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The Terra Science and Education Foundation recently awarded Xraise and the Ithaca City School District with their 2015 grant for Best Practices in Urban STEM Education for the project "The E in STEM: Making Engineering Evident in Elementary Schools" The project director Lora Hine is manager of Xraise, the education and public outreach program at CHESS. Xraise will be working in collaboration with the principal of the Beverly J. Martin (BJM) Elementary School and the second/third grade teacher teams at BJM Elementary School, part of the Ithaca City School District.

Rachel Tom

Third grade elementary school teacher Rachel Tom will be working with the 2nd/3rd grade teams from Beverly J. Martin School to use engineering design processes to teach science and mathematics as part of the Making Engineering Evident in Elementary School program.

The Making Engineering Evident program will provide a team of urban elementary educators with high quality professional growth and development experiences along with access to the resources necessary to teach engineering design. Participating urban teachers will work alongside practicing engineers and science education staff to collectively determine how to best integrate science content into engineering design activities. Using local resources, accessible materials and researched-based curriculum, educators will become comfortable using engineering as a vehicle for teaching science and math. A subset of educators will help plan and then facilitate an engineering-based summer experience for urban elementary students where students will work collaboratively to generate the best solution to an engineering problem.

To learn more about Terra Grants, visit



Submitted by: Lora Hine, CHESS, Cornell University