1+1 Winner: Karen McGuigan
Throughout the school year, NewsCenter1 and First Interstate Bank partner twice a month to provide a $500 grant to local teachers and faculty members for their outstanding work. It’s called the 1+1 Giveaway.
South Canyon Elementary School 4th Grade Teacher Karen McGuigan is this week’s winner. With the grant, she plans to bring a new type of technology to her classroom to engage students. She plans to buy four Sphero SPRK Plus Robots. The robot, which is a small transparent sphere about the size of a baseball, can be programmed to roll around in different directions.
"They’re waterproof, so I could put a little puddle of paint and they can paint with it," said McGuigan. "They don’t touch it at all. They actually code a program to tell it to roll forward or back, to learn angles."
The robot can be used for a variety of applications, from painting to recreating the movement of planets in the solar system.
"One of the first things I’d do with it is build a maze and then see if they can make it through the maze by just coding it and not touching it," McGuigan said.
NewsCenter1 and First Interstate Bank’s 1+1 Grant allows local teachers like McGuigan to explore passion projects which are not normally in the curriculum. The grant can be applied to any subject from mathematics to physical education.
"We have a lot of teachers that use it for books or supplies that they might need," said First Interstate Bank Loan Processor Amber Whitford. "Special seating, and in this case, robotics, which is kind of an awesome addition to their classroom teaches them a little bit different side of things."
And for McGuigan, the 1+1 Grant allows her to give her students an opportunity ti expand their scope of learning.
"There are a lot of things we want to try with out kids, but you just can’t do it all," said McGuigan. "For some kids, this is the reason they want to come to school, because they get to try new things. If it inspires them to want to be at school and go somewhere with it, it’s worth it."