Faculty Focus

SJP Educator Earns Grant Award

Earlier this year, Ms. Nia Gipson, Director of S.T.E.A.M. at Saint Joseph Prep, applied for and was awarded a grant from the Association of American Educators. In her notification letter, the AAE noted that it "appreciates [her] efforts to provide a high quality and effective educational experience."

"The grant was looking to support teachers who develop exciting projects utilizing technology in interesting and engaging ways," Ms. Gipson shared, "and I thought, 'that fits the bill for a lot of the projects we do here.'"

She used the funds to purchase microcontrollers for her Mechatronics class, a new elective available to upperclassmen this year. The technology, similar to a tiny computer, allows users to control small circuits and components. The Robotics team has also taken advantage of the microcontrollers, and Ms. Gipson's sophomores will put them to good use in S.T.E.A.M. class as well.

"In order to learn about mechanical or electrical engineering, you need to have the supplies and components for students to be able to try out, play with, and—honestly—to break," Ms. Gipson shared. "Having the grant allows students to really work with the technology in a hands-on way as opposed to in a strictly theoretical way."

Additionally, she was a guest this past spring, along with several other innovators in STEAM education, on the Saints and Scholars On-the-Go podcast.

Thank you, Ms. Gipson, for all you do to expand horizons here at SJP!