2011 Innovative Teaching Grant

The Puyallup Valley Branch of American Association of University Women is pleased to announce we have awarded the 2011 Innovative Teaching Grant to:

          Denise Thompson – Science Department Chair and AP Biology Instructor
          Orting High School, Orting, WA

Denise Thompson being presented the 2011 Innovative Teaching Grant by Florence Vining, Innovative Teaching Grant Committee member

      Denise and her students will use the grant money to continue research on Debris Flows and Forest Succession at Mount Rainier National Park.  The students will analyze data on Mt Rainier forest succession in debris flows collected over the last four years and apply it to debris flows of an unknown age to propose the ages of these flows.  Their goal is to submit a paper on their findings to a peer reviewed high school research journal and present their project at the WA State Science and Engineering Fair.  The results of their research will also be shared with Mt Rainier Park.
       Denise is a 2001 recipient of the Puyallup Valley Branch Scholarship for graduates of Pierce College with plans to continue their education.  The scholarship helped Denise to graduate from Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA.  Denise has also been twice nominated as a mentor by Orting High School STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students who have been recognized by the Puyallup Valley Branch as outstanding junior female technology students.
     Congratulations to Denise and her students on this innovative research project.
     Puyallup Valley AAUW’s Innovative Teaching Grants are given to teachers (K – 12) for innovative projects that extend classroom enrichment and instruction, provide opportunities not available with regular district funds and will benefit a maximum number of students.  Proposals are also evaluated on equity issues and assisting girls in developing increased interest and skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Since the grants were first awarded in 1996,  we have given nearly $15,000 in Grants.  They have been given to 43 teachers with the potential to improve the quality of education for a minimum of 12,550 students.  In reality an uncounted number of students have benefited since many grants impacted multiple classrooms over multiple years.