Two teachers in Kennebec County were recently awarded $150 grants by the Kennebec Retired Educators Association (KREA) to supplement expenses for classroom projects. The recipients were Nathaniel Paine who teaches science and technology at Cony Middle School in Augusta and Sarah Lucas, a Grade 2 teacher at the Helen Thompson School in West Gardiner.
Paine proposed an inter-disciplinary project known as “Raspberry Pi” allows students to assemble the hardware of a computer and code in Python—one of the most widely used programming languages. He will collaborate with other seventh grade teachers—Mrs. Moore, Mr. Joyce, and Mr. Colburn.
He explains, “Our seventh grade team has structured time into our schedule for extension activities that encompass four major study areas—science, math, English language arts, and social studies. Raspberry Pi enables students to design and code computer programming to solve problems that integrate across our four subject areas.”
Ms. Lucas also plans to integrate interdisciplinary studies in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). “These projects encourage creative problem solving and innovative thinking as well as teamwork and communication skills. These skills translate into real life work environments where problem solving and teamwork are integral parts of the relevancy of the project.”
George Davis, of Skowhegan, KREA president and chairperson of the KREAtive Grant Committee, says, “We are committed to helping teachers and students in many ways—by substituting, volunteering, serving on Boards of Education, and undertaking projects to enhance the classroom experience.”
Other members of the KREAtive Grant Committee are Phil Gonyar and Carl Daiker, both of Waterville; Linda Ellis, of Clinton; Joann Tyler, of China; and Kay Grindall, of Oakland.
The Kennebec Retired Educators Association (KREA) is an affiliate of MEA-Retired and is comprised of retired educators from 60 schools in 31 cities and towns. Grant description and applications disseminated to every principal of all Kennebec County elementary, middle, and high schools in September of every year. The principals make them available to classroom teachers.