Calling AZ Teachers: Create Lesson Plan, Win Cash!by Jim Gressinger on Feb. 03, 2013, under Uncategorized
(My friend, Randi Ballassai, works at the Arizona Experience Store, my favorite resource for all things Arizona. They have created a contest for full-time AZ teachers. As I am a big fan of teachers, I want to pass this along. If you have a favorite AZ teacher, please share this with him or her.)
Unrolled on Arizona’s hundredth birthday, the Arizona Experience website is offering a gift for the 101st: up to $25,000 in cash prizes to Arizona teachers. February is Arizona History Month and the Imagine Arizona Lesson Plan Contest invites teachers of grades 4–12 to create original lesson plans or enhance an existing original lesson plan using Arizona Experience material. (Download flyer.)
Educators have a great opportunity to redefine learning with a fun, immersive platform on the leading edge of web technology. If you’re a full time teacher of grades 4 through 12 at any accredited public, private, charter, alternative, or tribal school, you can exercise your creativity in the classroom while engaging your students with exciting interactive content from the Arizona Experience website that appeals to learners of any age.
The Arizona Experience is an online reference established to commemorate 100 years of statehood. The site features thousands of multimedia assets, including current and historic photographs, interactive timelines, audio and video clips. One of the site’s most touted assets is the extensive list of original interactive maps. Dedicated maps featuring Arizona biomes, ancient volcanoes, historic mining towns, cultural and recreational sites, and more bring Arizona’s towns and landscapes to your fingertips and provide a compelling platform for geographic exploration.
In an era of digital media, it is essential to bring this technology into the classroom. Students who encounter this form of learning will not only build a solid foundation for further education, but they will be better prepared to enter the twenty-first century workforce with the skills needed to excel in an information-based economy.
A dedicated Teachers’ Center provides a content guide that helps educators easily find material with high classroom potential. Lesson plans approved by the Arizona Department of Education accompany some topics. The Student Resources page offers a list of maps, timelines, games and videos that can be worked into a lesson or can give students a chance to learn on their own. This free resource is available to anyone, anytime. At the same time, it is a work in progress, and is seeking your ideas for subjects and sources to best serve the people of Arizona.
To encourage educators to use this exciting new resource in their classrooms, the Arizona Experience will award $3,000 to the winning lesson plan submitted by an individual and $6,000 to the winning lesson plan submitted by a team of two or more, with substantial awards for second prize, third prize, and honorable mentions in both categories. Prizes are funded by a grant from Microsoft Research.
Participants can choose from any of the hundreds of The Arizona Experience images, videos, interviews, interactive maps, historic time lines, and oral histories to use individually or in any combination they wish. Use of outside resources, including citizen science data or building on state or national events is encouraged. Lesson plans must be classroom-tested prior to submission to the contest. Details and application form can be found on the Imagine Arizona Lesson Plan Contest page of the Arizona Experience. All entries must be received by 5:00 pm on Sunday, March 10, 2013. Winning curriculum will be publicized on the Teachers’ Center.
Rowena Davis, content manager for the Arizona Experience, hopes the contest will provide insight on how educators use the site, which can be used to shape material to better fit curricula. “We want to create the best online reference possible to help inspire Arizona’s students to contribute to the ongoing story of the Arizona Experience,” she said.