Daquilante Praises Teachers, Statoil for Mini-Grants
MIDDLEBOURNE — Several science teachers at Tyler Consolidated High School recently were awarded minigrants from Statoil to support projects in their classes for which other funds may not be available. The Statoil Community Fund was created by Statoil to direct philanthropic resources to the needs of the communities where the company conducts business, specifically Wetzel and Tyler Counties in West Virginia and surrounding areas. The Statoil program awards grants up to $1,000 to K-12 teachers in Tyler and Wetzel county schools for projects that incorporate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts into the classrooms, after school programs, or summer programs. Three teachers at TCHS received a total of over $2,700 from the Statoil minigrants.
Superintendent Robin Daquilante offered high praise not only to teachers, but Statoil for their efforts to improve the quality of education in Tyler County.
“We are fortunate that we have on our staff many educators who think outside the box when it comes to the delivery of their curriculum and provide these unique opportunities to our students,” she said. “We are also fortunate for the support from outside businesses and agencies that work with us to make these projects possible.”
As educators may already well know, the U.S. Department of Commerce suggests that occupations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are intended to grow significantly in the years ahead, yet many of those jobs may go unfilled if workers lack the necessary skills and education.
Biology teacher, Joe Griffith, designed a project entitled, “The Ecology of Conaway Run Lake,” where his students received a hand-held instrument and probes to measure the temperature, pH, turbidity, conductivity and dissolved oxygen content of the water at several locations along Conaway Run and Lake. The students traveled to the lake, where they also worked with topographical maps of the Conaway area. Troy Smith, former on-site manager of the Conaway Run Wildlife Management Area, visited with the group of students to discuss the career options and responsibilities associated with being a manager of such an area. Griffith’s minigrant funding totaled $913 from Statoil.
“The equipment provided by the Statoil minigrant gave my students the opportunity to take some physical measurements of the water at Conaway using the latest technology,” Griffith said. “When we returned to school, we also took those measurement at the creek along our campus. I am very appreciative of Statoil for their support of science students in our area.”
Lori Franks, biology and forensics teacher, received $ $994.39 for her project, “Accident Scene Forensics.” West Virginia has added Forensics Science as an upper level science elective course beginning in the Fall of 2016. The funds received from Franks’ Statoil minigrant were used to purchase materials to set up an accident crime scene. The accident crime scene allows students to use knowledge of physics in determining velocity, acceleration, force, and projectile motion while studying tire impressions, blood spatter, and ballistics. Students are learning about crime scene documentation, glass analysis, and blood spatter, along with ballistics and tier impressions.
“I am excited about the possibilities in the new Forensics Science class and the opportunities students will have to use their prior learning and apply it in real world applications,” Franks said. “The activities that were funded by this grant offer an excellent opportunity for students to answer the question, ‘Why do we need to know this?'”
Chemistry and physics teacher, Jacob Myer, was awarded $876 by Statoil for his project, “Electrical Components and Circuit Design.” The project gives students the opportunity to learn about electrical components. They then construct electrical circuits, and physically test each one to observe results. Students also will study audio signal manipulation through the construction of two audio signal processing pedal kits.
“The overall goal of this project is to tap into the students’ creativity and allow them to design their own circuits with a distinct sound in mind,” Myer said. “This type of hands-on project helps students collaborate with one another, and the equipment used in this project is incorporated into everything technological in daily life. The best part is that at the end of the project, they will have gained experience in circuit design and will have created something tangible that can be used for years to come.”