Lemoore High School Science Department notified of water study grant from Donors Choose

By Ed Martin, Editor
Lemoore High School Science Department notified of water study grant from Donors Choose

Lemoore High School's science department is expecting a significant gift in the fall when students return after their abbreviated COVID-19 spring semester.

The "gift" comes courtesy of Donors Choose, a national philanthropic organization that since 2000 has vetted and fulfilled over 1.3 million classroom projects ranging from butterfly cocoons to robotics kits to books. This latest classroom "gift" is an Innovation Lab that students will use to study the use of water in the Valley.

This year's gift comes courtesy of the hard work put in by longtime Lemoore High School Librarian Catherine Zaharris and Craig Manges, one of the school's talented science teachers.

"I was invited to apply for the grant by Donors Choose," said Zaharris, who has previously worked with the teacher-led organization. "Only certain Donors Choose participants were offered this grant opportunity. I asked Craig Manges to write the grant for the Science Department."

Zaharris said Lemoore High School, over the last few years, has had 20 projects funded by Donors Choose, totaling over $15,000 in books and equipment. "I am an ambassador for this organization and available to help any teacher who would like to start using Donors Choose to get free materials for their classrooms."

Manges hit the right notes with his innovative proposal. The school and Zaharris were notified of their win this week, and the Lemoore science teacher's proposal is expected to come to fruition in the fall when Donors Choose ships the project's needs.

The project, an innovation lab, will serve as a "conduit to approach water management techniques" using Artificial Intelligence and machine learning, drones, and robotics, among other tools.

In a narrative provided by Manages, he said that "water is a critical component of life in the Central Valley. Water scarcity is becoming a critical issue valley wide, from agricultural use to water availability."

He said his classes would use the entire campus as sort of a lab. The main project, or theme of the "Innovation Lab," would initially be focused on water availability and use. 

Manges explained that while using the technologies available in the Innovation Lab, students would be tasked with using remote sensors, drones, and robots to monitor soil water content and moisture levels. The data might be used to design new irrigation systems, test designs in simulations, and possibly field test pilot projects on small scale plots on its campus.


Lemoore High School Science Department notified of water study grant from Donors Choose

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