Holy Cross Catholic School middle school teacher Mr. Jason Johnson has received backing from Wisconsin Public Service for a classroom project to teach middle school students the real world application of science and math concepts. He received a $920 grant for the purchase of a saltwater lighting system for an aquatic ecosystem in classroom. The lighting system was the last piece needed to complete the 210 gallon biome. Mr. Johnson was one of eight teachers chosen for an Innovative Educator grant statewide.
"Projects like Jason's saltwater aquarium are a great example of our hands-on approach to learning at Holy Cross Catholic School," commented Principal Robin Jo Jensen. "The students will be able to apply the concepts they are learning in math and science, as well as gain a deeper appreciation for how their education will help them to become the men and women God intends them to be, whether that is a marine biologist, teacher, priest, artist or any other vocation."
With the purchase of four 36” 220 Saltwater lighting systems, the middle school students of Holy Cross will create a balanced aquatic ecosystem within their classroom. The students will create this ecosystem in order to provide daily hands-on science experiments, allowing them to research, create and maintain a balanced aquatic biome of flora and fauna. They will also study and learn the impact humans and other environmental factors have on an ecosystem, with a special concentration on the conservation of resources. These hands-on activities will incorporate the math and science curriculum covered within each grade of Holy Cross Middle School, and integrate technology into the maintenance of a biome.
The project, spearheaded by Mr. Johnson, will include collaboration with middle school math teacher Mrs. Jo Sato and technologies teacher Mrs. Deanna Schauer.
This year all 56 students within the 6th-8th grade middle school will have a hand in the creation and maintenance of the saltwater ecosystem. Each year this project will continue to impact all students enrolled within Holy Cross Middle School. This project will also act as a motivator for students enrolled within the elementary school to prepare themselves to take over the care and maintenance of the biome.
"We are so grateful to Wisconsin Public Service for providing the funding to make this project happen,' commented Mrs. Jensen. "This incredible investment in our children really can't be quantified."
Wisconsin Public Service's Innovative Educator Grant Program (from the WPS website): The intent of the Innovative Educator Grant is to encourage new and sustainable learning opportunities that benefit many students, possibly an entire school. Now in its third year, the program targets junior high, middle and high school educators in the areas of science, math and technology. Educators are invited to apply for grants up to $1,000 each, for innovative teaching programs and projects in their schools. During the first two years, 24 projects received nearly $21,000 in grants. For more information, please go to: http://www.wisconsinpublicservice.com/
"We had outstanding applications from educators throughout our service territory," said WPS Community Relations Manager Karmen Lemke in a press release. "From a business standpoint, it's great to see the innovative teaching opportunities that educators develop to instruct tomorrow's workforce in the areas of science, math, technology and the environment."
About Holy Cross Catholic School
Located on the growing northeast side of Green Bay at the historic crossroads of Church and Bay Settlement Roads, Holy Cross Catholic School is the point at which faith, community and education converge. The school educates children within the Catholic faith and provides them with opportunities to develop the values, attitudes and skills that will enable them to become vital members of the community. Holy Cross Catholic School has been in existence for 141 years and has an enrollment of 195 students in grades EC3 to 8th grade. For more information, please visit the school's website: http://www.holycrossfamily.org/.
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