Congratulations to Kayla Wombles (Twin Rivers R-X), Jill Blue (Rolla), Becky Wynne (Maryville R-2) and Tiffany Wiggins (Dexter)  for winning $100 classroom grants from the Missouri State Teachers Foundation. In celebration of American Education Week, The Foundation elected to award an additional two educators this month.

Kayla Wombles: “At Fisk Elementary, our buildings are very separated. Students must walk from one building to the next under an awning, no matter the weather, several times a day. It’s challenging to keep students in a straight and orderly line down the sidewalk when you see the rain, snow, dogs that sneak in the fence, etc… My thinking is why force them to be straight and orderly?! I would love to be able to paint a sensory path down the sidewalk so that the students can have fun while walking these long outside stretches each day. They would be able to express themselves using their feet and and hands. They can follow a curvy line, hop on lily pads, lift their hands as they cross the lava, ect… the students would love crossing on the sensory path and teachers could instill focus, concentration, and even a little fun as they follow the sidewalk to the other buildings.”

Jill Blue: “My after school STEM club is comprised of 12 gifted students. The club has volunteers from a local business. All projects are completed with supplies that are free of charge, or the volunteers provide the supplies. It would be beneficial to have a small budget to complete additional activities that are a low cost.”

Becky Wynne: “The project I would like to implement is learning to code through designing video games using MakeCode Arcade and the BrainPad.  BrainPads are handheld consoles that have a 1.8 inch color display used to play retro games created in MakeCode Arcade.  In MakeCode, students can learn to code using a block-based coding platform, as well as a text-based JavaScript platform.  In addition to learning to code, BrainPads can be used for other physical computing projects using buttons and sound.  They are an all-in-one STEAM device used to foster the 21st Century Learning Skills.  Not only will students learn to code and develop several future-building skills in a fun and engaging way, but they will have the opportunity to see themselves as producers of technology, instead of just consumers.

BrainPads cost educators approximately $45, so having two to use in my classroom would be very beneficial.  I would be able to incorporate them into my 6th and 7th grade curriculum, as well as my enrichment STEM class.  I teach quarter long classes, so this would impact numerous students throughout the year, in addition to my after school Girls Who Code and STEM Clubs.”

Tiffany Wiggins: “Recently I have been gifted newspapers from WWII and the Kennedy assassination.  I am in need of materials in which to preserve these for my students, present and future.  In seeking to preserve my newspapers, this is an opportunity for my students to learn how to handle historic artifacts and understand why we save what we do, but more importantly HOW we save what we do.  Specifically, I hope to purchase 2 kits to help preserve my newspapers and some cotton gloves to demonstrate how objects are handled in archives and museums.  These objects provide an avenue for inquiry for my students, much beyond the artifacts at hand.  Inquiry leads to critical thinking skills and an opportunity for students to further explore on their own.  Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!”

Each month, the Missouri State Teachers Foundation awards $100 classroom grants to two MSTA members. Apply now for next month’s Classroom Grant.
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