Ideas to Impact: Your Gifts at Work! 
STEM Fridays
  • $36,000 STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) Grant for 'Engineering is Elementary' kits. 
  • 2nd - 5th grade rotate through hands-on learning units on Fridays
  • Taught by the PACE (Program for Academic Challenge and Enrichment) Specialists at each elementary school.
  • The turnkey kits include a cultural and language arts component, as well as all materials needed for each lesson, tied to the new STEM Standards and Core Curriculum.
"I like it because we don't just sit at our desks." "I like it because we build things." "I like trying to figure out how to make it work." "I like it because we work with other kids."
This is what elementary students say about 'STEM Fridays,' using the turnkey Engineering is Elementary kits purchased by PCEF. The STEM Friday units are a stand-alone class taught by the PACE Specialists which begin with a story to introduce vocabulary, basic concepts and a cultural background. Then, the students go to work!
The units, typically 3 - 5 weeks long, are engaging and fun!  Second graders become mechanical engineers with an assignment to make a rocket car. Fifth graders become transportation engineers tasked with making MagLev trains modeled after Japanese trains using magnets.

Parley's Park 2nd grade teacher Stacey Harris said of the most recent
lesson, "I was thrilled to see all the students so engaged! I have one group of boys who are usually the hardest to keep on track. They were so excited to make their rocket cars and stuck with the task until completion with minimal help and none of the usual cajoling. One of the boys took the design a step further than anyone else in the class by adding his own unique and innovative touch...a sail. He just happens to be my student who struggles the most on formal testing and reading. He definitely was a shining star that day and beamed as he proudly set his rocket car sailing across the floor!"

PACE Specialists impact every child at our elementary schools.  Check out a PACE Specialist's Schedule, here.
  • STEM  - Science Technology Engineering and Math - is one of PCEF's six areas of interest for program funding
  • Some STEM programs we support:
    • STEM Fridays through Engineering is Elementary kits
    • Engineering is Elementary kits for Afterschool program
    • Robotics throughout the District
    • PACE Specialists  - first year funding
    • Science Fairs, including start of District Science Fair in 2011
    • Science Specialist at Jeremy Ranch
    • Leadership Student Technology Clubs/Classes at Ecker, Treasure and PCHS
    • District STEM Coordinator
    • PCCAPS
    • Ecker Garden
  • Together with our donors, we funded over $100,000 in STEM programs last year
McPolin wins Beat the Call Highest Participation Contest 
Thanks to parent gifts we will be able to fund programs like STEM Fridays, PCCAPS, art, robotics, science fairs, innovative teacher grants, and more at our schools!  This year the participation of PCEF donors increased at every single school!  Congratulations McPolin Elementary for getting the highest participation and winning $2,500 from The UPS Stores Park City! 

Becky Giauque, The UPS Stores, and Abby Funabiki, PCEF, presenting McPolin's check!
Photo Credit: Jake Shane, The Park Record
Live PC Give PC Results
Our community came together and donated to schools during Live PC Give PC!  Donations supported school programs at each school from the Park City High School Band to the Ecker Hill Garden Project!  Vinto donated 20% of sales to school Live PC Give PC projects on school specific nights.  They also awarded $1,000, $750, and $500 bonuses to McPolin, Trailside, and Jeremy Ranch respectively for having the most participation on their nights. Thank you Vinto!
EVA Kite-Flying Day
Snow couldn't stop the joy of kite-flying day at Parley's Park, Trailside and McPolin, as the culmination of the EVA (Elementary Visual Art) project for November. The art was inspired by the beautiful giant kites of Guatemala!

The EVA program is a collaboration with PCEF and the Kimball Art Center. PCEF donors provide the funding, and the Kimball provides the curriculum and instructors, so 1500 students receive professional monthly art lessons!

