Wells Fargo Foundation Supports Oxbow Meadows’ STEM Programming for Title I Schools

Columbus, GA – Columbus State University’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center has received a $4,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation to support STEM programming at Title I schools. Wells Fargo works with nonprofits nationwide to address issues facing society, including housing affordability, financial health, small business growth, diversity and inclusion, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability.

Oxbow Meadows will use the funds to develop remote learning activities and modules focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) for several schools located near the Learning Center in south Columbus. This project will assist K-12 educators with their critical teaching mission amid the COVID-19 pandemic. During these challenging times, it is important to provide STEM learning content that engages students and motivates them to continue learning.

“Oxbow Meadows is grateful for the continued support of the Wells Fargo Foundation in our mission to connect students with the local environment,” said Dr. Michael Dentzau, Oxbow Meadows’ director. “Now, more than ever, there is the need to support our local teachers with ways to engage their students and advance learning.”

The activities and modules provided by Oxbow Meadows staff will have a focus on the environment. They will include a combination of real time and pre-recorded video interactions that are tied to the Georgia Standards of Excellence for those subjects. These experiences will compensate for most students’ inability to travel for field trips and experiential learning during the school year due to the pandemic. The asynchronous modules will particularly benefit students who are unable to attend school in-person.

Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to educating, inspiring and empowering all people, including those with minimal access to nature, to engage actively with their environment for continued learning. At the southern end of the Columbus RiverWalk, the Center offers a view of the ecoregion of West Central Georgia and the Chattahoochee Valley and provides access to samples of the area’s rich communities of plants and animals. Opened in 1995 as a collaboration among CSU, Columbus Water Works, and the City of Columbus, the Center provides exhibits, displays and nature trails, and also offers formal and informal programs about the ecology and natural history of the region. Interpretive and hands-on programming is provided by CSU professional staff, contributing faculty, student assistants, and volunteers.The Center includes one classroom-laboratory, an 86-seat auditorium, state-of-the-art instructional media, the Natural History Discovery Center, indoor and outdoor exhibits of living reptiles and fish, a stream habitat supporting various plants and animals, a pollinator garden, bee hives, and environmental art.