Lilly Endowment Incorporated awarded Teacher Creativity Fellowships to two TSC teachers: Matt Carlson from Harrison High School and Michelle Sanson from Wea Ridge Middle School. The two educators are among 101 Indiana teachers who will have their proposals funded so they can renew their commitment to teaching through new experiences, exploration and reflection.
“Water, Earth, Wind and Fire: The Elements of Adventure,” is the name of Carlson’s proposal. The science teacher plans to visit the island nation of Vanuatu for four weeks to dive the wreck of the S.S. Coolidge, take a helicopter tour of an active volcano and investigate effects of global warming in the Pacific. Vanuatu is about 500 miles northeast of Australia.
“My primary goal is to explore and experience a new part of the world that is not only different culturally, but also a unique climate and geography. Not just ecological tourism, but geological tourism as well,” says Carlson. “Knowledge and personal experiences gained can then be interspersed throughout my classes as a way to spark interest in science and the world at large.”
Sanson’s project is called “Renovating and Rolling in a Skoolie.” The social studies teacher plans to renovate an old school bus and spend the summer living simply and self-sustained while traveling throughout the United States.
Sanson says her plans require her to become a student and learn new skills in carpentry, electrical, plumbing and more as she converts a 1999 GMC Bluebird short bus into her home on wheels for the summer. “I can't help but think how this will also give me a new perspective on how my students feel when faced with learning something new in my class,” Sanson says. “I plan to share this renovation journey with my students and get them excited about the progress and adventures of the bus. If students can see that an old teacher can learn something totally new, then maybe they will be encouraged to do the same.”