The state Legislature recently recognized Kent's Martin Sortun Elementary School as a Lighthouse School for its progressive teaching of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects.
Martin Sortun will receive a $20,000 grant to help share best practices with other schools developing science, technology, engineering and math education programs.
The legislature also recognized Saghalie Middle School in Federal Way as a Lighthouse School. The schools were two of the six statewide recipients and the only ones in King County.
Schools are selected for Lighthouse designation based on their work creating programs that focus on personalized learning, STEM projects and partnerships with local businesses and community groups. Those chosen as Lighthouse Schools receive the grant to help them share with schools in the early stages of developing STEM-focused learning environments.
A total of 29 schools have been recognized since 2010 when the Legislature created the program, which is administered through the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Martin Sortun Elementary and Saghalie Middle School are the first schools in Kent and Federal Way to receive the designation.
"The robotics program at Martin Sortun Elementary provides young students with hands on experience and makes learning STEM skills fun," said Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn), who represents Kent and serves on the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. "This grant will allow teachers and their community partners to help more South King County students."