FUSE Studios

With a two-year, $350,000 grant from Smithfield, FUSE Studio launched a hands-on, learning-studio education in 20 partner schools in our communities in North Carolina, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. Beginning in fall 2020, elementary, middle and high school students and their peers tackled STEAM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] plus arts) — focused, learning challenges designed to foster the development of problemsolving skills, persistence and teamwork. Since the pandemic affected each school community differently, FUSE adapted and added to programming so that students could fully participate no matter what instructional mode their school adopted, whether fully remote, hybrid and dual mode — with some students remote and others in person. Planning is underway for year two programming, including support for producing local FUSE Fairs and using a science-fair model to create engaging STEAM events.