The Peninsula School District (PSD) is excited to announce it's received two science education grants from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), which will fund innovative learning in our elementary schools.
PSD received over $25,000 in funding from the ClimeTime Grant, which will fund robotics in each of PSD’s elementary school buildings. The district also received nearly $10,000 in funding from the Content Integration Grant, which will help build integrated STEM curriculum in K-5 classrooms.
The ClimeTime Grant has been available for years to support climate-focused education in the classroom. Previously, the grant was only available to education partner organizations. In 2022, OSPI invited individual school districts to apply for funding for projects specific to their district.
PSD’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Specialist Team was awarded over $25,000 to bring robotics to all of the district’s elementary schools. The robots, provided by Edison Robots, will be used by students to find solutions to climate-related problems. Each school’s STEM specialist will learn how to use Edison Robots, will receive Edison Robots in their classrooms, and will implement projects with their students.
“The team’s goal was to have equitable robot access for all of our kids and all of our buildings,” PSD Instructional Facilitator Ashley Ortenzo said. “They want to use robotics in grades K-5 so it’s sustainable. So little kids who used the robots in kindergarten will get another chance in second grade, and they will get a new challenge.”
Swift Water Elementary School STEM Specialist Nicollette LeTellier already uses Edison Robots in her classroom. Soon her students will use the robots to find ways to remove garbage from the Earth’s oceans.
“My classroom received a grant last year from Purdue Student Engineering Foundation for the robots,” LeTellier said. “We're excited to extend the program!”
Content Integration Grant
The PSD STEMScopes Implementation Team, which works to train teachers on STEMScopes Curriculum, was awarded nearly $10,000 from OSPI as a part of the Content Integration Grant to create integrated STEM units for the district’s elementary teachers.
“One of the challenges we hear about from teachers is the lack of time they have to teach science,” Ortenzo said. “They have to spend X amount of time on reading, and X amount of time on literacy, that it feels there is not enough time to delve into science. One of the solutions for doing that is integration.”
An integrated unit will allow students to learn skills from multiple content areas. One example could be a lesson that encompasses math, science, and reading comprehension. The Content Integration Grant from OSPI will fund professional development time for PSD staff and teachers to learn about integrated STEMScopes units, and to provide more resources for teachers to use in their classrooms.
“This puts us on the leading edge as a district from a state perspective, because there’s a small number of districts in Washington that received these grants,” Ortenzo said. “It’s cool, to be leading the work and then sharing the results of that work with the state.”
To learn more about science curriculum, visit the PSD Department of Learning and Innovation’s webpage.
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