WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Google has donated $30,000 to Western Hills Elementary School in West Des Moines to build a new STEM Lab.

The grant from Google will allow the school to expand its curriculum and add new equipment for students to use in their education.

Jenna Pressley, the Principal at Western Hills Elementary, said that there are lots of possibilities for what they can add to the STEM Lab. STEM focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math skills.

“Whatever our curriculum is designed we try to enhance it not replace it,” Pressley said. “So there might be a maker space where they’re going to build something as they’re talking about volcanos or if we’re talking about step-by-step design process do we have some kits in here that we can build a project together step by step.”

Western Hills Elementary uses standards-based grading so children are graded on whether or not they are proficient at a skill. The STEM Lab will give students more ways to show their proficiency.

“We know at the end of the day it’s not how the kids learn, it’s have they met that standard with proficiency,” Pressley said, “and the STEM Lab is just one of those ways students can show us proficiency outside the typical classroom experience.”

The school is still deciding what the final STEM Lab will include, however, due to the Google grant they expect there are many options.