STMS receives $500,000 grant |

STMS receives $500,000 grant

William Ferchland

Students at South Tahoe Middle School may start wearing white lab coats soon thanks to a $500,000 federal grant to study the clarity of Lake Tahoe and other environmental concerns.

The amount will be distributed over a three-year period and the program will be introduced to sixth-grade science classes next school year.

By the end of the grant’s run, the entire school should be involved.

Middle School teachers Suzie Marx, Carol Murdock, Joe Pfeil and Diana Reiner combined efforts to write the grant proposal. More than 100 laptop computers, microscopes with recording capabilities and other instruments will be used to collect, measure, track and analyze data from water and soil samples around the lake.

The teachers spent long hours writing the grant.

“Each of us probably put in a whole week’s worth outside the classroom,” Murdock said.

Murdock hopes environmental agencies around the lake will use data collected by the students for research purposes.

Work will be done with Kingsbury Middle School and Lake Tahoe Community College, Murdock said

The money is part of $41 million in federal funding that was made available and distributed last year by the California Department of Education.

– E-mail William Ferchland at

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