Teaching Grants

2010 Recipients of Arch Coal's Innovative Teaching Grants Program

Download a copy of our grants summary booklet (756 KB PDF)


Project: Building wooden boats
Dan Dunham * Delta Middle School * Delta, Colo.

Applied Technology Teacher Dan Dunham used his 2010 Arch Coal Foundation Innovative Teaching Grant to purchase supplies for demonstrating the use of various types of sanders and saws, as well as how to make compound miter cuts, perform hand-planing, do fiberglass work and calculate carrying capacity through water displacement. To top it off, students also experienced the thrill of traveling across a lake, paddling with oars and in boats they built in class. The project was a tremendous success, according to Dunham. “The boats turned out better than I could have imagined, and the students were very proud of their work. It was a significant, hands-on learning experience for both the kids and me,” he said. Dunham would like to repeat the boat-building project. Toward that end, the class raffled off the boats made this year to help fund next year’s boats.

Project: Drama continues on to high school
Susan Tate Hamrick * Hotchkiss High School * Hotchkiss, Colo.

Susan Tate Hamrick used her 2010 Arch Coal Foundation Innovative Teaching Grant to help present the first play held at Hotchkiss High School in seven years. Hamrick purchased playbooks and royalty fees for Chemical Bonding (or Better Living through Chemistry), a two-act play by Don Zolidis. She also co-directed the play, which was presented two evenings to standing-room-only crowds. The play featured a 16-member cast and provided a wonderful way for some students not involved in many extracurricular activities to “shine,” according to Hamrick. “The overall project goal was met beyond my wildest dreams. The students treasure this memory, and we hope to bring a drama component into Hotchkiss High School,” she said. Funds generated by the play could help that effort.

Project: Touch my world
Joey Hancock * Lincoln Elementary * Delta, Colo.

Two-time Arch Coal Foundation Innovative Teaching Grant recipient Joey Hancock used his 2010 grant to enhance learning via iPads.* Last year, Hancock, who teaches severe/profound special education classes, purchased iPods and learning applications with his grant. Within six months, he noted measurable improvement in students’ math skills and observed great gains in their visual-tracking and fine-motor skills. This year, he purchased an iPad* for use in the classroom, and his enhanced learning program is still going great, according to Hancock. He also obtained additional apps aimed at enabling students to focus on a task without having to deal with difficulties in other areas. For instance, a student who struggles with handwriting during a spelling test can now use a keyboard. Other applications just make learning more fun, said Hancock, who continues to research additional applications for use in class.

Project: I speak iPad*
Stephanie Hanson * Cedaredge Elementary * Cedaredge, Colo.

Stephanie Hanson purchased an iPad with her 2010 Arch Coal Foundation Innovative Teaching Grant. Her goal was to determine if iPad applications could replace traditional materials in speech-therapy sessions. Hanson targeted students with articulation goals and found a number of useful applications for them, including: “Speech Trainer,” which illustrates how the mouth produces a specific sound; “ArtikPix,” which allows users to play a memory game with target words on the touch screen; “Pocket SLP,” a useful application for progress monitoring; and “Story Builder,” the best tool she’s ever used for building generalization and carryover of skills, according to Hanson. She expanded her project to include students with language goals and used the iPad and apps to improve understanding and use of concepts, vocabulary and grammar. “This project was a definite success. It is replicable and one I hope to expand upon,” said Hanson.

® iPad is a registered trademark of Apple Inc.

Project: Assistive device for luggage handling
Richard Hypio * Hotchkiss High School * Hotchkiss, Colo.

Physics teacher Richard Hypio turned his 2010 Arch Coal Foundation Innovative Teaching Grant into nationwide recognition for a team of his students. The project took first-place honors in a national competition sponsored by NISH* and the Junior Engineering Technical Society in Arlington, Va. Hypio used the grant to purchase materials for designing and building an assistive device for a disabled member of the local community. Named the “Caboose,” it provides a way for airport luggage to be handled “hands free.” The team received a $2,000 prize, a trophy and two additional awards – Best Use of Universal Design Principles and Most Marketable Design. After the competition, the team received guidance about patenting and marketing. As coach of the team, Hypio received an American flag manufactured by North Bay Industries, which employs individuals with disabilities. He presented it to Hotchkiss High.

* Formerly known as the National Industries for the Severely Handicapped.