Evonik Tippecanoe Laboratories awarded Partners in Education grants to three TSC educators to fund science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects in the classroom. The winners are Hannah Dunbar from Burnett Creek Elementary School and Diane Lehman and Chloe Woodruff from Battle Ground Elementary School.
Dunbar received $840 for her project called “All Four Seasons in a Day, Welcome to Indiana Weather.” The funds will go toward materials to help her third grade high ability students at Burnett Creek Elementary School do hands-on inquiry research, experiments and problem solve about weather, forecasting and severe weather hazards.
“Having a variety of weather types within a short time period is common in the Midwest,” says Dunbar. “Since the weather can be so unpredictable where we live, it is crucial that students learn about weather forecasting and how to prevent weather-related hazards.”
Dunbar received a second grant for $704 to complete a Shark Tank activity. She says it is a cross interdisciplinary unit that incorporates learning about sharks as well as starting a business: “Students will work in teams to create their own start-up business, complete with a pitch, cost projections, and creating a prototype of their product. Once students have finished their pitch and prototype, they will give their pitches to a panel of business owners, our Sharks!”
Evonik awarded teacher Diane Lehman $1,000 for a project called “Coders: Start Your Engines.” Fourth and fifth grade students at Battle Ground Elementary School will learn to program miniature robot cars to complete mazes and puzzles. “Students will sharpen computational thinking skills while learning and applying basic programming skills,” says Lehman. “Students will utilize the engineering design process to problem solve standards-aligned challenges.”
Other students will be introduced to coding through a $995 grant awarded to teacher Chloe Austin. “Let’s Get Coding” will have students in the high ability classrooms programming Sphero robots with iPads. “Students utilize robotics and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) related tools to think critically while designing, testing and improving solutions to engineering design challenges,” says Austin. “This project will allow our students access to devices that allow them to use computer science and coding in real world scenarios.”