|Florida Power & Light Company’s NextEra Energy Foundation recently awarded grants to nine Palm Beach Atlantic University student teachers, including (from top, left to right) Ashley Walker, Kerri Murphy, Kristen Scarcella, Kristin Knudsen, Jen Bodemann, Brittany Smith, Ariel Sharpe and Jenny Moote. Not pictured is Deva Naranjo.|
Nine student teachers in Palm Beach Atlantic University’s School of Education and Behavioral Studies have received grants from Florida Power & Light Company’s NextEra Energy Foundation for classroom equipment to complete energy-related educational projects.
The grants range from $500 to $2,500, and the projects will take place in classrooms across Palm Beach County. The student teachers, all seniors, will use the grants to purchase classroom equipment for projects that will help elementary students explore firsthand how electricity is generated using cleaner, greener methods, like wind and solar power.
Teachers working in public, private or charter schools were eligible to apply. The grant applications came from teachers in 34 school districts in FPL’s Florida service territory for classroom projects that educate on topics related to all forms of energy and are tied to the Sunshine State Standards for the respective grade level.
The recipients have sought permission from their cooperating teachers to implement the projects in their classrooms, said Associate Professor of Education Dr. Chelly Templeton. “We are grateful that FPL has allowed student teachers, as well as full-time teachers, to apply for these grants, which will impact students throughout our community in a memorable way,” Dr. Templeton said.
The available grant funds totaled $100,000. As an additional component of the program, a grant opportunity of $2,500 was available to any of the school districts in the FPL service area for a project that would involve multiple schools and reach a greater number of students.
PBA students Jen Bodemann of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and Brittany Smith of Palm Beach Gardens received one of the $2,500 grants for their joint project titled “Alternative Energy.” Bodemann and Smith are both student teachers at Timber Trace Elementary School in Palm Beach Gardens. Bodemann teaches first-grade students, and Smith teaches fourth-graders.
The other grant recipients from PBA were:
♦ Kristin Knudsen of Denville, N.J., $1,324 for her project “Solar Fun in the Sun.” Knudsen is a student teacher working with second-graders at Timber Trace Elementary.
♦ Kerri Murphy of West Palm Beach and Deva Naranjo of Haverhill, $500 for their project “Hydrogen Fueled Cars.” The project will be completed at Galaxy Elementary School in Boynton Beach, where Murphy is a student teacher working with third-grade students.
♦ Jenny Moote of Portage, Mich., $1,100 for “Renewable Energy Education Kits.” Moote is a student teacher at North Palm Beach Elementary, where she teaches second-grade students.
♦ Kristen Scarcella of Palm Coast and Ashley Walker of Danvers, Mass., $1,000 for their project, “Connect with an Expert.” Scarcella works with second-grade students at Lighthouse Elementary School in Jupiter, and Walker works with second-grade students at Hidden Oaks Elementary School in suburban Lake Worth.
♦ Ariel Sharpe of Jupiter, $500 for her project, “The ‘Bright’ Solution.” Sharpe is completing her student teaching in a second-grade classroom at Lighthouse Elementary School in Jupiter.