Each year the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association sponsors ten mini-grants. Any rural K-12 classroom teachers whose school or community is served by a local Rural Electric Cooperative, or whose students’ homes are served by a local Rural Electric Cooperative, is eligible to apply for a $500 mini-grant.
Applications were judged on the following criteria:
- A project design that demonstrated cooperation between students;
- Appropriateness for age and grade levels;
- A project design that encouraged a high level of student involvement;
- A project design that indicated coordination with the local Rural Electric Cooperative;
- A project design that focused on student learning;
- Overall quality of the application and adherence to grant guidelines.
Local winners of the 2012 -2013 NRECA Mini- Grant program are: Darwin Smith, high school science teacher and
Kristina Dettlaff, 6th grade math and science teacher, both of Payson CUSD1. Laura Dotson, Communications Coordinator of Adams Electric Cooperative said, “Considering that this is a national competition, open to schools in cooperative territories across the United States, I’m excited to hear that two of the ten grants were awarded locally. Our winners are truly dedicated to their students and are reaching above and beyond to enhance students’ learning opportunities.”
Darwin Smith plans to equip and enable students to serve residents of the Payson School District through an energy assistance program utilizing technology and science. Students will measure the outside surface temperatures of houses to assess where heat energy is being lost. In consultation with Adams Electric Cooperative personnel, students will advise homeowners about possible ways to remedy energy loss by sealing leaks, improving insulation, etc.
Kristina Dettlaff will purchase a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) kit focusing on electrical engineering. Her students will study, create, and improve alarm circuits.
Promoting student understanding of scientific principles is critical preparation for the future world of work. The National Rural Education Association expresses its gratitude to the teachers, administrators, the local Adams Electric Cooperative, and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association for supporting the mini-grant program.
Above: Darwin Smith, teacher at Payson School, was one of two local recipients of an NREA Mini Grant.