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Posted Date: 03/15/2023

DeRidder Junior High School has been awarded a $50,000 classroom makeover grant from NextEra Energy Resources, through its charitable arm, the NextEra Energy Foundation, to improve technology, equipment, and resources as part of a continued commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

The STEM Classroom Makeover Grant is part of the Foundation’s racial equity initiative intended to provide transformational learning opportunities for students in a classroom setting. The funds from this grant will address needs to advance STEM curriculum and increase exposure of students to STEM education and careers in underserved areas.

“We are excited to receive the STEM Classroom Makeover Grant from NextERA Energy to create a science lab for our students to engage in DJHS Check Presentation experiments and hands-on activities to enhance their knowledge of the science they are learning in the classroom,” said DJHS Principal David Wentzel. “This new lab will give our teachers opportunities to enhance our science curriculum so that our students gain experiences that promote greater achievements in the STEM fields.”

The school will use the funds to create a STEM lab for all science classes to use throughout the school year. Teachers will be able to plan lab experiments as part of their lesson plans to enhance student understanding of scientific ideas and to get practical experience in scientific studies. In addition, lab equipment and supplies will be purchased so that the lab is fully functional for use beginning with the fall semester of 2023.

“We believe in building strong partnerships that make a difference in local communities, so we’re pleased to award this grant to DeRidder Junior High School and support the next generation of leaders,” said Stuart McCurdy, NextEra Energy Resources vice president of Renewable Energy Development. “We’re optimistic that this grant will ultimately encourage students to explore the great opportunities and benefits of a STEM career.”

This is the second year the STEM classroom makeover grants have been awarded. The NextEra Energy Foundation awarded STEM classroom makeover grants to 10 classrooms last year, with five allocated in its Florida Power & Light service area and five outside of Florida in the NextEra Energy Resources territory. The NextEra Energy Foundation will award the grants each year through 2024.
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, is a clean energy leader and is one of the largest wholesale generators of electric power in the U.S., with approximately 24,600 megawatts of total net generating capacity, primarily in 38 states and Canada as of year-end 2021. NextEra Energy Resources, together with its affiliated entities, is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun based on 2021 megawatt hours produced on a net generation basis, and a world leader in battery storage. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, is a subsidiary of Juno Beach, Florida-based NextEra Energy, Inc.

DJHS Check Presentation to StudentsDJHS STEM Classroom Makeover Reception