FAIRMONT - The 3M Foundation has approved more than $35,000 in grant requests from nine area schools and non-profit groups.
The green light for the grants came after receiving consensus from the 3M Greater Minnesota Community Relations Council, according to Crystal Hanson, human resources manager at 3M Fairmont. She and Peter Sommerville, local plant manager, are members of the council, which is comprised of representatives from six 3M plants in outstate Minnesota.
Sommerville explained that the grants are intended for projects in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math.
"I reach out to area schools in January and February and tell them what we are looking for," Hanson said.
Martin County West submitted a "dream wish list," Hanson said. Its $3,655 grant will be used for material to equip a science classroom for grades 3-6.
Karen McConnell, the school's social worker who submitted the requested, stated in an email: "Here at the MCW Trimont Elementary School, we are very appreciative of 3M's support of our school. Our elementary science teachers are very excited to be able to offer our students more hands-on laboratory activities."
Char Kahler, director of the Fairmont Area Kinship mentoring program, also expressed gratitude to the 3M Foundation for a $5,350 grant for 35 scholarships to Camp Invention, a one-week summer camp geared to invention and creativity.
Other grant recipients are:
o Fairmont High School, $4,435 for lab equipment to enhance data collection in science and chemistry for grades 11-12.
o Fairmont High School, $9,000 for "First Robotics" for the 2014-15 school year.
o Martin Luther High School, $2,250 for a hands-on experience for youth in making and using ethanol as a renewable energy source.
o Fairmont Early Childhood and Family Education, $2,500, to purchase books for the preschool "Learn Every Day" program.
o Fairmont Opera House, $1,500, in support of the Children's Summer Theater program.
o Junior Achievement, $2,500, for the Fairmont community.
o Boy Scouts of America, $5,000 for its "Rockets for Recruitment" STEM project.