Van Buren School District Education Foundation gave out $33,649 in grants to deserving educators during its surprise prize patrol Tuesday morning.
Grant money was divided between teachers and staff at Rena, Tate, King, City Heights and Parkview elementaries, Butterfield Trail and Northridge middle schools, the career center, the learning center, and Van Buren High School.
Van Buren High School alone received $7,940, with one of the largest - and coolest - grants went to Angie Williams, who teaches EAST lab, and art teacher Marcus Koch.
Williams and Koch received $2,190 for their program The Wave of the Future is Here. The money will go toward purchasing about five iPad Minis that can run applications for EAST lab’s new 3D printer.
Free engineering applications for the 3D printer can only be found on iPads, Williams said.
In their grant application, Williams and Koch wrote that 3D printing is the "next wave," and that they are "combining common place with the present and the future."
Students will use the engineering applications to design solutions for problems experienced by teenagers and then print the parts, which must be three or less, of that solution on the 3D printer, Williams said.
"The kids, when you give them a problem and you give them wings, they will fly. This is one of those things that will give them wings," Williams said.
Other grants at the high school were $1,000 to Joan Porter, Renee Baldwin, Louann King and Myron Heckman for their Back to Books program; $750 to Michelle Hefner for Teaching with TED; $3,000 to Lisa Moose and Jeff Belcher for Van Buren High School Remembers; and $1,000 to Stacy Seeger, Eddie Tipton and Stacey Moore for Clean-up the Shelves.