Bridget Lemoine and Amy U. Jarreau at Prairieville Middle School were awarded $2,500.00 by the school impact Ascension Fund Grant funding by BASF Corporation for the 2016 - 2017 fiscal year. The support allowed Prairieville Middle School, under the leadership of Dina Davis and Matthew Geraci, to purchase a 3D printer and supplies to be used in the math and science classes in 7th grade.

The students in 7th grade science worked with ecosystems around the world and adaptations of organisms within an ecosystem. The students were put into groups and given a specific biome. Each student in the groups was asked to design a new organism that had adaptations to the environment and fit into the food web in the ecosystem. The students went above and beyond in their research of the organisms and design utilizing both 3D slash and Tinkercad design programs on their chrome books.

The students in 7th grade math worked on a project that allowed students to use mathematical computation to design a self-contained colony on Mars. The students were asked to use 7th grade math skills such as finding area, surface area, volume, scale, unit rate and other skills. They were challenged with designing a way for people to survive and then thrive on Mars. The teachers presented them with real world situations, such as eating, exercising, and getting rid of waste. Some of the groups focused on the 3D design of the colony while other groups worked on designing the rocket that would transport them to Mars.

Local residents can see how the Ascension Fund Grants are benefiting our schools and encouraging students to be creative thinkers in the classroom. It is helping to take content that can be seen in pictures and read about in books and turn it into real life models that the students can hold and see. The students were able to see the design flaws after they were 3D printed and make adjustments. It encouraged self-assessment and peer assessment within the groups.

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