South Central High School science teacher James Hong accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and sang his appreciation of the education grants from Fisher-Titus Medical Center. The energetic teacher rewrote the lyrics of “With Or Without You” by the rock band U2.
This is the 21st year that the Fisher-Titus health-education distribution grant program has awarded grants to area schools to fund educational programs in math, science and health. The program has awarded 193 education grants since 1996.
This year, nine schools received a total of about $35,359: Edison, Monroeville, New London, Norwalk, South Central, Western Reserve, Willard, Wellington and Norwalk Catholic School.
Lorna Strayer, Fisher-Titus president, told school officials during Wednesday’s luncheon that she appreciates the “strong commitment,” talent and dedication they have to improving the lives of their students.
“Thank you for your great partnership,” she added.
Western Reserve Superintendent Rodge Wilson told Strayer and Fisher-Titus board members “you have made a huge difference in the community.” He also said educators and Fisher-Titus have a similar vision and goal — improving and enhancing the quality of life of the people they serve.
Echoing the feedback from other superintendents and teachers, Western Reserve High School Principal Lisa Border said the sooner a school can get students introduced to and interested in technology, the better it is for everyone.
A teacher or administrator from each school that received a grant shared how their school used the grant last year and what their future plans are.
Edison Local Schools purchased calculators used by students for testing in advanced classes.
“It’s part of the requirements of the upper-level classes,” said Dean Stanfield, director of curriculum. “It keeps everything consistent. … This gives access to students who normally wouldn’t be able to (afford them).”
Over the years, South Central has used grants to fund COSI on Wheels to be available for kindergarten through sixth grade.
Last year, Willard High School purchased Vernier software, which creates a graph as students do experiments.
“Kids aren’t used to seeing the graphic of what’s going on inside the system or the experiment,” said Tina Lowery, who teaches science, biology and anatomy.
Her students tested the pH level of everyday liquids such as Mountain Dew, bleach and coffee. They first used litmus paper, then a cabbage juice indicator and finally the probe software.
Lowery said her students were skeptical, but all three methods produced very accurate results.
“I really enjoyed watching their reactions (as it went) from a strong acid to a more neutral state because I was able to tie it into what happens inside your stomach,” she said.