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"Making reading and math more engaging"

Reading and math just got more fun and engaging at George Nettels Elementary School, thanks to a USD 250 Foundation teacher grant.

The grant — one of 26 awarded to teachers throughout the school district this year to expand learning opportunities —  was led by Natalie Vanderbeck and Lacey O'Brien, who teach Title I reading and math.

They used the funding to purchase 60 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) kits from Pitsco Education and made them available to all students and their families at Spring Family Night Thursday.

All three kits begin with a story, move on to a quick creative challenge, and end with two follow-up engineering challenges.

With “The Dot,” students follow along as a young girl learns what creativity means to her.

With “Not a Box,’ students explore boxes and how much more they can be than simply a box. 

With “How to Code a Sandcastle,” students are introduced to the concepts of coding as the main character gets help from a robot to build a sandcastle. 

“Our goal is to involve families more. They’ll do one of three activities here tonight, and then take the kits home to do additional related activities,” Vanderbeck said.

Reading and math are subjects with which many students often struggle.

"These kits help us break down barriers and make reading and math  more fun, more engaging," she said.



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