Two Elementary Teachers Win STEM Grants

Thanks to Asbury Elementary 4th-grade teacher Dr. Jennifer Lorch and Madison Elementary 5th-grade teacher Jennifer Becerra, both buildings will receive $2,500 to expand STEM learning projects through the Ohio STEM Learning Network Classroom Grant Program, funded by Battelle. The school's grant is one of 233 issued this fall to create sustainable STEM learning projects.
Dr. Jennifer Lorch's project will serve as a launching pad for authentic learning through transdisciplinary problem-based learning (tPBL) for the students of Asbury Elementary. Fourth-grade students will combine their passions, content knowledge, and the resources provided with this grant to create custom signage, tags, stickers, and other artifacts to help bring awareness to issues facing their local or larger global community. Dr. Lorch desires to bring her experience of PBL integration to her fourth-grade students. Though new to PBL, her current fourth-grade students are keen on science, history, animals, and school improvement. This project aims to introduce them to the design cycle and build a problem-solving culture based on empathy. Fourth-grade standards, such as environmental changes' impact on wildlife, Ohio's changing demographics, and civic rights, directly connect with the previously mentioned student interests. Throughout this project, students will explore these concepts using diverse literary resources (fiction, nonfiction, primary and secondary sources). 
The funding provided through this grant will be used to purchase 3D printing pens, a Cricut, and other consumables. Students will use these tools to create stickers, key chains, or other artifacts that bring attention to their chosen issue. The project will culminate in a public showcase to display presentations, hand out artifacts, and bring awareness of these issues to their school community. Showcase attendees can take artifacts associated with the issues they connect with.
5th-grade teacher Jennifer Becerra's project is called Battle of the Bands, Sound Tsunami. According to Becerra, she will use the grant to teach 5th-grade students about sound waves. Students will build instruments in Becerra's science class. Then, in collaboration with our music teacher, Elizabeth Bennett, students will learn how to play the instruments. They will play their music into an oscilloscope. This electronic test instrument graphically displays electrical signals and shows how they change over time, and it will record their sound waves so that students can see what they look like. The school can purchase ten different prints of the students' music with grant funds. Becerra hopes this unit will improve student test scores for Physical science.
Groveport Madison Schools is grateful to have innovative teachers like Dr. Lorch and Mrs. Becerra, who help give our students access to STEM education. We are proud of these educators for helping to shape the next generation!

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