FEPS Announces Spring 2022 Teacher Classroom/Staff Grant Recipients!

Prairie View Elementary students in Jennifer Totoritis’ Art Class have fun putting math and engineering skills to use while creating 3-dimensional structures with STEM materials provided through a FEPS Teacher Classroom/Staff Grant.

The Foundation for Eden Prairie Schools has announced the award of $11,745 in Teacher Classroom/Staff Grants for Spring 2022.  This group of grants is in addition to our round of $22,085 in Teacher Classroom/Staff Grants this past Fall, bringing our total grants this year to $33,800!  FEPS is proud to provide our teachers and staff with the opportunity to supplement their classroom curriculum and implement innovative programs, projects, and supplies that ordinarily would not be funded.  The following classroom programs were funded thanks to our generous donors and supporters and will benefit thousands of Eden Prairie students.

Make Virtual Reality Real in the Classroom” – $9,800
Emily Aust, from Oak Point Elementary, received a grant to expand students’ learning far beyond the walls of the classroom with the introduction of virtual reality experiences.  The grant will allow for the purchase of 16 sets of virtual reality goggles with a mobile cart and controllers, including the pre-designed curriculum connected to Minnesota standards, and training to implement the concepts in the classroom.  The virtual reality technology will help increase knowledge and raise engagement of the students as they practice skills across many content areas such as literacy, language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, and social emotional learning.  The implementation of virtual reality in the classroom will allow students access to see and develop a greater understanding of other cultures and perspectives in the world — it can take them on a journey to discover new things and inspire their creativity.

STEAM in the Art Room – $1,500
Jennifer Totoritis, from Prairie View Elementary, received a grant to introduce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) concepts in her art classroom through a clay project.  This grant will allow for the addition of a second clay art project for which the students will engineer the clay structures to be strong, sturdy, and 3-dimensional.  While creating these structures, students will gain hands-on experience exploring mathematical and engineering concepts while introducing their artistic flair to the sculpture.

Outdoor Courtyard Garden Learning Environment – $445
Jackie Drummer, from Prairie View Elementary, received a grant to create an outdoor learning environment for students in grades K-5.  This outdoor garden will show students how to grow and maintain sustainable gardening techniques that restore natural resources while teaching students that small steps can go a long way towards creating a healthier environment.  The courtyard garden at the school is a beautiful sight to passers-by, and the students will add plant signage to help identify plants or features (such as the parts of a plant, layers of habitat, species of flowers, and the water cycle).  Involvement in caring for the garden will introduce students to a variety of science concepts, and prompt discussions on life cycles, ecology, and recycling.  While gardening, students will also practice how to work side by side with each other in a collaborative effort, learn how to be good stewards of the environment, and develop gross and fine motor skills.