ASAP students at Laclede and Mann elementary schools are using grants from Monsanto to create evidence-based solutions that promote science for after school students.

This month, Monsanto presented the two ASAP programs with $1,000 Dannette Ward Science Education grants. The grants will be used to complete an outdoor ecosystem at Mann Elementary, and will assist Laclede Elementary with a school-wide science fair that takes place during the after school hours.

"The funds will be used to emphasize science education, highlight collaboration between the school and the ASAP after school programs, as well as a recruitment tool to show students the kinds of fun and educational activities that take place in after school programs," said Gloria Hampton, Director of After School Programs at Neighborhood Houses.

Founded in 2007, ASAP is a community effort to increase the quality and access to after school programs in the Greater St. Louis area. More than 2,200 students are served through ASAP each year.

Monsanto Science Education Outreach Specialist Valerie Bayes said to receive the Dannette Ward Science Education grant, teachers can propose any science subject or program they are interested in adding to their classrooms.

"We evaluate the proposals and deliberate on which programs will increase STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning, enhance student achievement, and help spark the interest of as many students as possible within the community," Bayes said. "Dannette Ward was a brilliant Monsanto scientist who really started the outreach program and that is why the grant is named after her, as her main objective was to inspire the next generation of scientists."

In 2013, ARCHS began partnering with Monsanto to promote science in ASAP as an emphasis on STEM education continued to grow. Monsanto's Science Education Outreach Program offers ASAP students hands-on demonstrations from the expertise of Monsanto's scientists.