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Library system receives $100,000 federal grant

The Howard County Library System has received a $100,000 federal grant to launch a new digital learning initiative, County Executive Ken Ulman announced Monday, Nov. 21.

The new initiative, iTech, is geared toward elevating science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning for middle and high schoolers in the county.

Developed by the library system, the iTech project combines multimedia tools, software, technical consultants, mentors and networking for students to work individually and with others on STEM-related projects. The initiative will be headquartered in a newly expanded area of the Savage branch and will begin in the spring of 2012.

"In today's high-tech, global economy, it is more critical than ever that students receive the finest in STEM education," Ulman said in a release. "This award will enhance Howard County Library's STEM curriculum for the benefit of our students, teaching tomorrow's workforce the 21st century knowledge and skills needed today."

Eleven other organizations throughout the country were awarded funding through President Barack Obama's "Educate to Innovate" campaign. Funding was made possible from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Partners in the project include the Institute for Learning Innovation and Mindgrub Technologies, LLC, the Howard County Public School System, Howard Community College, Voices for Change, University of Maryland's Clark School of Engineering, the Columbia Association and Friends of the Howard County Library.

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