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Jeffrey TranellThanks to growing donor support, the SCASD Education Foundation has been able to directly support the innovation and ideas of State College Area School District's teachers, and help them make their dreams a reality.

Mr. Tranell, who teaches 6th grade math and science at Park Forest Middle School received funds to bring the Carnegie Science Center traveling road show to students at his school. The show, Solar Quest: Living With Our Star, is complemented by multiple hands-on, small group adventure stations that run throughout the day. The traveling show gives students multiple opportunities to experiment with concepts that are part of the curriculum or topics that enrich the curriculum.

We asked him how the show will impact his class. Read on!

How soon will you be able to bring the road show to your classroom?   

JT: The show will be coming on Friday, May 17.

What's the long-lasting impact of this experience in your classroom?   

JT: This gives kids a chance to apply many of the concepts that we've discussed and explored in a more hands-on way beyond what we can offer in the regular classroom. It's also a chance to provide enrichment to all the students in the grade through the show, something they'd need to travel to Pittsburgh to experience otherwise.  For many kids this is a great opportunity to see some real-life applications of science side-by-side, as they'll get to have multiple experiences within the same day and setting. It really showcases STEM. The hope is to get kids excited and make them want to explore STEM more as they further their education. 

What gave you an interest in teaching math and science?

JT: I wanted to teach math and science because I struggled a bit with these subjects when I was middle school age, but as I got older, I had some "ah-ha" moments and I hope to be able to set up situations where  those "ah-ha" moments up happen for my students. I also really like to connect math and science and to have students see how math can be used to help explain phenomena in science.

What's your favorite part of your job?

JT: My favorite part of my job is working with students to help them reach their full potential, seeing them learn from their mistakes,  and getting to know them for who they are outside of the classroom as well. 

Because of the SCASDEF Student Opportunity grant, now I can: be sure that we've brought in a high-quality science and critical thinking experience for all of the sixth graders at PFMS.

Mr. Tranell's classroom is one of seven that is tangibly changing thanks to the $7,516 that was awarded as part of the Student Opportunity Grant Program. Help us do even more! To donate to next year's Student Opportunity Grant Program, go to scasdfoundation.org/donate.