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BONDURANT, Iowa– The Bondurant-Farrar Community School District has upgraded its computer systems to improve STEM learning for students Pre-K through fifth grade.

Facebook made a pledge to give out yearly grants to nonprofits and schools surrounding their data center in Altoona. Bondurant-Farrar said being a recipient has been a game-changer for the district. 

“Over the years we’ve received thousands of dollars, probably well over $100,000, $200,000 from Facebook to supplement admissions that would have largely been unable to do based on our growing community,” Career Readiness Teacher Leader for the Bondurant-Farrar Community School District, Donovan Hill said. 

The district received $72,000 from Facebook’s Community Action grant and it used $52,000 to buy Osmo Learning Systems. Osmo is designed to make scripting and coding tangible and accessible for pre-readers and uses physical game pieces and iPads to help young students learn STEM. 

With this Facebook grant, the district has been able to purchase two Osmo systems for each classroom Pre-K through second grade and one system per class for grades three to five. 

Each student has their own profile that keeps track of their progress. K-12 STEM Teacher Leader for the district, Molly Rockefeller said this makes it easier for teachers to take one on one approaches to help students. 

“A lot of people hear STEM or computer programming, immediately get like, ‘Oh, that’s really, really tough.’ However, this really breaks it down to the basics,” Rockefeller said.  

Students believe Osmo has made learning about STEM more enjoyable.

“I like using Osmo because there’s a lot of fun stuff to play on there, a lot of games,” third-grader, Caleb Guertin said. “It helps my education.”