Two local educators, one from Reed Elementary School and another from Falcon Ridge Public Charter School, made the Idaho CapEd Foundation’s list of grant winners for November.
Wava Kaufman of Reed Elementary won a $750 Teacher Grant for her project, “Operation Decoration,” which benefitted 82 sixth grade students. The money provided by the Idaho CapEd Foundation went toward the purchase of materials to decorate the City of Kuna. The project was aimed at helping students gain pride in their community and learn teamwork while working alongside community leaders, merchants, and teachers in the decoration process.
The decorations purchased this year will be used again in years ahead, and Kaufman hopes to build the program to include all of the 6th grade students in the Kuna School District by next year.
“This project involves teamwork and will build pride and relations in our community,” Kaufman said. “It will also help teachers use all of our content areas to teach real life applications within our curriculum.”
At Falcon Ridge, the seventh and eighth grade math and science class is teaching the next generation of engineers. Teacher Michelle Tripp is introducing a new and exciting project, thanks to a $745.05 grant from the Idaho CapEd Foundation.
Students will start with designing and building power grids with the game Power Grid and follow up by building solar ovens using pizza boxes, aluminum foil, and duct tape.
They will bake personal pizzas using their ovens, then build a solar panel that can produce 60W of power.
Energy levels will be recorded and tracked using a tablet, and the data will be used to create graphs and charts to be presented to the younger students in the school.
“This four part project will give students a base knowledge of power systems and practical, hands-on experience building, maintaining, and collecting data from a power generation source,” Tripp said. “Falcon Ridge is a small charter school with limited resources. This project will benefit future classes and generate interest in learning, as well as generating power.”
In addition to winning the grant, Tripp will also be featured in the Idaho CapEd Foundation newsletter’s “Teacher Grant Spotlight” this month. The publication is mailed to over 25,000 people.
Any Idaho teacher who teaches grades PreK-12 is eligible to apply for the teacher grant program, and teachers may resubmit their application each month if they do not win. Details are available online at www.CapEdfcu.org/grants.