Some Marion Middle School students are experiencing expanded opportunities thanks to a teacher who pursued a little extra money.
Middle school teacher Julie Trapp recently accepted a $250 grant award from Atmos Energy for her sixth grade science class.
Trapp said the grant, which is meant for science class materials, was offered to all Technology Excellence in Education Network schools.
She said students engaged with online materials regarding energy efficiency and natural gas safety.
“There are quizzes they can take, posters they can make, and a final with a contest tied to the end,” Trapp said. “We spent two weeks on it in class, and it covers state standards.”
Participating classes can choose to create a short video presentation or play about how natural gas travels from a well into a home, prepare a safety poster about what should be done if there is a natural gas leak, or create a radio commercial about outdoor or indoor natural gas safety, she said.
“My class did the radio commercial,” Trapp said. “It was good for the kids because they don’t really think about those sorts of things until they are brought to their attention.”
Middle school principal Missy Stubenhofer said the unit also covered energy conservation.
“I’m really excited to see my sixth grade teachers exploring new ways to get money for their classes, and provide connections to the real world,” Stubenhofer said.
Trapp said her class’s radio commercial will be submitted to Atmos and judged against other TEEN school submissions for the chance to win a $1,000 grant, the winner of which will be announced at the end of April.
“A $250 grant is a significant amount for a single classroom,” Superintendent Lee Leiker said. “Things like this help supplement the cost of classroom materials.”
Leiker said staff members across the district are proactive about seeking out grants and other alternative forms of classroom funding.