Hillsborough County Teachers Awarded Grants for Water Resources Education Projects

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Fifty-two Hillsborough County teachers were awarded Splash! school grants through the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Mary Margaret Hull, District lead communications coordinator, attributes the effectiveness of the grant program in Hillsborough County to the strong partnership with Hillsborough County Schools. Four school district staff serve as the District’s liaisons to teachers: Pam Caffery, middle school science supervisor; Karen Folsom, Nature’s Classroom administrator; Dan McFarland, high school science supervisor; and Shana Tirado, elementary science supervisor. These liaisons helped get the word out to classroom teachers.

“The District recognizes the critical role STEM education — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — plays in preparing students for the future,” said Hull. “With the help of the grant program, students will learn the importance of protecting and conserving Florida’s water resources through STEM-based education projects.”

Details about the Hillsborough County awardees and their projects can be found online at the District's website.

This year 157 Splash! grants were awarded across the District’s 16 county region to educate students on Florida’s water.

The goal of the Splash! school grant program is to provide teachers with funding to enhance student knowledge of freshwater resources issues. Splash! school grants provide up to $3,000 per school on a reimbursement basis and are available to public, charter and private school teachers.

Past Splash! grant projects include student monitoring of local water quality, environmental field studies and outreach campaigns designed to encourage water conservation.

In addition to Splash! grant funding, the District offers free teacher professional development workshops and curriculum materials. The publications are correlated to Florida’s Next Generation Sunshine State Science Standards and can also be ordered on the District’s website at WaterMatters.org/publications/.

(Source: Southwest Florida Water Management District)