Intel awards two Taos educators for STEM

Joelle van Willigen, a teacher at Anansi Charter School, in El Prado, was recently awarded a $2,500 grant to help purchase a new 3D printer.

Two local educators in Taos County are recipients of $2,500 grants from Intel to put toward science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs in the community.

The funding was given out by Intel to over 40 educators across the state, according to a press release from Intel corporation communications manager Linda Qian.

Justine Carryer, who runs a nonprofit educational organization called Surya Zoba out of Ranchos de Taos, received a $2,500 grant to support a STEM boot camp, according to the release.

Mainly, Surya Zoba has helped students "engage with learning through their local community and their local environment," according to its website.

Carryer plans on using the funds to support a STEM boot camp at Taos High School, where she teaches.

"Our boot camp will expose algebra 2 and trigonometry students to real-world applications for the math that they learn in my general education math classes," Carryer said.

When it comes to STEM, Surya Zobra integrates "national educational standards for all core subjects with a focus on STEM and the outdoors. This model empowers youth to use their natural abilities and interests to solve real-world hands-on problems for their environment and communities."

Surya Zobra primarily uses workshops and seminars to educate students, and their programs are mostly free.

Another $2,500 grant was given to Joelle van Willigen, a teacher at Anansi Charter School, in El Prado, to help purchase a new 3D printer.

Van Willigen said that the money the school received was appreciated, and that the robotics team at the school "will be moving toward incorporating more coding and this is a really amazing, hands-on way for us to do so."

Another goal for the 3D printer, van Willigen said, is to hopefully help create face shields for the students, "but that will, of course, take further research."

Van Willigen said that with the grant money, the school is in the process of purchasing the equipment and materials needed for the printer.

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