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Nampa teacher takes students from Title I school to San Diego prosthetics lab to learn about STEM

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 18:36:37-05

NAMPA, Idaho — The Society for Science & the Public announced that it is investing $100,000 in 28 science research teachers across the country to help them secure much-needed equipment and amenities for their classrooms, including $2,000 to a Nampa high school teacher.

That teacher, Chris Anderson, works at Nampa High School -- a Title I school where over 50% of the students are low income.

He says he strives to make science accessible to all students.

With his $2,000 grant, Anderson brought a group of students to the Balboa Naval Hospital Prosthetic Lab in San Diego, and exposed them to advanced research and mentoring. They recently returned from that trip.

"Students, namely Jacob Kratz, and others have been working on a device of their own invention with my assistance to prolong the battery life of an electric knee," said Anderson.

He said this hands on, real-life experience opened his students' eyes as to what is available outside of the typical classroom setting.

“This grant provides outstanding opportunities to students to show them that they are able to become highly achieving persons of society,” said Anderson.

"Other students within this group are utilizing everyday electronics to create a concussion monitoring device that the traumatic brain injury doctors are quite interested in for future research," he added.

To date, the Society has given $440,000 to over 100 science teachers across the country to help ensure that research opportunities and exposure to STEM fields is available for all students, giving them the opportunity to become scientists or engineers in the future.

"It’s vitally important for STEM teachers to have the equipment they need to support their students," said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. "I’m thrilled that through this program the Society is able to help teachers in underserved areas, inspiring more students to pursue science and engineering careers."

The Society’s STEM Research Grants Program provides small grants to educators to better empower middle- and high-school students to pursue authentic STEM research projects in their classrooms. These one-time grants help fund equipment or other experimental materials needed to complete research projects, or travel necessary to bring students to locations where they can complete their research. Priority is given to teachers in schools that serve low-income areas or underrepresented students.