Tita Lovell, an alumna of the College of Education's science education program, was recently awarded the New Teacher Assistance Grant from Georgia Power to purchase materials and supplies for her high school classroom.
Lovell, who graduated with a master's degree in science education this past spring, is a first-year physics and environmental science teacher at Flowery Branch High School in Hall County. The $1,000 grant from Georgia Power will provide Lovell with the necessary funds to purchase paper clips, tape and toy cars for various classroom activities.
"I am truly humbled to receive this grant," said Lovell. "I never expected to receive a grant to help me start my teaching career, and I tried to do my best to use the money to stock my classroom with what I thought were the most important essentials the students would need."
Since 2004, Georgia Power has awarded more than $350,000 in individual grants to more than 350 new teachers in communities across the state. Grant recipients are encouraged to use the funds to purchase items such as books, educational CDs or DVDs, computers, projectors and other supplies to enhance classroom experiences.
"I have been spending quite a bit of my own funds to purchase small things that are needed to help students further understand the concepts taught in physics," said Lovell. "I hope to purchase items not only for my students, but for other students throughout the school to use too."
While learning about Newton's Laws of Motion, Lovell's students are required to complete a lab on inertia with a toy car and paper clip. The goal of the activity is to devise a way to keep the paper clip moving in the same direction after the car is forced to stop. Afterwards, the students must provide an explanation of what they observed, why the objects acted as they did and to make a real-world connection to what was observed in class.
"It's moments like these, where a student who is struggling in my class makes a connection, that keep me going and pushing for my students," said Lovell. "All students deserve the chance to show what they can learn, regardless of their circumstances."
Lovell is a member of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the National Science Teachers Association and the Georgia Science Teachers Association. She continues to apply what she learns as a member of these organizations to help her students achieve more in the classroom.