Dauma earns grant for ‘Creative Problem Solving 101’

A technical society has awarded a ‘seed’ grant to Robin Dauma for “Creative Problem Solving (CPS) 101.”

Robin Dauma, left, received a STEDTRAIN grant, as did fellow teachers Nicole Coker and Daniel Elegante.

HATS (Huntsville Association of Technical Societies) administers this grant program with work by members in its Science and Technology Education and Training committee (STEDTRAIN).

Dauma’s grant will benefit students participating with Destination Imagination (DI) teams. She sponsors DI teams at Bob Jones High School and Discovery Middle School. At Bob Jones, Dauma teaches advanced placement English composition and honors English 11.

“DI students will work cooperatively to implement the creative problem-solving process as applied to interdisciplinary, multi-faceted challenges,” Dauma said. Teams can “access real-world technical and practical materials that can be used for hands-on training and workshops.”

The STEDTRAIN ‘seed’ grant provides “metaphorical seeds that are meant to stimulate interest in technical subjects by providing money to teachers for innovative projects,” she said.

Dauma firmly believes programs like the HATS-STEDTRAIN seed grants can greatly influence the classroom. “My particular grant is going to benefit DI teams all over North Alabama, with Bob Jones students first learning, then teaching, the CPS process to others.”

Normally, she couldn’t afford supplies and materials needed to carry out problem-solving training at this level. “These students will utilize CPS kits as the school year continues as they learn about how to effectively solve multidisciplinary challenges,” Dauma said.

Dauma shares the opinion with many educational experts that critical and creative-thinking skills are where “the rubber meets the road” in education.

With this training, students actually can apply what they’ve learned — both individually and in cooperative settings across all academic disciplines. “This (understanding) is a crucial part of their future success,” Dauma said.

During 17 years as a teacher, Dauma has received three other STEDTRAIN grants. “I am very grateful to the HATS organization for its generous support of classroom teachers, helping us to provide experiences to our students that would not otherwise be accessible to them,” she said.

For more information, visit stedtrain.org.

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