Karen Keen, a third grade teacher at Palm Valley Elementary School, a nationally recognized Blue Ribbon School, in Litchfield Elementary School District has been awarded the AZEdNews Classroom Grant for her STEM initiative.
The $200 AZEdNews Classroom Grant helps teachers by making their creative classroom initiatives more achievable.
“I am very excited to use this grant,” Keen said. “Thank you AZEdNews.”
AZEdNews Video by Mingson Lau: See what Karen Keen will do with the AZEdNews Classroom Grant
Video shot by Heidi Vega/AZEdNews & edited by Mingson Lau/AZEdNews
The grant will help Keen buy materials so her students can excavate small bones from owl pellets, mold Roman dice out of clay, and do more “science and social studies STEM” activities.
These hands-on activities help her students relate to and understand the scientific concepts they study in class, Keen said.
“All of these things are what we’re going to be doing… it just brings it full circle for standards and I love it,” Keen said.
Worksheets, videos, and chapter readings are great, Keen said, but real learning comes when the students are able to see and engage themselves.
When her students are able to use their knowledge, “true STEM is happening, which gives the highest engagement in classrooms,” Keen said.
“We’ve known for years how important STEM is with our kinetic learners,” said Keen in her grant essay.
Many of these interactive activities, involve teamwork and sharing presentations with the rest of the class, promoting a sense of community, Keen said.