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AEP grant supports astronomical learning at Texarkana school

May 19, 2021

Students use binoculars purchased with an AEP Teacher Vision Grant to view the moon, planets and other objects in the night sky. Photo courtesy of Texas High School in Texarkana.

SHREVEPORT, La., May 19, 2021 – An AEP Teacher Vision Grant from Southwestern Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) will enable students at one Texarkana school the opportunity to get a better view of the night sky.

Nathan Upchurch, a science teacher at Texas High School in Texarkana, Texas, received $500 to purchase 10 large-aperture binoculars for his students to find and observe the moon, planets, and other objects in the solar neighborhood, as well as understand how lenses work. The binoculars complement previous grant purchases of a telescope and scientific books.

“Binoculars from the grant will give students a vision of objects in the ever-changing night sky, and the books have allowed students a vision of past scientific discoveries and collaboration to solve issues facing society,” Upchurch said. “These grants over the years of at least $5,000 have given students outstanding opportunities to learn in various ways from reading scientific books to laboratory experiences unique to our campus.”

Offered through SWEPCO’s parent company, American Electric Power (AEP), the AEP Teacher Vision Grant program provides aid ranging from $100 to $500 to classroom teachers.

“These grants are designed to reward the talents and creativity of Pre-K through grade 12 educators devoted to motivating youth to think creatively, to step into leadership roles and to address the challenges of the future,” said Jennifer Harland, SWEPCO External Affairs manager in Texarkana.

Educators who live or teach in the AEP service area or in communities with major AEP facilities are eligible to apply for the mini-grants.  Projects that have an academic focus and a goal of improving student achievement are eligible for consideration. AEP has a special interest in science, mathematics, technology, electrical safety and the balanced study of energy and the environment. 

Each year, the AEP Teacher Vision Grant program awards up to $70,000 across the 11 states served by AEP utility companies.

For more information on the AEP Teacher Vision Grant program and other AEP education initiatives, see www.aep.com/go/education.

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