(L to R) Olivia Fetch

Spotsylvania County Public Schools Receives Science Education Grant

by | Dec 6, 2016 | Schools & Education

By Sara Hunt. Photo provided by Spotsylvania County Public Schools.

Spotsylvania County Public Schools received a $2,000 educational grant from The Dominion Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Dominion Resources, one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy. Funds will be used to support an innovative, multi-grade initiative to improve environmental literacy.

According to Dianne Clowes, a high school instructional technology resource teacher who coordinates science programming for grades 6-12 in Spotsylvania County, the program will transform high school Advanced Placement Environmental Science students into environmental stewards who will work closely with fourth grade students during their annual field trip to Oakley Farm in Spring 2017.

“We plan to send eight students from each of three high schools, a total of 24 students and their teachers, to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s daylong James River Boat Program,” said Clowes. “These students will then share what they learned by creating hands-on activities to engage with approximately 200 fourth graders on their visit to Oakley Farm.” Oakley Farm is a local historic plantation with grounds that feature diverse plant, animal and aquatic ecosystems.

Clowes and her team of environmental science teachers believe that this experience will help the students to take ownership of their role in protecting and preserving the Chesapeake Bay watershed region. “Through collaborative learning, the students will develop real-world skills that will benefit our community in the future,” she said. “These efforts are possible thanks to the generous support of companies like the Dominion Foundation.”

The teachers involved in the project are Olivia Fetch, AP Environmental Science Teacher at Courtland High School; Gini Greenlaw, AP Environmental Science Teacher at Riverbend High School; Meredith Lohr, AP Environmental Science Teacher at Spotsylvania High School; and Dianne Clowes, Science Liaison, Environmental Literacy Team Chair & Instructional Technology Resource Teacher.

For the 2016-2017 academic year, the Dominion Foundation awarded $1 million in K-12 and higher ed grants to support nearly 100 learning initiatives in 11 states where Dominion conducts business.

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