Edinboro Elementary School’s Katie Waddell is one of four grants recipients for the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Innovative Teaching Grants.
Through the $1,000 grant, Waddell will purchase materials to use for three school-wide mobile makerspaces. These will allow teachers to implement innovative STEAM projects driven by student creativity. The mobile makerspace will include three toolkits: Brick Builders, Garden Growers, and Powerful Presenters. Each toolkit will combine community resources, hands-on materials, and children’s literature to deliver rigorous, standards-based instruction.
PSEA‘s Council on Instruction and Professional Development provides four Innovative Teaching Grants across the state, one from each region. Waddell was selected for the Northwestern Region. PSEA is the union representing the 181,00 education professionals in Pennsylvania. Members include teachers, education support professionals, higher education staff, nurses in health care facilities, retired educators and college students preparing to become teachers.
Waddell’s idea stemmed from a creativity cohort established among Edinboro Elementary School teachers last year. When considering needs for the school, the cohort talked about ways to support teachers in creating more opportunities for students to engage in STEAM projects that prompt creativity and problem solving.
The makerspace will be stored in the library, and teachers will be able to sign out the toolkit they need based on the units they are teaching. Edinboro librarian Mrs. Androstic is also implementing complimentary projects that will create a LEGO wall in the library.
Waddell is invited to attend the PSEA Awards Ceremony in May. Her project will be up and running for the 2019-2020 school year.