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AEP Teacher Vision Grants Enhance Student Learning

by on February 10, 2017
A Spanishburg pre-schooler dressed as Albert Einstein greeted visitors to the students’ science fair. The school received a $250 Teacher Vision Grant from American Electric Power.

(Story by Barry Schumann)

Young children are natural scientists, full of curiosity, ideas and questions.  So it’s no surprise that a pair of pre-school instructors at Spanishburg Elementary School in West Virginia engaged their young charges in a science fair with support from a $250 Teacher Vision Grant from American Electric Power.

“Science is a way of life. Science is a perspective. Science is the process that takes us from confusion to understanding in a manner that’s precise, predictive and reliable,” said instructor Evonne Davidson. “Thank you for sending us the grant money to assist with our science fair.”

The pre-school students put their science brains to work demonstrating why soap bubbles are round, how force and motion are related, mixing and measuring, creating simple machines, engineering a “marble run” to explore motion and kinetic energy, and even experiencing static electricity. “This helped instill a love of learning and curiosity in the children for sience, math and technology,” Davidson said.

The AEP Teacher Vision Grant program was created in 2003 to help remove funding barriers to innovative learning by offering grants of between $100 and $500 to educators from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 who live or teach in the AEP service area or in communities with major AEP facilities.

Last year, AEP awarded 210 grants totaling $70,000 to teachers and schools in 10 of 11 states served. A sampling of topics covered through the grants includes:

  • A  Technical Revolutions Lab to help Hawkins Middle School sixth-grade students explore hands-on learning that leads to functional machines in Hawkins, Texas.
  • An Engineering Design in Science program to enable Hellstern Middle School sixth-grade students to investigate engineering design with help from the University of Arkansas Engineering Department in Springdale, Arkansas.
  • A STEM program at IDEA San Benito K-5 School featuring Engineering is Elementary kits for 700 elementary students in San Benito, Texas.
  • Addition of six fuel cell kits for Louisville High School chemistry classes for students to investigate renewable energy  in Louisville, Ohio.
  • Acquisition of a 3-D printer to provide coding experience for Pikeville High School students in Pikeville, Kentucky.
  • Support including materials for Science Olympiad team members at River Valley Middle School in Three Oaks, Michigan.
  • Addition of STEM kits for kindergarten students at Rockport Elementary School in Rockport, Indiana.
  • Creation of four Individualized Learning Labs to provide remediation for at-risk students at Westwood Elementary School in Shreveport, Louisiana.
  • Math manipulatives to help 250 Finley-Reese Elementary School fifth- and sixth-grade students develop number sense and operations abilities in Wright City, Oklahoma.


“Education of students is critical to the future prosperity of the communities we serve,” said Barry Schumann, principal community relations consultant. “These mini-grants let innovative teachers do more in and out of the classroom to ensure their students achieve academically.”

Projects that have an academic focus and a goal of improving student achievement are eligible for consideration. AEP has a special interest in supporting science, mathematics, technology, electrical safety and the balanced study of energy and the environment. Priority may be given to teachers who have attended AEP Workshops for Educators, National Energy Education Development (NEED) Project training, E-LAB or are affiliated with an AEP school-business partnership.

The next deadline for AEP Teacher Vision Grants is Feb. 24. Program information and an online application are available at

AEP employees may share this opportunity with pre-K through grade 12 educators they know.

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