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Three county teachers win Eastman grants

Staff Reports • Feb 11, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Learning physics, mathematics and an introduction to genetics will get a little easier for students in Washington County schools thanks to three grants awarded to three different teachers.

Daniel Boone High School physical science teacher Rachel Horn, Boones Creek Middle School seventh-grade teacher Diana O’Neal and David Crockett High School biology teacher Twana McKinney were the recipients of 2011-12 science grants awarded by Eastman Chemical Co.’s Putting Children First program.

The program is a business/education partnership between Eastman and eight school systems in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.

Each grant was awarded in the amount of $750, bringing the combined amount to $2,250 that will be used to further increase a focus on science education.

Horn’s proposal was “Using Materials in Science Activities to Excite Students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Careers.”

The proposal was designed to help teach students the important role STEM plays in creating the material things of modern life. The grant will allow Horn’s students to participate in a number of labs, including growing silver crystals, corroding metals, learning about polydensity tubes, making a plastic clothes pin and making a styrofoam football.

O’Neal’s proposal “Fleeing Physics Fears” was designed to teach students not to be so intimidated when introduced to physics.

O’Neal will be able to teach students basic principals of physics by using a kit called “Newton’s Toy Box,” which offers multiple hands-on experiments with toys students are familiar with, such as rubber balls and toy cars.

The kit also integrates mathematics and language arts into the science lessons.

McKinney’s proposal titled “Who’s Your Mama?” will help introduce the study of genetics to students.

With the proposal, students will be able to study heredity and make connections between DNA, RNA and protein synthesis. Students will be able to take their data and perform research projects that explore scientific and ethical issues associated with gene technologies such as genetic engineering, cloning and DNA fingerprinting.

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