Winners of the Joplin Schools Foundation Excellence in Education grant contest were announced Friday at three schools.
Grants, in the amount of $2,000 each, were awarded in three categories: Kindergarten through 5th grade; 6-8th grades; and 9-12th grades.
In the K-5 category, Monica Bay and the Jefferson Elementary School staff won for their entry titled "A Gardening Community." The project will involve building a greenhouse and growing plants to give students real-world experience with the Scientific Method.
Winners in the 6-8-grade division were Shana Ball and Jon Sherrod of North Middle School. Their entry, titled "Makerspace Classroom," will allow students to participate in hands-on activities and open-ended projects designed to inspire critical thinking, imagination and creativity. The grant applicants hope that the project will allow students to network with students at other schools and community stakeholders, while integrating critical thinking, digital literacy, collaboration and problem-solving skills.
Belinda Vaness won the high school grant award for her project, "The Mystery of Lyle and Louise, Forensic Science CSI." Vaness hopes to use the award to purchase a crime-lab kit and combine the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics to teach forensic science.
This is the first year the Joplin foundation has awarded the grants to teachers. The program was developed to encourage and reward innovation and excellence in the classroom.
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