Hillsboro High School Earns “STEM” Grant

Hillsboro High School Earns “STEM” Grant

Employees from American Crystal and a number of company shareholders gathered during the Hillsboro varsity boys basketball game on Feb. 11 to present the school with $5,000 to support STEM learning. The grant is being provided through the Community Roots Giving Program, which has recently been expanded to deepen American Crystal’s commitment and impact on the communities where its 2,000-plus employees live and work.

Alyssa Horpedahl, enrichment teacher and technology coach, and Terry Baesler, principal, received the grant on behalf of the school.

Lisa Borgen, Vice President of Administration,  congratulated Hillsboro for earning the grant and encouraged students to embrace the learning opportunities it will provide and to consider American Crystal in their future career plans.  “We are proud to be in the community and support the local school.  We have a lot of job opportunities and hope that some of you will one day come to work with us,” she said.


Hillsboro Public School’s grant will be used to create a multi-year program that will introduce students in grades 7 through 12 to the engineering design process through the use of electronic building block kits known as littleBits. The program will teach students how to collaborate to solve problems, communicate results through a variety of mediums and apply individual creativity and critical thinking skills, all of which are important skills for success in business. The program will be available to students in elementary through high school classes.

A total of six schools are receiving $5,000 grants for STEM-related education. Grant recipients were selected through an application process that required schools to explain the educational rationale for projects and detail how projects would promote creativity, critical thinking, communication and collaboration among students. Eligible schools included all secondary schools throughout the Red River Valley region.