Allen Science Award

East Middle School Teacher Receives STEM Research Grant from Society for Science & the Public
Posted on 12/15/2020
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DeSoto ISD is pleased to announce that East Middle School teacher Raisha Allen is one of 100 middle and high school science educators throughout the country who has been selected to receive a STEM research kit to help students conduct scientific research outside the classroom. She will be able to choose from a selection of 13 high-quality kits amounting to $1,000. These kits are distributed through the Society for Science & the Public’s STEM Research Grants program. 
“This is a testament to the good work Raisha is doing to support students in STEM research and her commitment to DeSoto ISD Science” explained district Instructional Design Leader Danielle Moore.
"I am forever grateful for the STEM Research Grant from the Society for Science and the Public” Allen stated. “The grant allows me to provide my students with at-home lab kits to complete independent science research projects. This will keep the spark of middle school science alive even during a pandemic. "
“In the last 10 months, STEM teachers have had to completely overhaul learning. It has been particularly difficult to move hands-on research and project-based learning, such as science labs, to a virtual environment without the appropriate equipment and materials,” said Maya Ajmera, President and CEO of the Society for Science & the Public and Publisher of Science News. “By providing teachers and students with STEM research kits and equipment, we hope to accelerate STEM learning and spark a curiosity in science and engineering topics, despite current circumstances.”
In prior years, the Society offered grants of up to $5,000 to educators through the STEM Research Grants program. Educators then used that funding to purchase resources for their classrooms. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the STEM Research Grants program was adapted to provide teachers the necessary tools for effective at-home learning. In order to better help educators adjust to their continually shifting environment and to maximize the money being spent, the Society purchased resources in bulk and developed multiple kits for educators to choose from. 
Out of the 427 STEM Research Grants applicants, priority consideration was given to teachers in schools that serve low-income areas or underrepresented students. 
Here are just a few examples of the 13 available research kits that will allow budding scientists to explore their distinct research interests: 
Foldscope Instruments – These paper microscopes work just like real microscopes and are perfect for students learning from home. Made with paper and lenses, these microscopes can fit right into your pocket and can give you magnifications of over 140X and 2-micron resolution. 
Arduino Starter Kits – With this open-source hardware and software platform, students can get started on learning about electronics. Available in a variety of languages and simple to use at home, teachers can lead students through projects about voltage, current, coding and also the fundamentals of programming. Students can build innovative prototypes with Arduino boards for their science fair projects with this kit.
PocketLab Weather Sensors – Equipped with a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth 4.0 wireless connection, this sensor technology allows students to easily measure data about the physical world, such as temperature, humidity, pressure, light and more. The data can be collected, visualized and analyzed in a cloud platform, enabling students to access the data in real-time on their iPads or mobile devices. 
Neuron SpikerBox Bundles – Neuroscience isn’t often taught in middle or high school, but this take-home kit from Backyard Brains was fashioned to encourage teens to study the brain and develop future therapies to treat neurobiological disease. The bundle gives budding neuroscientists exposure to the field early, exposing them to overlapping sciences, such as biology, chemistry, computer science and medicine. The built-in bioamplifier will allow students to hear and see action potentials in real-time.
The STEM Research Grants are funded by Regeneron. For a full list of this year’s grant recipients, visit