First Green has just been awarded a $100,000 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) grant by the United States Golf Association (USGA) for 2013. The grant is funded by the USGA’s partnership with Chevron, designed to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines (STEM) through the world of golf.
Dr. Kimberly S. Erusha, Managing Director of the USGA Green Section, said in awarding the grant, “Some of the best teachable moments happen outside of the classroom. It is our hope that this new grant will help us inspire young students to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math through First Green’s educational and environmental outreach programs on the golf course.”
In addition to the USGA, supporters of First Green include the Washington State Golf Association, Pacific Northwest Golf Association, the Northwest Turfgrass Association, Western Washington Golf Course Superintendents Association, local golf clubs, public and private school systems, and individual contributors who assist the organization through monetary grants and participation in field trips.
In awarding the new grant, the USGA recognized First Green for innovative STEM field trips in which students use the golf course as a learning lab, participating in hands-on activities such as calculating a stream’s velocity and learning about computerized irrigation systems. The grant will enable First Green to impact a greater number of students through additional golf courses in Oregon and Northern California.
First Green coordinates outdoor “learning labs” at golf courses that allow students to perform hands-on experiments and tests, all within the focus of their schools’ environmental science and/or horticulture curricula. In the outdoor “labs” students test water quality, collect soil samples, identify plants and assist in stream bed restoration. First Green also emphasizes the environmental and community benefits of golf courses, while introducing potential new golfers to the game in a fun, educational manner.
A tax-exempt non-profit, First Green was founded in the State of Washington in 1997 and is expanding nationally. For more information about First Green, visit www.thefirstgreen.org or contact Cathy Relyea at 425-373-9915 (office) or 425-765-9915 (cell) or [email protected].