PCMS teachers receive grants

Published 6:35 pm Thursday, December 22, 2011

Polk County Middle School teachers Jeanne Burgin and Dr. Bob Pettis hold up certificates for the grants they received recently from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. (photo submitted by Bob Pettis and Jeanne Burgin)

Polk County Middle School teachers Jeanne Burgin and Dr. Bob Pettis recently received grants from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
Burgin’s grant, “Cultural Bridges, Ancient and Modern,” supports a project to link students to countries around the world. The students have been participating in a postcard exchange classroom project designed to help bridge the gaps between cultures. So far, they have corresponded with Russia, Thailand, Holland, China, Canada, Finland and Poland.
This grant will enable the students to create a labyrinth in conjunction with the postcard exchange for the school and community to enjoy.
The labyrinth is an ancient form that has bridged cultures, religions and the hero’s journey over thousands of years, and it is a path that stands as a metaphor for the journey of the human spirit.
Students will learn about the Pythagorean theorem, as well as various forms of geography as they build the stone structure.
Pettis’s grant, “Up, Up and Away,” makes it possible for all students in the seventh grade to learn about, build and launch paper hot air balloons in a week-long integrated study. Students in math class will learn how to use triangles to calculate the distance the balloons travel up into the air.
In social studies, class students will learn about the part hot air balloons played throughout history. In language arts class, students will keep a journal in which they will write about their week-long experience.
During science class, students will construct paper hot air balloons. On the last day of the project, students will launch their hot air balloons in the morning and then gather in the auditorium in the afternoon to watch the animated movie “Up.”
– article submitted by Bob Pettis and Jeanne Burgin