Chamisa earns LANL grant

-A A +A
By Special to the Monitor

Chamisa Elementary will be setting its sights on science for the 2008-2009 school year – with Principal Cindy Montoya at the helm.

The Los Alamos National Laboratory Foundation has awarded the school a $15,000 educational outreach grant in support of science, selected among 85 outstanding applicants.

“I am honored and excited to be working with such a committed group of parents, teachers and scientists,” Montoya said. “Because of their desire to improve science education for all children, they wrote an exceptional proposal that was accepted by the LANL Foundation. It’s just a wonderful example of community partnerships.”

Chamisa’s strategic goal to improve science and mathematics fits within the framework of curriculum required by the New Mexico Public Education Department. The educational component will come in the form of hands-on classroom experiments, field trips and teacher training. The work will benefit every grade level, with a particular focus on third- and fourth-graders.

With the grant, the school will purchase a variety of resources from the grant to benefit students. These resources will include hands-on science kits, one Hartcourt kit and solar car kits.

The grant takes students outside the classroom for field trips to see their classroom education in progress. The students, depending on grade level will visit a variety of areas from the Bradbury Museum, Espaola Wildlife Center and other locations.

The funds also allow for a teacher to attend science training with the Santa Fe Science Initiative.

Fourth-grade students will take part in a field trip and workshop with an analytical chemist at Sandia National Laboratory. The entire fourth grade will attend a presentation at the AIMS charter high school in Albuquerque called ‘Science Gone Horribly, Horribly, Horribly Wrong.’

The grant was achieved through a collaboration of effort between parents,

Sonya Lee and Melody Gustavson, fourth grade teacher, Cathy Wiget and Dr. Tim Boyles, a scientist from Sandia National Laboratory.

“On behalf of the Chamisa community, I would like to thank the authors of the grant for taking the time to research and prepare the proposal,” Montoya said. “This grant will provide us with the opportunity to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at Chamisa. We also would like to thank the LANL Foundation for their support of Chamisa’s science curriculum.”