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Science Teacher Receives Voya Unsung Heroes Grant

Imani Bunn receives the Voya Unsung Heroes grant from Brian Libich of Voya Financial

Imani Bunn, a science teacher at Providence Cristo Rey High School, has received a $2,000 Voya Unsung Heroes grant, which will fund an inquiry-based research project for her Ecology classes. Voya Financial, Inc. is a leading provider of workplace retirement solutions, including savings plans for K-12 educators.

Through the Voya Unsung Heroes program, Voya Financial awards grants to K-12 educators nationwide to honor their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence their students. Selected from a group of more than 1,200 applicants, Ms. Bunn is one of only 100 grant winners across the country.

The $2,000 grant will fund the materials needed for Ms. Bunn's Ecology classes' semester research projects. All Ecology students will be able to select a model organism and design an experiment from scratch. Model organism choices include sea snails, betta fish, earthworms, quick growing plants, goldfish, and pill bugs. Through this project, Ms. Bunn hopes to instill relevant skills relating to research, hypothesis formulation, scientific methods and data analysis, all of which are lifelong learning behaviors that can be translated beyond the classroom.

In addition to the model organisms, the Voya Unsung Heroes grant will also cover the costs of two projection microscopes, an incubator, and student presentation materials.

"Because of this grant, we now have the ability to provide a meaningful research project experience to every one of our Ecology students," says Ms. Bunn. "I am excited that they will be able to design their experiment from scratch and have a wide variety of model organisms to choose from. This project will help them develop the kind of process thinking and analysis skills they will need in college."

Principal Leslie Napora praised Ms. Bunn's approach to teaching, saying, "She works hard to ensure her courses are engaging and innovative. Her lessons really focus on the concepts and process of scientific thinking, which are skills that students will take with them beyond high school."

Providence Cristo Rey is proud to have Ms. Bunn among our excellent teaching staff!

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