Four Winners In First Wave Of Qwest Foundation's $100,000 Teachers And Technology Grants To Support Arizona Teachers And Innovative Uses Of Technology

Tucson, Jan. 28, 2008 – The Qwest Foundation and the Arizona Technology in Education Alliance (AzTEA) today announced the first wave of teachers to be awarded grants in the Foundation’s $100,000 Teachers and Technology program. Teachers are awarded grants for innovative use of technology in the classroom. The grants, which range in amounts from $7,900 to $9,917, were awarded to four different educators in four different Arizona school districts.

“Qwest is committed to making a positive difference in the communities where customers live and work, and we are proud to invest in Arizona teachers and children,” said Pat Quinn, Qwest president for Arizona. “We’re excited at the depth and creativity displayed in this first group of grant submissions. It made the judging extremely difficult.”
The purpose of the Qwest Foundation grant program is to recognize Arizona k-12 public school teachers who are using technology in the classroom in new and innovative ways to: Improve student performance; increase an awareness of how teachers are using technology in the classroom; and, model best practices with technology integration improving student achievement.
Funds are awarded twice throughout the AzTEA Year-Long Conference Strand: Jan. 26, 2008, (SAzTEA Conference) and Arizona State University in Tempe during the "Microcomputers in Education Conference” on Mar. 11, 2008. For the second wave of awards granted in March, applications must be postmarked by February 15, 2008. Application information is available on AzTEA’s Web site at
“It is heartening to know that innovative teaching methods are found in every corner of the state,” said AzTEA president, Chris Johnson. “I’m just amazed at the innovative ideas that come from teachers in Arizona.”
2008 1st Round Qwest Recipients
Names: Patti Hulet and Mary Rozum-Pratto District: Gilbert Public Schools School: Playa del Rey Elementary Project Name: “Playa Butterfly Garden -- Awakening a Living Laboratory”
Project Description: The Playa Butterfly Garden will create a living laboratory for our k-6 students to gain an understanding of and appreciation for the ecosystem. It will include a variety of interdisciplinary, standards-based lessons across all grade levels. Our plan is to create and nurture an environment of exploration and discovery where all students and teachers can develop new skills and cultivate a life-long connection with nature. We hope to increase students' achievement and develop stewardship responsibilities while strengthening our school spirit. Technology will be the key thread that intertwines our learning. Our Playa Butterfly Virtual Classroom will co-develop with the garden and provide a place to share our project's progress while collaborating with our community of learners.
Grant: $8,280
Name: Laurie Burrell District: Amphitheater School District School: Richard B. Wilson K-8 Project Name: "Bats, Bridges and Biosphere 3" Project Description: Our project will open up three after school elementary science clubs at disadvantaged sister schools near Wilson K-8. These schools include, Harelson, Donaldson and Walker Elementary. The Bats, Bridges and Biosphere 3 project invites six elementary schools in the Sonoran Desert to conduct a cross-border endangered Sonoran Bat migration and climate study. We will partner with the Desert Museum, Kartchner Caverns, Colossal Cave, Arizona State Game and Fish, the University of Arizona, Biosphere 2, one school from Kyrene School District in Phoenix, four schools in Amphitheater School District and a school in Hermosillo, Mexico. Students will "harness the collective intelligence" of the Internet to compare students’ live data on our wiki and consult with our expert partners to address the following issues: Are bats roosting under bridges in Tucson; Is the pollination of the endangered Saguaro cacti impacted by global warming; What are future scientists and conservationist doing to reverse the decline of our bat population; How can we increase the pollination of the endangered Saguaro; and, dispel myths about Sonoran bats.
Grant: $9,809.36
Name: Robyn Rice
District: Maricopa Unified School District
School: Maricopa Wells Middle School
Project Name: “Utilities Planning for Mini Cities”
Project Description: The students will use a SmartBoard to create a miniature city that is built to scale. The city will be constructed from cardboard and glue. Then, the students will use the SmartBoard to create a vertex-edge graph to determine the most cost-effective route to supply their city with water.
Grant: $9,917.62
Name: Sheri Marlin
District: Tucson Unified School District
School: Borton Primary Magnet School
Project Name: “Language Learning Live”
Project Description: Learning Language Live will create a portable language learning lab made up of laptop computers, digital cameras, digital voice recorders and projection capability for use with multiple groups of students learning English. Daily access to technology will allow for unprecedented frequency and accuracy of student assessment. Progress toward the English Language Learner standards defined by the state will be monitored using learner artifacts created by students in programs such as Photo Story III, Movie Maker and Inspiration and will be reviewed tri-weekly by teams of teachers to determine progress toward achievement of state standards. Learning Language Live will make language learning technologies available to students on demand in multiple locations throughout the school.
Grant: $7,907


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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.




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