Earlier this summer, Kansas Star Casino Hotel Event Center and the Kansas All-Star Scholars Fund presented Exploration Place, Kansas’ premier science center, with a grant of $143,000. This is the sixth consecutive year that Kansas Star Casino has funded the grant. The donation will help support Exploration Place’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education programs, which serve eight school districts in Sumner County.
Exploration Place provides in-depth STEM programs to 44 classrooms in 11 elementary schools. The grant approves 28 weeks of integrated, hands-on STEM lessons for 22 third grade classes and 22 fourth grade classes, serving approximately 850 area students. The grant also provides for academic planning and training for school representatives and content topic newsletters for teachers to utilize in curriculum planning.
With giving back to the local community at the core of Kansas Star’s mission and culture, Vice President and General Manager of Kansas Star Casino Jeffrey Babinski said the property was proud to partner with Exploration Place to help strengthen STEM education in the local community.
“Kansas Star Casino takes pride in supporting an organization that’s actively investing in education in our community,” said Babinski. “STEM education for our students is critical to the 21st-century workforce, and funding the grant to Exploration Place will help us ensure that local students are prepared for future careers.”
Jan Luth, President of Exploration Place, said this donation helps to reach more students through their STEM education program, getting them excited about learning STEM topics and thinking about pursuing careers in STEM fields at a young age.
“Thanks to this wonderful gift from the Kansas Star Casino and Kansas All-Star Scholars Fund, these funds have positioned Exploration Place to become a leading provider of STEM education in south-central Kansas,” said Luth. “We are expanding our reach to local students, visiting more than 40 classes per year and providing about 19 hours of STEM education content for each of these classrooms.”
The Exploration Place donation is part of Kansas Star Casino’s commitment to the Kansas All-Star Scholars Fund. Contributing $1.5 million annually, Kansas Star Casino has donated a total of $9 million to date in support of the Fund’s objectives. The Kansas All-Star Scholars Fund provides monetary donations toward educational expenses for teachers and students, college scholarships for high school seniors in Sumner County and Mulvane school districts, and contributes grant funding toward STEM educational needs in the local area. The Fund seeks to support education and students, benefit local businesses, attract new families to the area and spur economic development, all benefitting Sumner County.
To learn more about the Kansas All-Star Scholars Fund, visit: www.ksallstarscholarships.com