Photos from ribbon-cutting

Photos of volunteers at work

How it happened

  • From an email in June to a ribbon-cutting in September, Amazon's transformation of four labs in Petersburg elementary schools is nothing short of remarkable. Everyone was smiling during the Sept. 5, 2019, event revealing the new STEAM labs that K-5 students will use for hands-on learning about science, technology, engineering, arts and math.

    The newly revamped labs were made possible by an Amazon Business donation of more than $75,000 in STEAM resources, as well as volunteer work by more than 50 local Amazon Fulfillment employees. As part of the project, Crayola donated nearly $10,000 in art and classroom supplies to teachers at each of the four elementary schools. Donated supplies to stock the STEAM labs included Amazon Fire tables, Ozobot robots and science kits. In addition, Amazon Business paid for cosmetic updates including painting walls, carpeting and furniture.

    Volunteers from Amazon RIC1 and RIC2 spent two days during the summer to help transform the labs at Cool Spring Elementary, Lakemont Elementary, Pleasants Lane Elementary and Walnut Hill Elementary. They assembled furniture, cleaned, painted and set up the rooms.

    The renovated labs were kept under wraps until Sept. 5, when school, city and regional officials and Amazon representatives (including the volunteers who worked over the summer in the labs) joined teachers and students at Walnut Hill Elementary to officially open all of the labs for teaching and learning.

    "What a great day in Petersburg schools! We are so grateful to Amazon for transforming space at each of our four elementary schools into STEAM labs where our students will engage in hands-on, experiential learning," said Petersburg Superintendent Maria Pitre-Martin said on the day of the ribbon-cutting.