Remember getting your hands dirty in school?

Published January 30, 2017

I remember making planets out of paper mache. Although I didn’t like the mess, I will never forget what I learned about the solar system and the universe. I guess that was the point!

Through its annual Teacher Grant program, the Maps Community Foundation wants to give another generation of teachers a chance to provide their students with hands-on lessons.

So this year, as we have since 2012, we asked public school educators from across the Salem area to apply for teaching grants. New this year: Having them turn their applications into videos. 

We got 31 applications with ideas that ranged from Lego robotic programs to field trips and from a yoga program to building a greenhouse. (Alas, no paper mache planets).

Teachers then campaigned for votes. Ever the educator, David Beatley, sent a “how-to-vote” handout home with his students. Another teacher called upon a fellow teacher in Bend, to help her campaign. 

Thousands got the message, and, based on more than 5,000 online votes, the following six educators each won a $1,000 Maps grant. Congratulations to them, and thanks to everyone who applied and voted.

Tara Heikila, Parrish Middle School
The students in the Accelerated 8 math class at Parrish Middle School will spend a day at the Evergreen Aviation Museum. There they will learn about math, science, problem-solving as a team, and more. Check out the video!

Dave Beatley, Talmadge Middle School
More than 300 students at Talmadge will learn how to create a budget and use a debit card for their engineering projects. The students who helped make the video explained how learning how to budget today will help them figure out how to pay their bills when they grow up. One student even said that budgeting was “fun.” (We couldn’t agree more). Thanks, Mr. Beatley, for helping create money-saavy students! Learn more about his project here

Matt Hurst, Whiteaker Middle School
Talk about innovation! Mr. Hurst will use the grant funds to update technology in the classroom. A new Dremel 3D Idea Builder printer will be used to help bring students’ ideas to life, and more than 500 students per year will have access to the technology that will be used during a prosthetic arm competition. See how the new technology will be applied at this school. 

Lisa Iverson, Cascade High School
Oregon is full of opportunities to go outdoors to learn about nature. Cascade will use its grant to make sure that more than 750 students get  these fresh-air learning experiences. Learn more about the program and how it is impacting students.

Jesse Leonard, Kennedy Elementary School
Principal Leonard will use the grant to support the Kennedy Academy of Leadership Club. The club serves 28 students and focuses on mentorship, collaboration, leadership skills and service to the community. We’re honored to support the development of these future leaders who are already making a positive impact on Keizer.  See how here.  

Shana Chandler, Silverton Middle School
Experiential learning is the name of the game for Silverton Middle School’s art class. Students will use iPads to learn graphic design and art styles, post artwork to art center, and access the largest online art museum. Access to the art center will give them the chance to create an online portfolio and engage with the art community. Listen to what Shana has to say about her request.