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FHS teachers win grants
Money to go toward calculators, water testing equipment

Farragut High School’s math and science departments were recently awarded $1,000 in Junior League mini-grants.

Math teacher Brenda McGrath and science teachers Jane Skinner, Michael Knapp and Dr. Marcus Randolph wrote the grants and each department was awarded $500.

McGrath said this was the first year she has applied for the grant.

“I wrote it for calculators — graphing calculators — for my Algebra I class,” she added.

Skinner, Knapp and Randolph combined their efforts in writing the grant for the science department.

“The title of the grant was ‘AHA! Aquatic Habitat Awareness,’” Skinner said.

“It was [a request] to purchase Vernier probeware to test water quality for turbidity and nitrates,” she added.

Junior League Knoxville partnered with Belk to award the grants in amounts ranging from $50 to $500.

JLK is an organization of women volunteers who strive to improve the quality of life in the community by focusing its resources on critical needs of children and families, providing a legacy of trained volunteers and building community partnerships to inspire shared solutions.

McGrath said the writing of her grant, entitled “It All Adds Up,” was pretty basic.

“You have to tell them what you need, why you need it and how much it costs,” she said.

“We had to have them turned in by the end October. They had four grant readers to read them all and then the money was awarded Tuesday [Dec. 2],” she added.

Skinner said the probeware the science department needed was to supplement equipment they already had.

“There are other things involved in testing the water quality [besides turbidity and nitrates], such as PH and temperature and oxygen content, but those were the two missing links,” she added.

McGrath said the math department’s grant will buy five of the needed calculators.

Skinner said students will benefit for many years to come from the equipment purchased with these grants.

It will give them exposure to the latest in technology as far as water quality data is concerned.

“Also, it is easy to record the data this way and keep a record over the years and see how the water quality might change, and perhaps someday to even exchange data with other schools in the area and the state,” she added.

Skinner plans to have her students test the water quality in Turkey Creek as part of an aquatic habitat laboratory experiment.

The mini-grant program is one of several community programs JLK organizes each year, including “Done in a Day,” “Hug-A-Tot,” “JLK Health Grants,” “Knox Heritage,” “Leadership Knoxville,” “The Parenting Center,” “Tennessee Advocacy and Public Awareness,” “Kids in the Kitchen” and “Character Counts,” as well as taking part in several other community activities and causes.

To donate to or join JLK, visit or call 865-584-4124.


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