Tippecanoe School Corporation
Evonik grants to enhance STEM activities

Evonik Tippecanoe Laboratories awarded several Partners in Education grants to TSC educators. The winners include: Ricci Barber from Battle Ground Middle School, Abi Bymaster from McCutcheon High School and Hannah Dunbar, Brock Davis and Loralie Swan from Burnett Creek Elementary School.

Ricci Barber received $848 for “Designing Innovative 3D Solutions.” His grant will be used to purchase another 3D printer for seventh and eighth grade technology classes. Students will develop problem solving capabilities through product development, design and manufacturing. “The project will incorporate rapid prototyping capabilities, computer-aided drafting and manufacturing techniques into a real-world problem in relation to the students current needs,” says Barber.

The $1,000 grant Abi Bymaster received will support and expand an ongoing wetland restoration project near McCutcheon High School. The grant will cover the cost of binoculars, waders and specialized equipment AP biology students need to collect accurate and authentic data, remove invasive species (such as garlic mustard and honeysuckle) and allow for valid year-to-year comparisons of their finding in several areas including water quality and the type of fish, wildlife and flora. “Ultimately, through their field research in the woods, students will understand the connection between personal behaviors and attitudes, the health of the environment and the importance of sustainable practices,” says Bymaster. “Students will work with professionals in the Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resource and IN-IL Sea Grant and will submit data to the Hoosier Riverwatch program.”

Hannah Dunbar’s “Coding Connection” grant for $1,000 will fund the purchase of robot coding kits for high ability third grade students at Burnett Creek Elementary. “The goal of this project is for students to learn the basics of coding, and are able to code not only through a computer program, but also build and code robots as well,” says Dunbar. “As computer science becomes an ever evolving and growing field, getting students acquainted with coding at a young age will be able to help them for years to come.”

Third through fifth grade students at Burnett Creek Elementary School will benefit from the $1,000 “Learning to Fly” grant. Teacher Brock Davis says the project combines science, technology, history and math to teach state standards: “It will include topics like natural resources, formation of landforms, land use, map creation, locating coordinates, data collection, analysis, and reporting, and using online and hands-on tools and technology. The unit will culminate by using a drone to explore the land around our school.”

The focus of Laralie Swan’s $1,000 grant “Multilingual Mathematicians” will provide assistance for bilingual students at Burnett Creek Elementary who often face language barriers when learning math. “It will provide them the opportunity to learn grade appropriate standards along with their peers due to the variety of scaffolding techniques that can be used through with the manipulatives,” says Swan. “This program will allow our ELLs (English Language Learners) to access all of their knowledge without having to choose one language one over another in these translanguaging lessons. It will transform their learning in both their regular education classroom as well as their ELL classroom.”

English Language Learners at Burnett Creek Elementary will also benefit from a second $995 grant Loralie Swan received called “Eliminating Educational Inequalities for ELLs Through Engaging Experiments.” The grant will allow for the purchase of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) kits. Swan says this program will show emerging bilinguals they have the skills and knowledge to become future scientists and engineers: “My English Language Learners will simultaneously master science concepts and build their English vocabulary allowing them to express themselves confidently. They will feel a sense of pride as they become experts able to share their knowledge with others.”