NPS Foundation Receives Funding for Makerspace

The Norfolk Public Schools Foundation is excited to announce the receipt of two generous grants totalling over $107,000 designated for STEAM enhancements (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) at the middle school and elementary schools. 

The middle school received grant funding for the purpose of starting a new makerspace. The makerspace will provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. The grant was provided by the Rudolph R. Elis Donor - Advised Fund, an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation. NPS plans to begin construction of the makerspace this spring at the middle school. The makerspace will contain 3-D printers, laser cutters, robotics kits, coding machines, and more. Principal Chuck Hughes said “Mr. Dreher (STEAM teacher) and I, along with middle school staff, are extremely excited about being awarded funding for a makerspace at the middle school. We would like to thank the Elis Fund Advisory Committee for selecting our project for the betterment of students in the area of STEAM. We are currently in the process of selecting the items our students will be able to use next school year and beyond. We can't wait to see what our students are able to create in the years to come.”

Each elementary school also received funding for a STEAM cart to be shared in the classrooms and libraries. STEAM carts provide technology advancements to teachers and students in a user-friendly, convenient way. Items on the STEAM cart include LEGOs, coding kits, building blocks, robots and other enhancements. The grant money was provided by the Connie Fund, also an affiliated fund of Nebraska Community Foundation. "The STEAM carts in our libraries will allow students to be creative, problem solve, and work collaboratively with their peers. During media time, students are presented with challenges or allowed to explore different items freely. Some of these challenges could include building ramps, bridges, or animal habitats. With the carts, students are exposed to a variety of technology opportunities including robots, coding, and working with circuits. We look forward to expanding our use of the STEAM items and giving students more opportunities to learn and grow." said Bobby Bernt and Kelli Thelen, Elementary Media Specialists.

For additional information on this project, or to support the Norfolk Public Schools Foundation, visit or contact Callan Collins, Executive Director at 402-644-2500.