Thursday, April 16, 2009

West Geauga High School Teacher Recieves National Grant for Wildlife Education Projects

April 9, 2009
Submitted by: Bonnie Gruttadauria, Director of Communications, (440) 729-6802

West Geauga science teacher receives TAPESTRY grant

West Geauga High School science teacher Michael Sustin was awarded $10,000 last week in grant money from the Toyota TAPESTRY Program for excellence and innovation in science education. The TAPESTRY grant will be used to support a study of bobcat and black bear populations in three northeastern Ohio counties.

“Supporting excellent teachers who can excite and energize their students is a great way to make an impact on future generations,” said Michael Rouse, Toyota’s vice president of philanthropy and community affairs. “TAPESTRY's reach over the past 19 years has allowed countless numbers of students to be inspired by the possibilities of science education.”

Sustin’s project, The Return of Apex Predators to Northeastern Ohio, proposes to research and document the permanent residency of bobcats and black bears in three Northeastern Ohio counties and investigate methods of managing for them. It will offer students the opportunity to use real scientific inquiry skills and technology to make a difference in statewide management goals and strategies and to raise awareness and respect for successful conservation efforts. Students will interpret topographic maps and Geographic Information System technology to identify and evaluate potential habitat to use in the study. Students will put in place cutting-edge remote sensing and imaging technology to capture visual evidence of the target species without unnecessary human intrusion. Students will then be challenged to investigate, evaluate and select innovative, effective and efficient wildlife and land management strategies that will promote continued success of bobcats in black bears in the study area. Finally, students will be empowered to realize their own efficacy by publishing and presenting their research findings to supporting agencies and in community forums through printed and electronic media.

Sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and administered by the NSTA, Toyota TAPESTRY is the largest annual K-12 science teacher grant program in the United States. Award-winning projects are selected from three critical areas for today’s youth: environmental science, physical science, and science applications that promote literacy. Fifty grants of up to $10,000 are awarded each year, along with a minimum of 20 grants of up to $2,500 each. In total, Toyota awarded $550,000 in grants to 82 teachers in 2009. More than $8.5 million has been awarded to 1,064 teams of teachers throughout the program’s 19-year history.

About Toyota:
Toyota (NYSE: TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. Toyota directly employs over 36,000 in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $17 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design.

Toyota is committed to being a good corporate citizen in the communities where it does business and believes in supporting programs with long-term sustainable results. Toyota supports numerous organizations across the country, focusing on education, the environment and safety. Since 1991, Toyota has contributed more than $464 million to philanthropic programs in the U.S.

For more information on Toyota's commitment to improving communities nationwide, visit

About National Science Teachers Association:
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA's current membership includes more than 58,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives and others involved in science education.