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Innovation Talent Grants
The State of Illinois Innovation Talent Grant ~ 2010-2011 Academic Year
This is an exciting opportunity to involve our students in real-world, integrated projects with the private sector, and is a precursor to the STEM Learning Exchanges, designed to improve student achievement and increase collage and career readiness.
This year, two districts in the NSERVE consortium have just received Innovation Talent grants in several important areas.
In Niles Township High School District 219:
The Niles North Applied Science and Technology Dept. will be collaborating with Western Illinois and Illinois State Universities on the development of a wind generator. This turbine will be installed on the roof of the STEM Engineering lab and it will power the water pumps for the hydroponics garden in the classroom. Project Lead the Way students will be working on this project along with students in the Engineering Club.
Niles West’s engineering and automotive students will be working together with the Illinois Department of Transportation to help them solve the problem of the proposed high speed rail that will run between Chicago and St. Louis. Right now the train will travel at 110 mph and they would like to increase the speed to 220 mph. Students on this project will also be working to design some sort of electric/alternative energy automobiles that could be driven up on a parallel track in order to charge their vehicles along that route.
In Maine Township High School District 207:
The Applied Arts and Technology departments will be partnering with the Metropolitan Chicago Health Care Council, which is an organization that most area hospitals belong to. The problem they have been assigned by the MCHC pertains to ineffective immunization rates. Their challenge will be to discover why this might be happening,what can be done to educate people about the need to immunize, and how the compliance rate could be increased. Child Development, Health Care Careers and Nursing Care Technician students will be focusing on childhood immunization and the flu vaccine.
Energy Development, Planning and Management Grant: The goal of this project is to engage students in the task of evaluating the relative merits and challenges associated with renewable energy technologies available to our society in the twenty-first century. Consistent with the design process theory of engineering, District 207 students will investigate this task from a multifaceted perspective, considering the scientific, technological and social issues associated with different strategies. The project involves teachers from multiple disciplines. Dr. David Schultz, a science teacher at Maine East High School, serves as project director. Rebecca Stewart, a teacher in Maine East’s Applied Arts and Technology department, is also assisting in leading the project. Recognizing the need for increased female participation in STEM related careers, the main intent is to promote the participation of female students enrolled in the Project Lead the Way® program of pre-engineering courses. We anticipate that student interest and participation in this project will be competitive. By considering the interdisciplinary, multifaceted nature of a problem such as renewable energy, the hope is that students will develop a richer understanding of the true nature of design and problem-solving in the 21st century.
Biotechnology Grant: The goal of this project is to work in the area of Biotechnology Research and Development. Students will be immersed in the question of whether Astellas Pharma, US Inc., should move forward with research and development to create a new transplant anti-rejection drug. Approximately 115 students in Biology Accelerated classes will be considering the current topics of transplantation, cloning and alternative methods of providing organs for patients in need. In order to investigate the problem, students will be performing hands-on laboratory activities that provide opportunities for them to learn with new biotechnologies, delving into the study of immunology. The Project director is Karen Wolfe. She has experience leading teacher teams in Problem Based Learning including an ILIT team for the 2008-09 school year in partnership with Astellas Pharma. Inc. The target population is advanced freshmen biology students. These students come from diverse racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds. Overall project will be a way to generate student interest in a real world problem and provide new motivation to learn specific content areas of the Biology curriculum.
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