Education Matters: Fuel your School

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FRESNO COUNTY, California – A recent survey showed that teachers, on average, spend about $500 of their own money, every year on classroom supplies.

Many businesses give to our local schools, now one corporate giant has come up with a way to get the public involved in giving back by doing something we do everyday.

Things always seem to be moving in Edward Vinson and Taylor Vizthum’s electrical engineering and design classes at Edison Computech Middle School…Vinson says its all that creative energy.

“One of the things we really like to do in class if allow student to use their imagination and create new things,” said Edison Computech teacher Edward Vinson.

You can feel the excitement as students work to create new projects. Students notice the difference too.

“It makes it a lot more interesting because like in English you are told what to do and you have to do it but here you can make it up and do something you want to do and mike it so you can do it to the best of your abilities,” said student Luke Geisler.

Vinson says Fresno Unified has been great providing his class and students with the latest equipment and teaching tools, like 3D printers….but he admits that when you have students who are always wanting to make new stuff…it’s sometimes difficult coming up with the resources.

“And I was really in a bad spot when students would ask, hey Mr. Vinson, I made this cool thing can I 3-D print it and I would have to think about where I was going to get the resources for that,” said Vinson.

Vinson found his solution in DonorsChoose.org, an online non-profit where teachers can go online to post their classroom projects and the supplies needed to complete them. Individuals or companies then choose what projects they want to fund.

“Since I had my First project funded on DonorsChoose.org 7 years ago I haven’t had to tell students no you can’t make that.”

At a recent event, Vinson’s engineering design class celebrated receiving boxes of new equipment and materials for their latest project. All the resources were funded by Chevron which has teamed up with DonorsChoose.org to fund projects in Fresno County.

“All public school teachers K-12 can go online to donorschoose.Org to post an eligible project.”

Chevron, which is a new corporate partner with the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools is trying to raise $200,000 for local schools and has come up with a way the public can get involved by doing something we do everyday…put gas in our gas tank.

“People can go to any participating Chevron or Texeco Station and with every 8 or 10 Gallon fill up; Chevron will donate one dollar up to $200,000 to help fund projects for teachers in Fresno County,” said Chevron representative Megan Lopez.

The company, a huge backer of stem education has a booth at the Big Fresno Fair and is working to get the word out about it’s fuel your school program. People have until October 31 to participate….but the push is on to also get teachers to sign up.

“And we are encouraging teachers any subject to go online and post their projects to potentially get funded through the fuel your school program,” said Lopez.

The support these schools receive does have an impact. It not only provides students with extra resources, but it also shows them we care.

“It makes me feel like we are appreciated cause they would donate that stuff for us to make new things and create new things,” stated student Zhong Vang.

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