Grant money will help local teachers develop their math curriculum and provide science kits for kids.
Both are related to the University of Illinois' Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid, a center housed at the university.
A $280,000 grant from the Illinois State Board of Education will create a two-year program for Champaign school district teachers, using educational materials developed by the center.
Plus, a $2,000 grant from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Chicago section allow the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid to create six to eight science kits to be kept at the Mahomet Public Library.
The kits will allow students, teachers and parents to create their own power systems. They'll include a model wind farm, Snap Circuits, electric motor investigations, electrostatic explorations and hand-cranked generator activities. They will be able to be checked out by any of the 594 libraries that are part of the Illinois Heartland Library System
"We want to engage students at an early age by using science and math as key tools for describing and understanding big ideas. We also hope that some students might consider engineering related careers," said Jana Sebestik, the center's education coordinator. "By showing kids how math and science matter in the real world, they are more likely to understand how cool and exciting they really are."
The grant for teachers will help them create secondary math curriculum based on the Common Core State Standards. The program is a partnership among the school district, the UI College of Education Center for Math, Science and Technology Education, PowerWorld and the Orpheum Children's Science Museum in Champaign.