Clear Lake, Mitchell teachers awarded ING Unsung Heroes grants - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Clear Lake, Mitchell teachers awarded ING Unsung Heroes grants

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Two teachers from Clear Lake and Mitchell are heading back to school with ING Unsung Heroes Grants for award-winning teaching programs.

Samantha Walder, a technology integrationist and geography teacher at Deuel School in Clear Lake, and Julie Olson, a science teacher at Mitchell Senior High-Second Chance, received $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes Grants. They are two of only 100 winners across the country receiving the award.

For the past 17 years, the ING Unsung Heroes program has honored educators across the country who work to make a lifelong impact in the classroom for their students. The grants go to help fund the programs for which they submitted and were honored in the competition.

Walder's winning teaching idea, "iPad, iEngage, iLearn: Using iPads to Support Collaboration and Student Engagement and Learning," is designed to increase the use of up-to-date, relevant technology among the students at Deuel School. Students use iPads to gather accurate information and to identify the flora and fauna present on the hills of Buffalo Ridge in Deuel County in the city of Gary.

Olson's program is called "Making W.A.V.E.S.: Water Quality for At-risk Student Ventures in Engineering and Science." The program is designed to provide a service learning experience for the school district's alternative high school program, Second Chance. The program includes habitat restoration, water quality testing and watershed and biodiversity dynamics. All the information gathered is then presented to the city council for recommendations to reduce impacts on human activities on the lakes and its biodiversity.

Both Walder's and Olson's programs now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes—an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from ING U.S.

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