Browning Road Elementary teacher vying for $100,000 educational grant

MCFARLAND, Calif. - Farmers Insurance announced today that Valerie Perez of Browning Road Elementary School in McFarland has been named a finalist for a $100,000 educational grant from Farmers and now the public gets to decide the winning proposals.

Perez plans to create a STEAM-focused 3D printing program centered on creating 3D optical illusions as part of a community education program. The program, starting at Browning Road Elementary will begin with fourth and fifth grade students using virtual reality software and cardboard mockups to design the optical illusions. Students in kindergarten to third grade will discuss the illusions and learn why they work.

Following the creations of the illusions, the work will will then be submitted to a local high school welding class that will fabricate the illusions in metal. The optical illusions will be displayed in the local city park.

Finalists’ proposals are currently available for public voting. America's votes are from October 4 through November 3 and will determine who will receive the $100,000 educational grants. On December, five proposals with the most votes will each win one of the five grants.

Perez's third grade class was recently chosen as one of 10 winners in the AT&T Digital Storytelling Challenge.

The students at Browning Road had a project "Steam for a Need" where they created prosthetic hands and eyeglasses through the use of a 3D printer, they were chosen out of 870 projects throughout 46 states.

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