The Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation awarded five Public School Proud Grants at Ben Reifel Middle School. Tracy Teerink received $2,970 to purchase Apple pencils that will be used with iPads. More than 1,000 students will benefit, and they will use the materials to design cartoon characters, recreate famous paintings in digital form, and produce their own comic strips to reflect a humorous happening.
Desiree Burggraaf was the second winner. She received $3,587.50 for her grant, “Task Box System.” Students with severe to profound disabilities will follow a visual schedule and independently complete assignments at their level. The boxes consist of various tasks, like organizing silverware, sorting laundry, or assembly things like flashlights. Some kits will include a mock shopping list, and students will determine how much money they need to purchase the items, and then they practice bagging the groceries.
Tyler Beisch was the third Public School Proud Grant winner at Ben Reifel. He received $2,007.61 for “STEM in the Classroom.” He will purchase STEM materials for science class and an afterschool STEM Club. Students will explore a topic like prosthetics and use their design skills to create an alternative solution. They will then use the 3D printer to create a mock-up model. Students will learn about circuitry using the MakeyMakey invention tool. They will also use Sphero kits and Tello drones. Building blocks, gearboxes, and Domino maze sets will allow students to practice their communication, collaboration, and teamwork skills.
Pam Espeland received $1,034.72 for her grant, “Computer Science at Its Best.” Students will use Turing Tumble kits that give them an opportunity to build mechanical computers powered by marbles. The students will have to solve logic puzzles using ramps, crossovers, bits, interceptors, gears, and gear bits to build marble-powered computers that can generate patterns, do logic, count, add, subtract, multiply, divide, and more. These tools allow students an opportunity to experience how computers work, see how computers work, and feel how computers work without the use of any type of electronic device.
The final Public School Proud Grant went to Christina Carpenter and Kim Soldatke. They received $2,250 to purchase five garden beds. In the application, they wrote, “We have been working with GroundWorks and South Dakota Ag in the Classroom to obtain grow lights, seedling beds and seeds to get started. Our students are responsible for taking care of each seedling bed, researching and implementing a composting system with a worm farm, and putting together the actual raised beds. Students are also working with the Child Nutrition Department to be able to serve the fruits, vegetable, and microgreens they grow in the school cafeteria.”