Homeroom Headline: Orkin Supports 75,000 Students Nationwide Through Science Challenge
Teacher Finalists of the Start With Science Innovation Challenge Awarded Funds for Classroom Supplies
ATLANTA (August 7, 2018) – Ten lucky teachers are heading back to school with a gold star and an extra $5,000 in their pockets.
To support its ongoing commitment to cultivate a curiosity and love of learning in the next generation of scientists, Orkin implemented its first-ever Start With Science Innovation Challenge, a contest that encouraged teachers to submit their most innovative insect-inspired projects to DonorsChoose.org. Of the 1,588 projects submitted, the top ten “most innovative” have been selected, by a curated panel of judges, to receive a $5,000 gift card for additional classroom needs.
“It’s important to our country’s future that we make a positive educational impact on the youth in our communities,” said Cam Glover, Managing Director Marketing, Orkin. “Our partnership with DonorsChoose.org has been a perfect fit, and we look forward to further inspiring students and teachers nationwide through our Start With Science program.”
Through the Start With Science Innovation Challenge, Orkin matched citizen donations up to $3,000 and provided $236,000 in total funds to help more than 75,000 U.S. students. An amazing 845 classroom projects were fully funded, supporting hands-on experience learning about insects, and more than 700 pre-K through high school teachers received classroom materials.
Below is a list of the top ten winners. For additional information on the individual winning projects, please visit DonorsChoose.org.
- Ms. Eskridge – Bugs in Speech, OH MY! (Mobile, AL)
- Mrs. Evans – Devastating Citrus Disease (Simpsonville, SC)
- Mr. Gumpert – Orkin Science Station: a weekly YouTube production about insects! (Los Angeles, CA)
- Mrs. Hansen – Bugs, Biomimicry, and Robots (Granby, MO)
- Mrs. Hooten – Having a Buggy, Good Time with STEM (Bedford, IN)
- Mr. Hudson – “Arachnid-man” & the New “Mut-Ants!” A Super STEAM project! (Fullerton, CA)
- Mrs. Lee – Incredible, Edible Insects: Sustainable Food for the Future! (Fremont, NH)
- Ms. Livingstone – Insect Olympics: Best in Show! (Durham, NC)
- Mrs. Miller – First Graders Learning from the Ants! (Brunswick, GA)
- Mrs. Pipes – Got Honey Bees? (Wilkesboro, NC)
From gardening projects to superhero builds to edible curriculums, creativity among submissions was in abundance. Below are the details of few of the outstanding winning entries.
Having a Buggy, Good Time with Stem
The donated magnifying glasses, bug investigation kits and bug catchers enabled Mrs. Hooten’s class to further understand the benefits of the insects in their school garden.
“My students have turned into little scientists who are insect enthusiasts,” said Mrs. Hooten. “They now understand that bugs have a purpose in our environment and they can hold conversations about investigating bugs. Since I was able to use the donated items from the project in both my fifth-grade classroom and my after-school gardening club, more than 100 students are more knowledgeable on entomology in their agricultural environment.”
“Arachnid-man” & the New “Mut-Ants!” A Super STEAM project!
Mr. Hudson’s classroom received microscopes and preserved insects/arachnids, which provided students with the opportunity to study the anatomy of bugs in order to build insect-based superhero sculptures.
“When we found out about the bug-based grant from Orkin, we had just started our project based on the films “The Fly” and “Spiderman,” said Mr. Hudson. “They were so interested in bugs, that next year we’re making large models of extinct insects and prehistoric bugs to bring to life through the animation of student machines and artwork.”
Incredible, Edible Insects: Sustainable Food for the Future!
Mrs. Lee’s class ate their way through their entomophagy curriculum with the help of their donated insect viewers and edible insect food. Mrs. Lee developed this project to teach her students about the environment, specifically Madagascar, and the challenges inhabitants have with food sources.
“My 95 students were SO behind this unit,” said Mrs. Lee. “They came to class excited about the next learning activity on insects and started recommending additional activities that we could add to our lessons. They brought in articles on insects and insect farming from out-of-the-classroom experiences and sources. This insect/entomophagy unit reinforced to students that learning can be fun, exciting and meaningful.”
DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that allows public school teachers to post requests for classroom project materials, which are fulfilled by citizen donors. Orkin formed its partnership with the organization in 2014 to put classroom materials directly in the hands of students to help children become passionate about science. To date, Orkin has donated more than $850,000 to fund projects through DonorsChoose.org.
About Orkin, LLC
Founded in 1901, Atlanta-based Orkin is an industry leader in essential pest control services and protection against termite damage, rodents and insects. The company operates more than 400 locations with almost 8,000 employees. Using a proprietary, three-step approach, Orkin provides customized services to approximately 1.7 million homeowners and businesses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe, South America, Central America, the Middle East, the Caribbean, Asia, the Mediterranean and Africa. Orkin is committed to studying pest biology and applying scientifically proven methods. The company collaborates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and eight major universities to conduct research and help educate consumers and businesses on pest-related health threats. Since 2014, Orkin’s Start with Science™ initiative has donated $850,000 to fund science and math projects in public schools across the nation. Learn more about Orkin at Orkin.com. Orkin is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rollins Inc. (NYSE: ROL). Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn.