How Mrs. Carnahan’s “More Power to Learn Science” Project Nurtured Her Students’ STEM Skills
Sometimes classrooms are lacking all kinds of sophisticated technology to teach STEM skills – expensive equipment like whiteboards, 3D printers, and computers. But that is not always the case. When Mrs. Carnahan, a grade 9-12 science teacher at Infinity Early College High School in Potter, Texas, looked around her classroom with open eyes, she saw that what her students really needed were simple power strips and long extension cords, so they could keep their laptops charged up in class.
About Mrs. Carnahan’s Students
“My students are phenomenal,” she says. “We have a very average mix of ability levels, but what stands out about our kids is their determination and grit. This tight-knit group of kids is also extremely compassionate and generous. They worked hard last year organizing several supply drives and doing volunteer work to benefit their community. They are inquisitive go-getters who are eager to be successful in life, despite any personal hardships they may have had to overcome.”
And students at Infinity Early College High do have obstacles to overcome. Sixty-seven percent of them come from families that are economically disadvantaged. Many live in mobile home developments located in flood-prone areas. Yet in many ways, the school is unique and advantaged. Students engage in advanced programs that enable them to graduate with an Associate’s degree after high school.
Now Fully Funded and Plugging Students into STEM Learning
“We have an extremely limited budget that provides for most basic supplies that we need; however, we frequently don’t have money for enrichment supplies that really help connect the students with the concepts we teach,” Mrs. Carnahan notes.
But after obtaining $183.25 in funding from the project she posted on DonorsChoose.org, Mrs. Carnahan was able to buy surge protectors and extension cords she needed to connect her students’ laptops to power – and break the roadblock that was preventing them from engaging fully in STEM learning.
Mrs. Carnahan writes . . .
We absolutely love the surge protectors you allowed us to purchase for our classroom! My students are constantly struggling to keep their devices charged during class, and with very few outlets for them to use by their desks (my middle desks having no outlets close by), this has been a real challenge. These surge protectors are constantly in use! I never realized before that there was actually some anxiety on the part of students with not being able to charge their devices. We now have this issue remedied, and I cannot thank you enough for being part of this solution! They have truly become an essential part of my classroom!
Thank you again for allowing my students to have this amazing opportunity to be more productive in science!
Looking Forward to STEM Education and Careers
Mrs. Carnahan’s students are now all powered up . . . and learning . . . for a very small investment in classroom equipment. Who knows how many of these students will now end up with a STEM degree and pursue one of the many career opportunities available to STEM graduates.
We look forward to writing about the success of more DonorsChoose.org teacher projects here on the Student Research Foundation blog. Stay tuned!
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