Grand Forks school district has received a three-year, $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense.

The department’s Education Activity, or DoDEA, grant will be used to expand science, technology, engineering and mathematics education at Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School at Grand Forks Air Force Base.

The DoDEA program supports research-based initiatives that aim to increase student achievement and ease the challenges that military children face as a result ofa parent or guardian in military service.

“We are very fortunate to be a recipient of the DoDEA grant,” Shari Bilden, principal at Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School, said in a news release. “This grant will allow our school to be more innovative and creative in the implementation of STEM activities and technology integration.”

School leaders will be looking to partner with different entities to support the goals of the grant, according to Bilden.

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“This is a very exciting time for our school," she said.

The grant application was written by Taunya Schleicher, grant writer for Grand Forks Public Schools, and Elizabeth Berger, instruction design coach at Nathan Twining Elementary and Middle School.

The DoDEA awarded $22 million through 21 grants in this year’s funding group.

Since 2008, nearly $200 million in grants have been awarded through the DoDEA program to more than 180 military-connected school systems, according to Grand Forks Public Schools. These projects have impacted nearly 280,000 military-connected students and more than 670,000 students overall in 900 schools.

The mission of the DoDEA program is to plan, direct, coordinate and manage the education programs for eligible dependents of the U.S. military and civilian personnel of the Department of Defense.