brian Hopkins. “I am excited to award the grants and see firsthand the impact that these teachers can have on their students and their communities. This initiative fits with our mission for supporting the local community and is rooted in the passion for furthering technology in energy efficiency.”

The Window World of Joliet grants are intended to help prepare students in science and math fields after they graduate and to promote innovation in area communities. STEM skills are becoming increasingly important as the society sets out to solve new problems. However, the 2016 U.S. News/Raytheon STEM Index shows that while the number of job opportunities in STEM fields is growing, the number of STEM degrees in the U.S. has not been able to keep up.

Window World will present the winning teachers with checks beginning the week of August 28. The eight winning teachers are:

  • Jennifer Woods – Science Teacher at Plainfield South High School, Plainfield, IL
  • Melissa Stapleton – STEM Coordinator at Joliet West High School, Joliet, IL
  • Rachel Buck – Building Technology Specialist at Three Rivers Jr. High School, Channahon, IL
  • Maria Wilson – Science Department Chair/Physical Science & Physics Teacher at Lincoln-Way East High School, Frankfort, IL
  • Sean McKeown – Special Education Instructor at Joliet Central High School, Joliet, IL
  • Barbara Will Henn – STEM Teacher at Troy Middle School, Plainfield, IL
  • Mary Jo Minarich – Building Level Technology Specialist at NB Galloway Elementary School, Channahon, IL
  • Cyndi Grasso – ELL/ Bilingual Teacher at Grand Prairie Elementary School, Frankfort, IL

The grants will be used in a wide range of applications, from building a small greenhouse, to sparking interest in students of underrepresented groups in STEM.

Jennifer Woods, a Science Teacher from Plainfield South High School is creating new curriculum to have students analyze the energy consumption of their own homes with the goal of decreasing it. “This grant will provide students with a fun project with tangible results,” says Woods. She is particularly excited about encouraging students who are not usually successful in science and teaching them to love it.

Over 30 teachers applied, illustrating the importance STEM to those in the field of education and the community. Ultimately, selections were made based on the merit and anticipated impact of the submitted plans.

Winners of the STEM Grants can also be found in the Daily Southtown, Joliet Herald and WCSJ.

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