Columbia Elementary School Receives Grant

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COLUMBIA - Benton STEM Elementary School received a $5,000 grant from the UPS Foundation earlier this week.

The school announced on its web page that it will use the money to purchase solar panels.

Benton is a STEM school, which means it focuses on science, technology, engineering, and math.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, there are enough megawatts of solar energy in the United States to power nearly 1.5 million homes.

Along with the environmental benefits, solar panels have helped the economy. According to the Solar Job Census from 2012, there are more than 119,000 solar workers in the U.S. This is about a 13 percent increase in employment in solar jobs from 2011.

The school has not announced when the project will be completed.