Archived Story

Local educators receive Duke ICAN! mini-grants

Published 12:00am Tuesday, December 25, 2012

NELSONVILLE — In partnership with the Duke Energy Foundation, the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio (FAO) announces the awarding of 23 ICAN! Classroom Enrichment Mini-Grants for more than $25,000 to support the efforts of teachers across the region in connecting their classrooms with Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Medicine (STEMM) related businesses and professions.

Distributed to K-12 educators with a wide range of innovative classroom goals, funding from these 23 grants will be used for hands-on learning initiatives that range from training in meteorological forecasting or fuel cell related technology research to health industry exploration — all with the common goal of introducing the next generation of Appalachian Ohioans to important new career opportunities.

Through collaboration with local businesses in the classroom or during class field-trips, each grant will contribute a unique educational experience meant to engage students with essential skills and tools.

“As a leader in innovation and technology, Duke Energy is excited to contribute to an initiative that focuses on so many important components of impactful classroom education,” said Karen Monday, vice president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “The career training and research aspect of this mini-grants program provides important vocational opportunities that each student should experience before he or she chooses to move forward into the unique challenges of collegiate education or the workforce.”

In the past, FAO has heard from educators across the region about how important it is to introduce students to potential career pathways, with an emphasis on the education needed for professional success.

The 2012 ICAN! mini-grants will provide unique opportunities for students to see a direct application of their current studies in today’s dynamic workforce.

In addition, students and educators will capture these experiences on iPads so that what they learn about different professions can be widely accessible to other students across the region through a Virtual STEMM Platform.

The Lawrence County educators receiving the Duke ICAN! mini-grants are:

• Kimberly Jones of Symmes Valley Elementary who will use her $944 grant to bring students to the Crown City Wildlife Area, where they will engage with Department of Natural Resources professionals. While there, the class will learn about the negative effects of deforestation and the positive impacts of conservation and forest protection. Students will also be able to exchange “environment boxes” with a class in a different environment to observe similarities and differences between the two;

• Kara Speed of Fairland Middle School who will use her $1,225 grant to introduce students to STEMM careers and to take several virtual field trips to businesses with STEMM focuses. Students will also visit Ohio University’s Southern campus where they will explore programs with STEMM-related career pathways, in addition to visiting King’s Daughters Medical Center in Ashland, Ky;

• Jennifer McKinney of Chesapeake Middle School who will use her $1,225 grant to allow students to record guest talks from professionals in STEMM careers. In addition, students will visit the Corps of Engineers in Huntington, W.Va. and the Forensic Science School at Marshall University;

• Molly Fisher of Fairland Middle School who will use her $1,225 grant to provide students with in-depth instruction on DNA and DNA analysis. Students will also visit the Marshall University Forensic Science Center and the Marshall University Crime Scene House, where they will learn about careers in forensics and the educational requirements. They will also participate in a mock crime scene investigation.

“Going forward, the path we take as a region will be determined by our commitment to education and innovation,” said Cara Dingus Brook, FAO president and CEO. “This set of 23 mini-grants is a direct contribution to those educators working on the front lines of the fight for student success and opportunity in Appalachian Ohio. We couldn’t be prouder to work alongside Duke Energy as a partner in such a wonderful initiative.”

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