(Left to right: School Board Member Pam Gould, Duke Energy Community Relations Manager Debbie Clements, Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins and FOCPS Chair Ormend Yeilding)
Duke Energy, a long-time supporter of the Foundation’s Teacher Grants Program, recently donated $50,000 for STEM teacher grants for this school year. Over the years, they have donated more than half a million dollars to support OCPS students, teachers and schools.
Teachers apply for funding in one of four areas: math, science, energy education, or STEM partnerships. Last year’s grants had great results:
2014-2015 Grant Spotlight
Freedom Middle School
Michaela Danhoff, 7th and 8th grade earth science teacher
Students used energy conversion kits and thermal energy cameras to learn about how energy can be converted from one form to another. The energy conversion kits made it possible for students to learn different, environmentally friendly methods for generating electricity. The thermal energy cameras made it possible for students to see subtle changes in the thermal energy of a material that would otherwise remain invisible to them (e.g. seeing the heat from their handprints after touching a table). The cameras helped foster a great deal of enthusiasm for the material.
The energy conversion kits were instrumental in 8th grader review sessions for Florida Standard Assessment, as well as 7th grade review sessions for the End of Course exam. Seventy-seven percent of participating students showed growth from the pre- to the post-test.