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Five middle school teachers receive large technology grant

October 20, 2008

More than $38,000 was awarded through Hewlett-Packard grant

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

DASSEL-COKATO, MN - Five Dassel-Cokato Middle School teachers can pat themselves on the back for applying and receiving more than $38,000 for technology from Hewlett-Packard.

“We are very excited to have this opportunity,” said Susan Sparboe, an eighth grade science teacher at Dassel-Cokato Middle School, and one of the grant recipients.

The group of five who applied for the grant last spring were Melissa Rudebusch (science), Catherine Young (math), Jacob Stang (geography), Susan Pospichal (math), and Susan Sparboe (science).

The school was one of 110 k-12 public schools nationwide to receive the HP grant, which is designed to transform and improve learning in the classroom through innovative uses of technology.

“Our students will truly benefit from the enhanced use of technology in our classrooms and the integration of curriculum in math, geography, and science,” Sparboe said.

The five recipients will use the grant money and equipment, including wireless HP Tablet PC technology, to enhance learning in multiple disciplines, with a focus on math and science, according to a Hewlett-Packard press release.

When applying for the grant, the five grant writers chose drinking water as the focus of their grant.

“From the Ground Up,” is an eighth grade interdisciplinary unit which takes an in-depth look at water, a limited natural resource that is often taken for granted, according to Sparboe.

Using HP technology, inquiry-based lessons, and community resources, classes will address real-world issues, Sparboe added.

As part of Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s visit to the middle school Wednesday, she congratulated the five teachers, as well as Pam Beckermann, media specialist, who informed the group of the grant.

Bachmann commended the teachers for going “above and beyond” their everyday duties as teachers by going through the grant-writing process.

Two other Minnesota schools also applied for and received the grant including Bertha-Hewitt School and Vermillion Community College in Ely.

Through this particular grant, HP awarded 149 k-12 public schools and two- and four-year colleges and universities in the US and Puerto Rico more than $7 million in mobile technology, cash, and professional development.

Since 2004, HP has contributed a total of $60 million in HP Technology for Teaching grants to more than 1,000 schools in 41 countries worldwide.

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