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Students to study acids, bases and antacids with Coker’s grant

Nicole Coker’s grant is giving a boost to lab experiments at Bob Jones High School.

Thirty teachers received STEDTRAIN grants.

Coker teaches chemistry and honors chemistry at Bob Jones.

These grants originated with the umbrella organization, Huntsville Association of Technical Societies (HATS). In the HATS organization, individuals serving on the Science and Technology Education and Training (STEDTRAIN) committee award the ‘seed’ grant money.

STEDTRAIN selects teachers to receive the $1,000 grants who have proven that they will promote science and technology with interactive and innovative activities in the classroom.

“The program’s goal is to provide grant money for teachers to purchase supplies for labs and (work) that will excite students and promote interest in science and technology,” Coker said.

From the 37 applicants for the STEDTRAIN grants, 30 teachers received the seed money.

Coker will use the money “to purchase lab and classroom supplies that have been cut significantly over the last few years. Most teachers depend on grants and donations from parents and the community to purchase supplies.”

Among the purchased supplies will be burets (or burettes), or long, cylindrical tools that measure liquid volumes. Bob Jones students will use the burets to dispense precise amounts of liquids during lab experiments.

Their study will involve small-group, inquiry-based investigations of acids, bases and antacids, Coker said.

“The people who are responsible for these grants (STEADTRAIN committee of HATS) are truly passionate about science, math and technology education,” Coker said. “They put a lot of work into screening grant proposals, choosing grant recipients and visiting schools who have received grants.”

Since the seed grant program began in 1988, STEADTRAIN has distributed more than $367,478 for 392 individual grants and other worthy educational projects. The grants currently benefit approximately 10,000 students directly and about 20,000 indirectly a year.

Donors and contributors for 2012-2013 include Aerojet – GenCorp Foundation, AI Signal Research Inc., BASF Catalysts, Boeing Charitable Trust Foundation, DMS Technology Inc., ERC Inc., GFWC duMIDI Woman’s Club, Raytheon and the Tennessee Valley chapter of the Space and Missile Defense Working Group of the National Defense Industrial Association.

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