Teacher to use AZEdNews grant for Light Savers STEAM Club
Craig Elliott, a fifth- grade teacher at Boulder Creek Elementary in Gilbert Public Schools, will use the AZEdNews Classroom grant for the students’ Light Savers STEAM Club.
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“Our club centers around energy conservation and inspiring others to engage in using renewable resources at school and in their homes,” Elliott said. “By educating students on the benefits of energy conservation, they will be improving their quality of life by reducing waste which would end up in a land fill.”
The 37 fourth- through sixth-grade students in the after-school Light Savers STEAM Club, which runs year-round, also learn through experiments new ideas in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, Elliott said.
“My program is providing students with the opportunity to further their love of science and stretch their imagination through experimentation,” Elliott said. “They are developing leadership and communication skills, which will help further their success in other subjects.”
Video by Heidi Otero/ASBA: Boulder Creek Elementary’s Craig Elliott wins AZEdNews Classroom Grant
The students were learning about rocketry earlier this quarter, Elliott said.
“The money will be used this year to go along with my rocketry unit to buy some solid-propellant rockets we can launch with the kids after school,” Elliott said.
“I want to thank AZEdNews for the opportunity to have this and I know my students will be getting a lot out of it becuase of you guys so I do thank you so much for that program,” Elliott said.
In addition to the $200 AZEdNews Classroom Grant, Elliott receives a free membership to Treasures4Teachers and a $20 gift card to their stores. Treasures 4 Teachers, which just signed on to sponsor AZEdNews Classroom Grants for teachers, provides donated school supplies and other items for low-cost or for free to teacher members, and it has locations in Tempe and Phoenix.
“The first half of the year, our club was involved in learning and participating in a school wide energy conservation program,” Elliott said.
In December, the students in the club hosted “An Evening of STEAM,” where they provided information about energy conservation and explained and displayed science-related experiments, Elliott said.
“This evening was open school wide and entertained and educated over two hundred students and their parents,” Elliott said. “It was a huge success and plans are already in the makings for next year.”
The second half of the school year, students in the club learned more about rocketry and constructed their own water bottle rockets, Elliott said.
The experiments club members work on are tied into lessons provided by NASA and engage the students in hands on learning about the concepts of force and gravity. Elliott said.
Students are introduced to many different key concepts, including learning about averaging and determining angle projectory as they work on multi-task experiments and design different projects to meet a particular goal, Elliott said.
“They are presented with complex problems, which require them to work as a team to determine a correct solution to that problem,” Elliott said.