The Virginia Department of Education logo.
The Virginia Department of Education logo.

The Virginia Department of Education has awarded grants to 16 school divisions to upgrade their STEM and career and technical education (CTE) facilities. Each recipient will get $37,500 (of a total $600,000 awarded) to purchase new equipment or make improvements. 

“These grants continue to allow our school divisions to develop robust and innovative CTE programs that are up to date technologically and help prepare students for the realities and expectations of today’s workforce,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Lisa Coons said in a statement.

The VDOE has been awarding these grants since 2017. To date, it has distributed $4.2 million toward upgrading and improving equipment in high schools and technical centers. 

The following school divisions in Southwest and Southside Virginia received grants, and their plans for the award are listed below. Some divisions are repeat winners.


Purchase a solar alternative energy learning system for George Washington High School’s solar energy learning program.

Giles County 

Purchase a machining lathe and software for Giles County Technology Center’s precision machining technology program.

In 2022, Giles County received the grant to install an automotive alignment rack and lift. In 2021, it received funding for a clinical skills manikin and simulator for health careers. Both of those awards were also applied to programs at the Giles County Technical Center in Pearisburg.

Montgomery County

Purchase virtual reality and mixed reality hardware and software technology for the Governor’s STEM Academy’s program for designing and building using virtual reality. 

In 2022, the county received the grant to add a 3D printer, plasma cutting table and conveyor belt, and in 2021, it received the grant to purchase a hydraulic cutting machine and a computer numerical control (CNC) system. Both of those awards were applied to the Governor’s STEM Academy.

Prince Edward County

Purchase an augmented reality and virtual reality platform and camera for Prince Edward High’s Innovative Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Technology program.

Roanoke County 

Purchase an augmented reality and virtual reality platform and robotics software for the Governor’s STEM Academy at the Burton Center for Art and Technology immersive technology program.


Purchase a programmable mobile robotics platform for Staunton High School’s robotic dog program.

Wythe County 

Purchase programmable drones with stabilization cameras for Fort Chiswell High School and Wythe County Technical Center’s unmanned aircraft systems program.

Lisa Rowan is education reporter for Cardinal News. She can be reached at or 540-384-1313.