Sparklight awards Popp’s Ferry Elementary $3,000

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Biloxi, Mississippi – Schools and organizations serving K-12 students in communities across the 21 states served by Sparklight recently had the opportunity to win $3,000 to fund their STEM (science, technology, engineering or math) project or club as part of the internet service provider’s annual “Dream Bigger” social media campaign.

Among the five winners is Popp’s Ferry Elementary School in Biloxi, which plans to use the winning funds to further its goal of building a collaborative and comprehensive meteorological sensing station throughout the school’s campus.

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The project includes a weatherboard with meteorological sensors and gauges to be placed near the special needs classroom so students can track current weather conditions as classes move around campus. This weatherboard will be sensory driven to ensure special needs students have the visual and tactile stimuli to keep them engaged. An advanced weather system, connected by WiFi and powered by solar panels, will be located above the gifted classroom so students can monitor weather conditions in real time. Students will implement a flag system for teachers and coaches to know when significant weather phenomena are in the vicinity or if the heat index is too high for activities.

“Popp’s Ferry Elementary is so thankful for this prestigious opportunity sponsored by Sparklight,” said Crystal James, secretary of Popp’s Ferry who submitted the nomination. “Our innovative and collaborative approach to weather technology and earth sciences will enable our students of all abilities to participate and learn in the same environment. By creating this environment, we are encouraging our students to dream bigger, strive harder and diminish barriers while forming an archway to an amazing world of science, technology, engineering, art and math.”

Popp’s Ferry Elementary School was one of 10 finalists selected by Sparklight; the five winners were determined by public voting.

“Sparklight is committed to giving back to the communities we serve and we’re proud to be a part of the Biloxi community,” said Greg Capranica, Sparklight General Manager in Biloxi. “We look forward to seeing what the Popp’s Ferry students are able to accomplish with this meteorology initiative.”

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