Teacher wins $2,000 grant for innovative programming
By Matthew Stewart| (firstname.lastname@example.org)
A Heritage Middle School teacher was recently rewarded for her innovative programming with a $2,000 grant.
On Thursday, ING U.S. representatives presented technology teacher Lori Wilson with a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes grant. The ING Unsung Heroes program strives to uplift, inspire and honor educators who are making a significant impact on their students and the educational experience in their classrooms.
Wilson was one of 100 national winners. More than 1,300 applicants competed in the 2012 ING Unsung Heroes program.
The teacher’s winning project, “Learning Through Education,” features a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classroom where students can explore electricity, force and motion, space and travel and video processing. The project’s goal is to allow students to apply the knowledge of their core classes in real-life scenarios.
In the space and travel center, students will conduct research on the history of space and will create an informational pamphlet on a planet of their choice. They will also build a rocket.
In the video processing center, middle-schoolers will work with digital still photography and video cameras. They will learn how to create and edit movies; download, crop and create photo albums; and design a travel brochure.
In the force and motion center, students will work with simple machines, discover the effects of force and motion and build a variety of inventions.
In the electricity center, middle-schoolers will explore different electrical circuits and schematics. They will then learn how to identify and repair broken circuits.
Students will use formulas, measurements, reading and writing while they create, invent and learn using a hands-on approach.
Wilson hopes to start using the new technology and implement programming after fall break.
“I’m very excited, because I expect the kids to become more involved,” she said. “I’m a ‘learn by doing’ person, and many of my students are the same. I’ve always wanted to provide these opportunities to my students, but I wasn’t able to do it with time and money constraints. Now, I can provide extra reminders and review lessons for them.”
School officials are pleased with Wilson’s initiative.
“We’re really proud of Lori,” said Director of Schools Rob Britt. “She’s a great representative of Blount County Schools, Heritage Middle School and our community. We take pride in her and the extra efforts that she’s put into getting these resources for students.”
“She really creates ownership in her program,” said Principal Steve Moser. “She gets the kids excited, and it’s very important for this age group. Middle school is a time of exploration, and children need opportunities to try as many things as possible to push them up the learning ladder.”
Six other Heritage Middle School teachers are investigating STEM opportunities, Moser said.