Marathon Foundation Supports STEAM Lab at Mark Twain School for Scholars

Dr. Nikolai Vitti, DPSCD superintendent, left to right,  Sheila Langford, principal, Mark Twain School for Scholars and Dave Leaver, general manager, Marathon Petroleum Detroit.

Photo courtesy of Marathon

The Marathon Foundation recently gifted $150,000 for a new state-of-the-art STEAM laboratory for elementary and middle school students at DPSCD’s Mark Twain School Marathon Petroleum’s Detroit Refinery.

Marathon’s monetary gift will provide students with opportunities to experience the thrill of science and the delight of discovery, encouraging them to pursue STEAM classes, according to a press release.

The STEAM lab includes new lab tables and furniture, a 3-D printer, and a flexible and adaptable floor plan that will accommodate many learning projects. Half of the room will be a collaboration area where a large screen LED smart television will be used to project videos, webcasts, and recordings.

This area will also be used for collaboration on projects, demonstrations, worksheets, and interactive lessons. The other half of the room will be used for investigations. Students will use this space to safely conduct hands-on experiments that further their understanding of scientific concepts. Lastly, the STEAM lab will allow students at Mark Twain to increase their participation in district programs and compete in district events such as FIRST Robotics.

Dave Leaver, general manager of Marathon Petroleum’s Detroit refinery, says he is proud the company’s foundation can contribute to Mark Twain and DPSCD, as it serves students in the refinery’s neighborhood.

“We have been a part of the Southwest Detroit community for more than 60 years, and we’re thrilled to make this investment in Mark Twain and STEAM education to make a difference to families in our neighborhood,” Leaver said.

The Innovative STEAM Lab Fueled by Marathon will serve all Mark Twain 6th-8th grade students as part of the science curriculum, with 4th and 5th grade students using the space as needed.

The $150,000 grant was developed through a collaborative effort with Detroit Refinery team members, Sheila Langford, the Principal of Mark Twain and Adam Kind from the DPSCD Office of Partnerships. The lab will benefit up to 200 students annually and is targeted to be complete in the 2022 school year.

More information is available at www.marathonpetroleum.com and detroitk12.org.

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