The SIA Foundation awarded grants to several Indiana nonprofit organizations including East Tipp Middle School and Wea Ridge Elementary School.
East Tipp engineering and technology teacher Sharita Ware received $8,578 to purchase additional equipment for STEM projects such as a laser cutter/engraver, air filter and workbench. Ware wants to introduce students to different ways of manufacturing and producing products and services. “Understanding how technology and different types of equipment work allows students to imagine and innovate solutions to all kinds of problems, situations, and challenges,” says Ware. “Applying the engineering design process to different projects gives the students a way to think of solutions, research the viability of their ideas, and the best way to produce those ideas. Through these practices of learning, they become more confident and knowledgeable in the field of engineering and develop better 21st-century skills.”
Wea Ridge Elementary School kindergarten teacher Michela Rieck received $1,240 to purchase three “Little Libraries.” The small, enclosed bookshelves will be located around the school and stocked with books for families to take, enjoy and then return. “As a Title 1 (high poverty) school, it is imperative that we provide our families with the gift of books and reading,” says Rieck. “This project has shown to be effective, as the Little Free Library Organization was awarded the Library of Congress Literacy Award for its effective implementation of best practices in literacy. Our goal is to inspire readers, help individuals grown in literacy, and strengthen our school community.”