Grant Honors Retired Monsanto Scientist and Helps Educate About Science and Ag

K. Manning 1/30/2012

For many years, Monsanto employees have given their time to the community through the Science and Agriculture Education Outreach program. This program allows volunteers to travel to St. Louis schools and share their passion for science and agriculture with students.

The Dannette Ward Science Education Grant honors the accomplishments of the recently retired Monsanto scientist has who made numerous contributions to youth through science and agriculture education.  In 2009, Ward was featured in People Magazine for her dedication to teaching St. Louis city students about the importance of agriculture and science, including her work with students at Clyde C. Miller Academy and helping to establish the first National FFA Organization inner city chapter in St. Louis.

“This grant was named for Dannette Ward, a pioneer of science outreach here at Monsanto,” Pam Keck, Monsanto contractor, said. “I can’t go to any educational event or school without people asking me about Dannette; that’s how big of an impact she’s made on the St. Louis area.”

The Dannette Ward Science Education Grant provides classrooms funds to learn about science and agriculture.  The grant was formed by Monsanto’s Science and Agriculture Education Outreach program volunteers. The group accumulated enough hours through Monsantogether to earn $8,000 from Monsanto Fund.

“As a parent and volunteer, it is awesome to see the impact this program is going to have on science programs,” Leah Riter, Monsanto scientist and volunteer, said.  “I’m so excited that my children will have the opportunity to do exciting experiments and learn hands-on.”

The first round of grants was awarded on Jan.10. Nine schools were chosen to receive either $500 or $1,000 to enhance the learning of science and/or agriculture in the classroom or outdoor learning projects.

“Shearwater’s students are hungry for education and new experiences,” Maria Witt, Shearwater High School teacher, said.  “Because our school is so limited on space, we don’t have a lab or green space right now. With this grant, we can purchase the things we need for a successful science program.”

The recipient projects are diverse and range from using robotic equipment to establishing a bee hive.

“At Maplewood Richmond Heights, we are focused on sustainability and are committed to teaching our students how to better impact the environment in a positive way," Brian Adkisson, Maplewood Richmond Heights teacher, said. "With this grant we’ll be able to see how nature is positively impacted by bees, something many students don’t get to see."

This grant is ongoing and will be available on a yearly basis. Interested applicants must provide school background information and a two-page summary detailing the project they would like to implement with the funds. Questions about the program should be directed to science.stl.education.outreach@monsanto.com.

“We’re excited to get an observation tank for our first-graders,” Kim Dobbins, Hodge Elementary teacher, said.  “My goal is to keep the students asking questions, and hopefully instill a love of science in them at an early age.”

 December 2011 Dannette Ward Science Education Grant Winners

Rockwood School Dist, CCL         
5th grade                            
Grant Amount: $1,000  
Project/Supplies: Biotech Supplies

Fort Zumwalt, Pheasant Point   
4-5th grades      
Grant Amount: $1,000  
Project/Supplies: Outdoor Learning Lab and Indoor Study Station           

Ferguson-Florissant, Duchesne Elementary        
5-6th grades                      
Grant Amount: $500      
Project/Supplies: Robotics

Maplewood-Richmond Heights District 
Maplewood-RH Middle School
Grant Amount: $1,000  
Project/Supplies: Bee Project

Our Lady of Lourdes      
K-8
Grant Amount: $500      
Project/Supplies: Compost Tumblers

Saul Mirowitz Day School             
K-5
Grant Amount: $1,000
Project/Supplies: Foss/Carolina Kits

CYDIE (Shearwater)       
High School                        
Grant Amount: $1,000  
Project/Supplies: Supplies and Professional Development

SLPS, Soldan Intl HS        
Grant Amount: $1,000  
Project/Supplies: Robotics

Consolidated D6 (Fox C6, Hodge Elementary)    
1st  grade  
Grant Amount: $1,000  
Project/Supplies: Hands-on science manipulatives