1702 N. Main St.
Davenport, IA

Davenport West Teacher Awarded $10,000 STEM BEST Mini Program Grant

One Davenport Community School District teacher is expanding opportunities for his students with the help of a $10,000 STEM BEST Mini Program Grant. Greg Smith, Advanced Manufacturing teacher at Davenport West became passionate about machining after doing a Teacher Externship at John Deere and M.A. Ford, from starting his teaching career 15 years ago, and coming to teach at Davenport West in 2012, Smith has played a vital part in growing the Advanced Manufacturing Pathway.

“Our team has been awarded two STEM Best Grants before, one in 2015 and another in 2017. With the past grants, we purchased a Haas CNC Mill and Haas CNC Lathe. Now, this grant will allow us to expand upon what we are currently doing and grow in new areas,” says Smith.  

This time around, the funds of the grant will be used to develop upon curriculum for an Advanced Manufacturing summer camp targeting under-represented populations and females. Materials for the summer camp, as well as tooling will be purchased with the grant. Funds will also be used to attend a professional development targeting education of manufacturing in Central-Wisconsin with several members of the Advanced Manufacturing Advisory Council.

“The idea for the summer camp came about when we gave a demonstration to four junior high girls. They got to run a CNC mill and they were so excited for the opportunity… that was the “ah ha” moment. I am passionate about machining because there is a need for a skilled workforce to work with their hands, but also use applied math and science to accomplish it,” says Smith.    

Congratulations to Mr. Smith on receiving this STEM BEST Mini Program Grant and on graduating with an additional degree, next week, from Scott Community College, as he receives an Associate of Applied Science in CNC Machining. We are ever excited to expand upon the opportunities that exist within the DCSD district!