» Eileen Wilcox of Charlottesville was named the recipient of The Leo Mackta Prize in Physics at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. Wilcox is a senior majoring in physics.
» Seventeen grants were recently awarded to Albemarle County Public Schools teachers by the Edgar and Eleanor Shannon Foundation for Excellence in Public Education. Erin Wise-Ackenbom of Albemarle High School was awarded a grant for the creation of a pollinator habitat garden. Hollins Mills, a kindergarten teacher at Murray Elementary School, will use the grant to design and built an outdoor classroom that is part meadow and part forest, and to purchase outdoor clothing for students so they can use the outdoor classroom in a wide variety of weather conditions. Woodbrook Elementary School’s Susan Pollack received two grants; Everybody Eats! will bring students and families together to prepare, serve and share monthly meals that represent the diverse traditions of their families, and Pollack’s other grant will help first-graders improve their math skills through such techniques as math activity bags with hands-on learning activities. Jouett Middle School teachers Abbey Plein and Steve Whitaker’s project, “Building Community Connections in the Digital Age,” will reimagine how technology can be used to nurture a sense of community by creating interactive tools and maps, video documentaries, recorded histories and podcasts, artwork, and digital movies about communities and neighborhoods. Baker-Butler Elementary School received four grants: Lisa Baker will help second-graders use engineering ideas to solve the challenges faced by characters in well-known fairy tales; Lisa Harman’s second-graders will enhance their study of matter using six different science stations and a science show; Tonya Klimas’ second-graders will use a popular mathematical puzzle game to improve their teamwork and empathy; and Nancy Williams’ students will write about, design and build a marionette to represent stories that they write. Mary Morales at Mountain View Elementary School will use Spanish language books to bolster Spanish instruction for her fourth-graders. Kate Kogge at the Charter School will help her middle school students use artwork to study cell theory and geometry. Jaylen Crist from Crozet Elementary School will use grant funding to support the design and play of games that promote STEM education. Betsy Agee, also from Crozet Elementary, will bring her fifth-graders together with their book buddy kindergarten students to read and study books on improving racial relationships. Leslie Anderson from Hollymead Elementary School will use the grant for a project for first-graders to create their own musical instruments as both a science and English lesson and use the instruments to add music to storytelling. Anne Straume from Meriwether Lewis, will help third-graders sharpen their coding skills through the use of Ozobots; Beth Kavounas’ whose kindergarten and first-grade students at Red Hill Elementary School will use hands-on experiences at a play-based science center to learn about natural resources. Brian Squires from Murray Elementary School will work with students on the use of coding and maker kits to design, build and demonstrate simple machines, interactive maps and wearable learning tools.
» Local residents have earned the Award of Excellence at Western Governors University in Salt Lake City. The award is given to students who perform at a superior level in their coursework. Kelsey Lederman and Lindsey Shifflett of Charlottesville earned an Award of Excellence at the College of Health Professions; Kelly Hipskind of Palmyra earned an Award of Excellence at the Teachers College; and Dwayne Phillips of Palmyra earned an Award of Excellence at the College of Health Professions.
From staff reports
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