Skyline fourth grade teacher has received a $500 STEM grant from KANAAE

Students in Alison Peissig's fourth grade class in Skyline Elementary are going to get some additional equipment to use in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math curriculum this spring.

The Kansas Association of American Educators has awarded Peissig a $500 grant for use in her STEM program. Peissig plans on purchasing "Snap Circuits" with the grant.

Snap circuits help students when they do coding work and help them manipulate circuits. They help make sure everything is running as it should be.

Peissig is a member of KANAAE, a non-union professional educators' association that serves Kansas educators. As a member of KANAAE, Peissig applied for a variety of grants to help with the school curriculum. Beside grants, there are also teacher scholarships available, said Peissig who applied for the grant in the fall of 2017.

However, membership in KANAAE is not required when applying for a grant, anyone can do it, Peissig said.

The grant money will help Peissig prepare the next generation of science students for the jobs of the future. Educators have to prepare students for jobs that don't even exist now. Students have to be prepared for changes in and improvements in technology.

"We have to make sure our students are prepared for that," said Peissig who has been with the district for six years.

This is the first time Peissig has received a KANAAE grant. She applied for a grant in Spring 2017 but was unsuccessful. So she applied again in Fall 2017 and got the grant in early December.

Peissig plans on using the grant this spring for her STAM curriculum.

The KANAAE gives out grants twice a year, with five in the fall and five in the spring, said Garry Sigle, executive director of KANAAE.

"KANAAE is excited to present this award to Alison for the STEM curriculum," Sigle said. "Having the opportunity to help educators provide materials for their programs ultimately enhance the educational value for the students."

A committee of educator's peers from cross Kansas select the winners of the KANAAE Teacher Scholarships and Classroom Grants. This year, there were 17 applicants. The committee doesn't know the applicants or where they are from. They do a blind review and grants are given based on the merits of the application. All educators are encouraged to apply. No KANAAE membership is required, Sigle said.

The KANAAE is a non-union group and non-partisan group with no political candidate ties.

Members dues pay for the grants and educators can apply for teacher scholarships to cover costs for a master's degree. Or they can apply for the classroom grant that can be used for technology or sheet music or router bits or anything that can be applied in the actual classroom.

The twice yearly grants are exclusively for Kansas educators and can be used to cover a wide variety of expenses including tuition, books, conferences and workshops.

The next application deadline is March 15. Visit www.kanaae.org for more information.

@GaleR_Tribune