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Keokuk school puts awarded money towards good use.

Elementary teacher Diane Berner said her students are quite the characters when she asked them about technology.

"They all thought it meant you had wire and cords and then when I held up a shoe and said this is a piece of technology, they thought I was crazy," Berner said.

Berner is far from crazy when it comes to giving her students the best education.

"I purchased the Engineering is Elementary curriculum," Berner said, which is a part of South East Iowa Scale-Up STEM funding program.

The grant allows teachers to implement more science, technology, engineering and math subjects in the classroom.

Berner said once she found out about the program, it was a no brainer from there.

"When I heard about the grant for STEM, I knew it was a really good fit for our program," Berner. "Goals for our kids and I knew it would be a great curriculum for them".

Berner said she knows about the program all too well.

This is her second year in a row being awarded the Scale-Up STEM funding.

Berner said she challenged her students to build something creative and took a field trip to the Keokuk water plant to test it out.

"The kids had to actually design, create and test water filters in small groups and they loved it and it went really well," Berner said.

She says applying for the grant provides a better learning process for students.

"It's really a new way of thinking and a process that they can apply to other things," Berner said.

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