Williams got the idea of the boxes after discussing with a parent one of her students' learning troubles. She knew the student liked to collect things, so she suggested an independent study " unique for such a young learner " and the idea turned into a discovery box.
"Their charge really is to look at these objects and figure out how they're connected to the topic," Williams said. "Eventually they work like a researcher."
"This is exactly the way young researchers should be doing their research," Bailey added. "We're providing them with some rich resources and some manipulative objects."
The $4,000 grant covers the summer stipends of Williams and Bailey, and Okte has pledged to pay for any costs associated with the materials inside the boxes. Williams said that part of the grant required her to present the concept to a staff meeting at Okte, and that she looks forward to such a presentation on a districtwide level or even at a national conference.
"These boxes are really to support teachers in making sure that kids will learn," Bailey said. "This is something that is going to promote the learning goals of our school by focusing on the learner instead of the teacher