Madison City Schools to add more hands-on learning opportunities for students

MADISON, Ala. - Some Liberty Middle School students spent the morning building and designing. Thanks to a new grant, students in more classes will get to explore hands-on options that will ultimately set them apart.

Seventh Grader Sohail Baig and his friends Jeremiah and Zach love learning. It's obvious.

"It will come out of another pipe but there's going to be a vacuum at the end that sucks flour into the bag and seals it," Baig said about his team's design.

The crew is creating a windmill in their Automation and Robotics class at Liberty Middle School. Madison City schools realizes the importance of these hands-on learning classes.

"These are skills they're going to need as an adult in the real workforce, so we're trying to get them college and career ready," Cindy Davis, Grant Administrator, said.

The Department of Defense just awarded the district a one million dollar grant. The money will allow for teachers' professional development and more science classes with supplies.

"Not only can they answer simple questions but they can explore, they can investigate, they can draw conclusions," Natalia Dooley, Federal Programs Coordinator, said. "They can answer higher level questions and apply it to higher level problems."

The schools rely on grants to cover the costs of extra opportunities for students.

"We have a secondary reading grant, a secondary math grant, an elementary reading grant and this new elementary-secondary science grant," Davis explained.

Districts qualify for these grants through Impact Aid, a US Department of Education program. This Wednesday, parents will receive Impact Aid forms from their child's school. Once those are filled out and returned, the numbers are used to qualify for future grants.