MANCHESTER — SilverTech, a Manchester-based digital marketing company, has donated $25,000 to match a grant from the Elizabeth N. and Norin S. Bean Foundation to support the STEAM Ahead New Hampshire program, which aims to integrate computer science, engineering and art education to prepare students for college.
“This funding will enable Manchester High School West to retrofit one of the four STEAM classrooms in preparation for the program’s pilot year this fall,” said STEAM Ahead Director Bob Baines, who is also director of community relations at Dyn, a Manchester-based Internet performance company.
The Bean Foundation had previously awarded a $25,000 grant to STEAM Ahead New Hampshire with the commitment of an additional $25,000 if a matching donor could be found. SilverTech president Nick Soggu, who is also a founder and first funder of STEAM Ahead New Hampshire, said he was honored to answer the call.
“We are very excited to support this initiative and hope that it will inspire the next generation of technology and creative thinkers to become leaders in our community,” Soggu said in a statement. He also urged other businesses to come forward to fund the three additional classrooms.
The funding will be used for furniture, computer equipment and to build a collaborative workspace for students and teachers to integrate into coursework both inside and out of the classroom. STEAM Ahead is a project that partners Manchester High School West, Manchester Community College, the University System of New Hampshire and Southern New Hampshire University to provide one full year of college classes while students are in high school at no cost to the students.
Students will study computer science, engineering, health and the performing arts. The STEAM Ahead Academy will launch this fall for 75 students in the incoming freshman class. Ten slots are available for students to enroll. Current West High School students and those from other schools can contact Manchester High School West Principal Chris Motika at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Others who wish to support the project can contact Baines at email@example.com or 263-7873.