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Teacher Wins Money for Science Trips

An Academie Da Vinci teacher will receive more than $1,400 in grant money for her fourth-graders' water-related studies.

If she's gonna have a problem, has a good one. 

There's a new-found surplus in her Academie Da Vinci Charter School fourth-grade class fund and she's got to decide how best to use it, thanks to a little over $1,400 in grants she won recently.

Stanziano will receive a $770 “Splash!” grant from Southwest Florida Water Management District (she was one of 28 Pinellas County teachers awarded Splash! money) and a $700 grant from Target.

The purpose of the Splash! grant program is to provide teachers with funding (up to $3,000 per school) for teaching about freshwater resource issues, according to a SFWMD press release.

The Splash! grant, she said, will cover a water resource education field study at Sweetwater Organic Farm in February. There, the students will learn the science and nutrition of farming hyroponic vegetables (grown without soil) and eat a lunch they harvest themselves.

The Target grant will cover most of the cost of an annual, day-long Nature's Academy field trip to in May. There, the students will go on a nature walk, dip net in a live underwater mini-ecosystem and conduct a shark dissection.

"It ties into the curriculum," she said. "In fourth grade, the curriculum revolves around Florida — Florida history, Florida science —"

Before she learned she was awarded the grants, Stanziano said she'd been fundraising to offset the cost of the field trips for her 19 students (going on 22 students after the new year). Now that her class's field trips are paid for, she'll continue moving forward on those efforts, she said.

If her classroom fundraising stays on track for the year, they'll earn a $700 or so surplus that she hopes will pay forward to her students, and maybe students in other grades as well, with the purchase of a virtual math program. 

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