TEXARKANA, Texas – Nathan Upchurch, a high school science teacher in Texas, recently received a $ 500 AEP vision scholarship from Southwestern Electric Power Co., which will help his astronomy students get a better view of the night sky.
The money will be used to purchase 10 wide-aperture binoculars for his students to find and observe the moon, planets and other objects in the solar neighborhood, as well as to understand how the lenses work. The binoculars complement previous purchases of telescope grants and science books.
âBeing in an astronomy class is great to have students practice,â Upchurch said. âAnd the binoculars are great because they are lightweight, and when the weather permits, they can be patient and come out to experience it for themselves. As a teacher, we always try to give the students an application of what you do in the classroom. “
Upchurch said he was seeking funding for resources that would improve his creativity and instruction as a teacher. He stumbled upon this opportunity through a Google search.
âI was excited. I am delighted to be using it next year,â he said. “The night sky is constantly changing. There is always something happening that the students can see and witness. For example, there will be a lunar eclipse next week.”
Offered through SWEPCO’s parent company, American Electric Power, the AEP Teacher Vision Grant program provides assistance ranging from $ 100 to $ 500 to teachers. Educators who live or teach in the AEP service area or in communities with major AEP facilities are eligible to apply for the mini-grants. Projects that have an academic focus and a goal of improving student achievement are eligible.
AEP has a particular interest in science, mathematics, technology, electrical safety, and the balanced study of energy and the environment. Each year, the grant program awards up to $ 70,000 in the 11 states served by AEP utility companies.
âWe are extremely grateful for this grant. They have supported us a lot over the years,â said Upchurch. âIt takes a community, and I feel like AEP-SWEPCO has been part of that community that supports us at TISD and the resources we have here.
(For more information on the AEP Teacher Vision Grant and other AEP education initiatives, visit aep.com/go/education online.)