To see more photos visit the PCEF Facebook Page 
Teacher Spotlight - DeEtte Earl
  • Parley's Park PACE (Program for Academic Challenge and Enrichment) Specialist
  • Teacher for 27 years, 9 at PPES/District
  • Master's Degree in Gifted Education, Endorsements in ESL, Gifted Education, Technology, and almost done with STEM
  • Piano is one of her passions
"I always knew I would be a teacher," says Parley's Park PACE Specialist DeEtte Earl. "I loved school. I would round up all the neighborhood kids to play school. I grew up playing piano and thought I would be a music teacher. I got so sick of practicing all the time as a piano major; I wanted to do something totally different. So I got my degree in in Education with a certificate for K-8. I taught 5th and 6th in the Jordan School District for 18 years."
Originally from Park City (she graduated from Park City High,) she and her husband wanted to come back. "He wanted to have horses and cows, so nine years ago we moved to Kamas and I started teaching 5th grade at Parley's." She received her Master's in Gifted Education in 2002. "My son was gifted, and he was a handful! He wasn't challenged at school, and I wanted to learn more about that.
"Once I received my Gifted Masters Degree, it changed my entire outlook on teaching. I actually felt guilty that I hadn't been doing enough for all of my students. I hadn't known how to differentiate. My teaching expanded to better serve all students and all learners, being more aware of everyone's individual learning needs. I feel every child deserves to make a year's growth."
DeEtte became the second Gifted Specialist in the District in 2011, and then the Parley's PACE Specialist last year. "As the PACE Specialist, I help each teacher with their kids who already know the materials being taught for that math or language arts unit. I can go into the material with more depth and offer more critical thinking and problem solving to the unit."
Every elementary PACE Specialist teaches the STEM Friday lessons at their school. When asked about the difference that makes, DeEtte says, "We have the materials because of the Ed Foundation purchasing the Engineering is Elementary kits. The lessons include everything like beakers and eyedroppers, which we don't have funds for or time to buy and track down. The kits include the lesson plans, the cultural stories; otherwise the lesson would be watered down. I can do it all at once over and over, rather than each individual teacher having to do it. And the lessons align with the Core Science and Language Arts standards."
When asked about the best part of teaching, DeEtte says, "There are two things I love. When a student says, 'This is hard!' It's just above what they are capable of doing, and then it pushes them to the next level. They get pushed out of their comfort zone. And, then that epiphany moment, 'Oh I get it now!' They know they've just learned something. That's what it's all about, facilitating their learning."
DeEtte still loves to play piano and do anything outdoors with her family. She is enjoying her first grandchild!

Teacher Spotlight - Meghan Zarnetske
  • Treasure Mountain Junior High Instructional Coach since 2014
  • Taught 9th grade Earth Science at Treasure from 2007 - 2013
  • Graduate degrees in Geology and Education, is a National Board Certified Teacher, Endorsements in ESL and Technology, is working on her Administration License
  • Solo runs Running with Ed every year (38 miles!)
"Teaching has always been a theme in my life, even when I thought I would have a different career," says Treasure Mountain Instructional Coach Meghan Zarnetske. "I've always loved science and the outdoors. I went to college to be a scientist, and even got a Masters in Geology. I taught labs to incoming freshman, and really liked it. I was in a job interview with a major oil and gas company, and I walked out because I just realized that I needed to teach."
She went to the Graduate Program at The Teton Science School, and loved every minute. "It was experiential education. I took classes in ecology and geology and then would teach school groups. After, I became the Education Director at the Ogden Nature Center, teaching groups of 90 kids at a time. I knew I wanted to do this and be able to make it sustainable for me. So I went to the U and got my Master's in Education. I decided to come to Park City because working where you can see trails and mountains is so cool. The 9th grade Earth Science position was open at Treasure, and they held it open for me until I finished my student teaching, in March of 2007.
"I did my student teaching in Rose Park, and had an entire class of English Language Learners. I loved them, but it was a real struggle to engage them. I was shocked when I came up here and gave the first assignment and the kids just did it! There were all these resources and I thought, do you even need me? Of course, student needs changed; they are diverse and beautiful and need us. I had to be incredibly intentional with everything I planned giving students everything they needed to master the subject. It's really facilitating learning, rather than 'instructing.'
"That's a big part of what I do in my job now as an Instructional Coach. Think of it like a sports coach. I assist teachers in providing the best instructional practice so that all students can find their fullest potential.
"The grant from PCEF for the TMJH After-School Homework Club is making such a difference. I have 25 9th graders that are ID'd at risk, based on attendance, social and emotional stuff; they struggle with school success. My primary focus is to give them 3 90-minute sessions after school where they are supported, where the kids know they have people committed to their success. They are so empowered by it, two are now making honor roll. They are setting an example. And I love having kids again! I miss that as an Instructional Coach."
Meghan loves doing anything outdoors. She has run six 100-mile races, "but I really can't swim!" Every year she takes a group of TMJH 9th graders to The Teton Science School during the February break for one week of incredible experiential learning!
Golden Apple Sponsors:

  Park City Education Foundation | 435-615-0235 |