The Decatur ISD Education Foundation awarded more than $64,000 in innovative teaching grants Friday, Dec. 14. A total of 16 grants were awarded.McCarroll Middle School teachers Jessica Murphy and Lori Cole were awarded a $4,975 grant titled “GROW (Growth Reaching Outside Walls) given in honor of Wise Regional Health System. Students will use the existing greenhouse to grow a garden to use for learning across the disciplines. Students will use scientific investigation and reasoning to answer questions such as how does food affect societies.
McCarroll teachers Colleen Bocanegra, Jessica Murphy, Russ Hacker, Hassie Sutton, Chris Benjamin and Brian Smith received a $7,500 grant titled “Existence Beyond?” given in honor of Devon Energy. Funds will be used to purchase three telescopes (one per grade level) to use for cross-curricular projects in order to answer the question “What characteristics do we find on earth which make it unique in sustaining life, and can we encounter those characteristics anywhere else in our solar system?”
Rann Elementary teachers Giselle Gutierrez, Katelyn Herd and Sonia Carrillo got a $4,958 grant titled “The Launch Pads of Opportunity” given in honor of Excellent Dental/Dr. Fred Renfro. The bilingual department requested iPads in order for the students to improve language acquisition and learning through a virtual portfolio and other collaboration tools such as Write Source and Edmodo.
Rann teachers Giselle Gutierrez, Aaron Massey, Sonya Holloway and Angela Baker captured a $1,500 grant titled “Ecosystem Detectives” given in honor of Allen Cocanougher in memory of Sue Jean Cocanougher. Students will observe an ecosystem using Root View farms. They will work in groups to go through the scientific process of drawing conclusions about the ecosystem.
Carson Elementary teachers Jami Petty, Carrie Greever, Jessica York and Kris Smyers were awarded a $4,966 grant titled “iPads in the First Grade Classroom” given in honor of J.E. and Betty Carson. Students will use the iPads for the Life Cycle of the Chicken project. They will partner with the Extension office to watch the life cycle of a chicken beginning with the incubation of an egg.
Elementary teachers from different campuses, Marvin Saunders, Jennifer Terrell, Jackie Patrick and Holly McNiel, were awarded $4,899 grants titled “Do We Have the Music SMARTs” given in honor of DATCU, North Texas Bank and First Financial Bank. Students will use an interactive SMART board to manipulate sounds, create music and demonstrate knowledge. They will also take virtual field trips to places like Carnegie Hall and the Meyerson Symphony Center.
Decatur High School teacher Audrey Micinski was awarded a $3,000 grant titled “Target Your Success in Science” given in honor of Lovette and August Pediatrics. Students will use projectile launchers and materials to answer the question, “How can you use your knowledge of vector components, projectile motion, and energy exchanges to calculate the velocity of a projectile launcher?”
Carson teachers Karen Crooks and Jennifer Terrell were awarded a $2,658 grant titled “iTeach, iLearn: Learning from the Student’s Perspective” given in honor of iCopy/Joe Neil and Marianne Henderson. Funds will be used to purchase iPads to set up a gaming tournament where students will collaborate with other students on how to conduct a tournament, record, compare and order scores through the hundred million’s place to create a “top 3” presentation.
Young Elementary’s Kristi Thetford was awarded a $2,884 grant titled “The Missing Piece of the Ecosystem Puzzle” given in honor of Legend Bank. Students will use digital microscope to observe organisms in an outdoor learning center.
Elementary teachers from different campuses, Kasi Elder, Danielle Scroggins, Holly Harrison and Rhonda Whiteaker, were awarded a $2,054 grant titled “Movin’ and Groovin’ with the Birds, Bees, Rocks and Trees” given in honor of Dr. C.M. and JoAnn Cocanougher. Funds will be used for materials for the Science Day/Fitness Walk for the fifth-grade students of Decatur ISD.
Young Elementary teachers Tiana Lockett, Deena Jordan, Angie Taylor and Shannon Ward received a $3,976 grant titled “Mesmerizing Mimeo Magic” given in honor of Wise Electric. Funds will be used to purchase an interactive mimeo system that will be used for a farm project in kindergarten.
Elementary teachers Kara Stone, Christi Perkins and Mikki Haney-Brooks were awarded a $2,782 grant titled “iPadtastic 2” given in honor of Linda Whiddon – in memory of Marie Comeaux. The special education department is requesting iPads for special education students to use as adaptive devices for various activities and projects.
Young Elementary teachers Alea Pe a and Deborah Castorena were given $5,000 to do a project titled “Young Mathematicians Reporting from the Field” given in honor of Herb and Susan Williams. Students will experience firsthand interactions with community business owners and professionals who use math every day. Funds will be used for transportation costs and iPads. Students will visit businesses and use the iPads for writing and researching about math-related fields.
Carson teachers Danielle Scroggins, Stephanie Warden, Crystal Klose, Charlotte Sutton and Jennifer Terrell were awarded a $3,141 grant titled “Inspire Creation” given in honor of Datalink Information Services/Randy and Pam Shrull. Funds will be used to purchase iPads and an Apple TV for the campus where students can display products based on various scientific projects.