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Ficquett, Veterans receive technology grant
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 Ficquett Elementary and Veterans Memorial Middle school were selected to receive the 2008 Hewlett-Packard Technology for Teaching Grant for the schools' desire to improve learning in the classroom through innovative uses of technology.

 This year, of the eight schools in Georgia chosen, the two Newton County schools, Ficquett Elementary and Veterans Memorial Middle, won based on the review of both schools' outstanding applications.

 The 2008 HP grant marks the fifth year of the company's commitment to innovative educators, who are transforming student achievement through the use of technology in the classroom, while encouraging student interest in careers in technology, engineering, math and science.

  "The teachers at Ficquett and Veterans were awarded these grants because they are creative and caring teachers who are willing to do whatever it takes to help their students learn," System Grant Writer Kathy Garber said in a press release.

 Garber, who worked with the faculty and staff to submit their proposed technology projects in the HP Technology in Teaching grant application, was highly pleased with the staffs at both schools.

 "They worked hard on the grant applications and are very excited about receiving the 'state of the art' technology," Garber said.

 By winning the grant, the two schools will receive a total value of more than $38,000 in technology and cash prizes. Each school will receive five of the fallowing technological HP products: HP Tablet PCs, digital projectors, printers, digital cameras, Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007, Microsoft Student 2008, and one HP Design Jet Printer for printing large poster size items. Teachers will also receive online professional development from the International Society for Technology and a $500 cash award for their efforts.

  Ficquett Elementary won the grant with a project titled, "Welcome to the Digital World of Plants and Animals." The winning team was comprised of kindergarten teacher Susan Fowler, first grade teacher Kena Hudgins, second grade teacher Laurie Carpenter, third grade teacher Heather White, and fourth grade teacher Kristen Emerson.

 With the win, students will be able to engage in many exciting activities as they explore the world of living things. Students will have the opportunity to follow life cycles as they raise plants and animals in the classroom, observe gerbils grow from birth to adulthood, ants busily at work and the metamorphosis of larvae into butterflies, said Newton County School System Public Relations Director Sherri Viniard in a press release.

 The team members at Veterans Memorial won with a project titled "CSI: Veterans Memorial." The team consisted of seventh grade teacher Pat Alexander, sixth grade teacher Joan Braswell and eighth grade teachers Bonnie Garvin, Cliff Roberts and Lynn House.

 With the grant, students will be able to learn the power of observation and inquiry as they investigate different crime scene scenarios. While investigating the crime scenes, students will use math and science skills to make casts of footprints, fingerprints and tire treads while taking measurements, recording data and applying rules of measurement.

 Since 2004, HP has contributed nearly $60 million in HP Technology for teaching grants to more than 1,000 schools in 41 countries worldwide. During the past 20 years, HP has donated more than $1 billion in cash and equipment to schools and universities in attempts to increase learning.

 "Teaching excellence, combined with innovative tools and resources, positively contributes to student learning," said Yvonne Hunt, vice president of global social investment at HP.

 The HP Technology for Teaching program is designed to help students achieve higher learning when given the opportunity to work with technology and skilled teachers.

 According to a recent HP press release, studies of two past winning classrooms showed dramatic improvement with test scores of 80 percent and 93 percent, while students studying the same material without HP technology averaged a score of 55 percent.