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One of eight schools recognized for outstanding STEAM education

COURTESY PHOTO - From left  Sharon Angal, Janis Hill, Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Leslye Gonzalez, Christy Walters and Soledad Gonzalez pose after reciving recognition for Quatama Elementary Schools outstanding STEAM program.  Hillsboro’s Quatama Elementary School is one of eight in the country recognized by the Congressional STEAM and STEM caucuses at a White House ceremony Tuesday night for excellence in STEAM programming.

The school received a $10,000 innOvation STEAM Grant award in 2014 and formal recognition at the White House happened on Tuesday.

Teams from each of the eight recipient schools met with their Congressional representatives to discuss firsthand the importance of STEAM, then participated in a recognition ceremony and reception with elected officials.

The team traveling to Washington, D.C. from Quatama includes current principal Christy Walters, past principal Janis Hill, teacher and STEAM coach Sharon Angal, sixth-grader Leslye Gonzalez and her mother Soledad.

COURTESY PHOTO - Leslye Gonzalez explains her solar oven project to Rep. Suzanne Bonamici.They met with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, co-chairwoman of the Congressional STEAM Caucus, to share stories from current and former Quatama students about how STEAM-focused education positively affects students.

They also talked about how they incorporated essential questions, phenomena, arts, and language development into lesson plans.

The event program described Quatama’s work in STEAM education as follows:

"The most striking aspect of Quatama's work ... is that their approach can be replicated in nearly any school in the country, because it boils down to community partnerships and harnessing the assets of the larger community. Quatama teachers are the agents of change, and are empowered with the resources, expertise, and support needed to change students' lives."

The innOvation STEAM Grant Awards are sponsored by a three agency partnership of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, Americans for the Arts, and The Ovation Foundation.

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