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Southlake Style

Education Granted

Aug 24, 2012 12:12PM ● By tina

Since 1996, the Carroll Education Foundation has been dedicated to providing additional funds to our school district to aid in enriching education and enhancing programs for students. This year marks the 7th annual Carroll Education Foundation Culinary Celebration, the main fundraiser for this charitable group that is so dedicated to the Southlake Carroll Independent School District (CISD) and the children of our community. The theme this year is Denim and Dragons with the much-anticipated evening taking place on Sunday, October 7th at the Hyatt Regency DFW. After the celebration last year, CEF was thrilled to award more than $85,000 in grants to teachers bring the total funds given to over one million dollars.

Over the past 16 years grants, large and small, have given funds to teachers to help achieve a wide variety of goals from the purchase of much needed equipment to bringing innovative learning experiences from dream to reality. In anticipation of this year’s Culinary Celebration fundraiser we thought it would be fun to look at what happens after the Prize Patrol parade delivers an over-sized cardboard grant check to a teacher by checking in with a few grant recipients from last year.

Real Science Students of CISD
Episode: “Tracking Dinosaurs”

A grant from CEF awarded to science teacher Sheryl Sides from Dawson Middle School will offer science students an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to literally follow in the footsteps of the magnificent creatures that roamed the world during the late Cretaceous period. Sides’ grant outlined an anthropological adventure for students to visit the Woodbine Formation at Murrell Park, right in our own backyard at Grapevine Lake. Students will work alongside professors and graduate students of Texas Christian University’s School of Geology, Energy, and the Environment to uncover a 4-foot by 32-foot section of dinosaur tracks. Working in conjunction with numerous other agencies, Ms. Sides has created an innovative teaching opportunity not only for the students participating but also for students for years to come.

The track ways were formed about 85 million years ago on what was most likely a sandbar during a time when dinosaurs walked the earth. The site includes 68 footprints from six tracks of Caririchnium protohadrosaurichnos (Duck-billed Dinosaurs) and two bird-like Magnoavipes lowei tracks that cross over the duck-billed footprints. There has been no other place like this discovered in the entire world and scientists believe the discovery of more tracks is possible.

Bo Henk, Senior Geoscience Advisor to Matador Resources/Adjunct Geology Professor at TCU provided additional funding for the project to supplement the grant funds. Carroll students working will uncover the tracks, which will then be scanned to provide a DVD of information to allow Carroll students to write educational activities for other students. Carroll students will also produce a mold of footprints to display at schools throughout the District along with an exact 3D replica of the track way to be imbedded into the school floor and covered with a clear material so students can actually walk in the footsteps for these incredible creatures.

Ms. Sides and the work force of professionals and students were unable to complete their work during the past school year because of complications at the site resulting from the drought being battled in Texas. However, Ms. Sides received welcome good news from Doug Cox, Ft. Worth Army Corps of Engineers, who just determined the current water level at Grapevine and at her grant plan can start in mid to late September this school year if the elevation drops to the predicted point. This fall Carroll students will hopefully have the opportunity to experience a learning experience of truly epic proportions.

Design your Dream Home: Mathematics through Architecture

A group of inspiring 6th grade math teachers from Durham Intermediate School submitted a grant proposal for funds to expand a decade old program using architecture as an innovative method of teaching math. What was once a one-week project for math students has grown into a month long highlight of the school year. Teachers Lance Mangham, Chris Underwood, Maureen Fauatea, and Cindy Landry worked together on the grant proposal for $4,124.11, which will impact 1,500 students over the next 5 years.

The scenario for students is an assignment from the Planning Commission to come up with possible proposals and plans for new houses in the Southlake area. Students are given parameters for their designs and instructed to provide reasonably priced housing ranging in price from $250,000 to $325,000. Throughout the unit, students work in architectural terms breathing new life into standard mathematics. The end goal is completing several proposals and physical models to present to the commission upon completion.

Working in teams of three, students spend the first week of the projection learning the basics needed to complete their home design like cost per square foot, scale drawings, home prices, building codes, and more. Then the next two weeks students use their newfound knowledge to create their home, which must be designed to scale, within budget, and meet all building codes.

Not only does the project contain math concepts like proportion, measurements, statistics, geometry, and percentages the classwork integrates other subject as well. Students use art to design company logos and develop a landscape design for their properties, technology to create a video presentation and English by creating a descriptive flyer for their home.

We remember studying math when we were in school and complaining to our parents “We won’t ever use any of this stuff.” Students taking this meaningful course funded by a CEF grant are seeing a practical application to the concepts they are learning. Way to go teachers, kudos to all involved.

Lights, Camera, Action!
Today’s Journalists

Heath Johnson, a journalism teacher at Dawson Middle School, submitted a grant proposal to CEF as a way to fund the purchase of much-needed equipment for the newly formed Broadcast Journalism class that was implemented in fall of 2011. To supplement the one video camera already owned by the school, Mr. Johnson asked for $2,217.00 to purchase five additional Sony video cameras and six tripods to accommodate the overwhelming response to this new course offering.

As a veteran teacher of Journalism and Newspaper, as well as English, Mr. Johnson mentioned in his grant proposal that students of this age have grown up in a very visual world compared to the way these subjects were taught before the advance of technology. The new Broadcast Journalism class addresses the electronic communication that is the medium of our students today and the curriculum teaches students all aspects of broadcast journalism including ethics, terminology, interviewing skills, storyboard skills, and the production of video features.

Working in small production groups, both 7th and 8th grade students have an opportunity to work to develop both on-camera and off-camera skills. Through research, writing, filming, and editing news videos students will have exposure to multiple levels of technology, science, math, reading, social studies, and the arts giving the Broadcast Journalism a large academic impact. In a letter to American Airlines, the sponsor behind this grant, Mr. Johnson thanked the corporation for getting “the next generation of broadcast journalists off to a good start.” Thanks to CEF the next Katie Couric or Brian Williams just might come from Carroll ISD.

None of these out of the box educational experiences would be possible without the funds generously granted each year by the Carroll Education Foundation to our wonderful teachers in Carroll. CEF raises money through a variety of activities that we as community members, can participate in including donations from individuals and business, planned giving through wills and trusts, matched giving by employers, membership drives in the community, the CEF endowment fund, and various fundraisers throughout the year. With the upcoming Culinary Celebration it’s the perfect time to show your belief in supporting education and help continue to enrich our student’s experiences. Be a part of the change in the world, it feels good.

CEF Awards for Education

Grants 1996-2012 $925,024.33
Scholarships 2002-2011 109,500.00

Pictured: Dawson Middle School teacher, Sheryl Sides visits sites for upcoming "Tracking Dinosaurs" real science experience.