Kensal school awarded $15,000 grant

Kensal grant
Kensal Public School has been awarded a $15,000 America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Grant and will use the funds to help enhance its STEAM lab at the school. The school was nominated for the award by four farmers including, right, Ryan Spitzer and Amanda Schrader. At left are Matt Lokemoen, principal, and STEAM coordinator is MacKenzie Kleese, STEAM coordinator and a teacher Kensal Public School. The other farmers nominating the school who were not available for photo are Chris Bredahl and Craig Barnes. Submitted photo

Kensal Public School has been awarded a $15,000 America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education Grant, said Matt Lokemoen, principal at the school.

The school will use the money for STEAM program enhancement and a greenhouse, he said. STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and architecture and math.

“It’s really across the curriculum,” Lokemoen said. “Educational enhancement and it tends to be more hands-on things that students can do and create when you do that.”

America’s Grow Rural Education is sponsored by the Bayer Fund, according to The Grow Rural Education program allows eligible farmers to nominate their local public school district for grants to help enhance STEM education.

Kensal school was nominated for the grant by four people who are either farmers or parents/grandparents of students at the school, Lokemoen said: Ryan Spitzer, Chris Bredahl, Craig Barnes and Amanda Schrader.


After being nominated for the grant, the school had to provide information on what the funds would be used for, Lokemoen said.

“We’ve been developing a STEAM lab here at the school so we’re going to use the money then for equipment in the STEAM lab, like a 3D printer,” he said. “We’re also hoping to take out some old science tables and actually put in some more user-friendly tables for our younger students in our school.”

A greenhouse will also be purchased and set up outside the school, he said.

The school’s STEAM coordinator is MacKenzie Kleese, who is a teacher at the school.

There are 40 students who attend Kensal Public School; the school provides instruction for preschool through grade 12. Being awarded the grant is helpful to the small school, Lokemoen said.

“There’s lots of different STEAM things out there but they can be quite expensive - some are … $125,000, so we’ve been kind of doing it ourself, putting money towards it the last several years here," he said, "so it helps us expand what we’re doing with our STEAM program at our school.”

The students have liked the program and the parents support the STEAM efforts also, he said.

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