POWELL, WYO., April 9, 2008 — The Qwest Foundation and the Wyoming Department of Education today announced that Powell High School teacher Zack Opps has won $12,000 in the Qwest Teachers and Technology grant program.
Opps will team with other Powell High teachers to use the grant money to map and control Canada Thistle, an invasive plant species. Powell High students from several different courses will use GPS units and geographic information systems (GIS) software to map a field on Heart Mountain that is overrun with the plant. After researching the extent of the problem, the students will work with Park County Weed and Pest to try and control the invasive plant.
"Powell High’s teachers came up with an innovative way to not only incorporate technology into their classrooms, but also to apply their project across many disciplines,” said Bill Schwan, Powell High School principal. “Our teachers’ creativity will give students real-world experience they can apply beyond today and into their futures, and we thank Qwest for helping with that opportunity."
Students from courses including biology, computer technology, GIS, Advanced Placement composition, Web design, algebra and Spanish will participate in the interdisciplinary project. Each course will contribute a different, yet equally important, portion of the final project, whether collecting, interpreting and analyzing the Heart Mountain field data; creating podcasts and Web sites; compiling the final results report; or translating all the elements into Spanish.
"By incorporating cutting-edge technologies and involving students from a wide variety of course disciplines, Powell High has taken the Teachers and Technology grant program to the next level,” said Mike Ceballos, Qwest president of Wyoming. “These new technologies, new subject areas and new ideas will undoubtedly benefit Powell High’s students, now and in the years to come."
Ceballos will surprise Opps with a $12,000 grant check during an assembly at Powell High School on April 9, 2008, at 8:30 a.m. MDT.
The objectives of the Qwest Teachers and Technology grant program are to improve student achievement through the use of today’s technology; build a real-world team problem-solving environment; and set the groundwork for future technology integration projects. Through a competitive process administered by the Wyoming Department of Education, the Qwest Foundation provided a total of $25,000 to be awarded to three educators whose innovative ideas to incorporate technology into their classrooms would help improve education.
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About the Qwest Foundation
The Qwest Foundation's core principle is that investing in people and communities provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.