AHS teacher, one of 40 statewide, awarded State Farm Teacher Assist grant

AHS Sara Hansen
Sara Hansen, AHS health science teacher

Atascocita High School health science teacher Sara Hansen has been awarded a grant worth $2,500 to help fund classroom projects geared toward preparing students for careers in the medical field. 

Hansen is one of 10 teachers across the Houston area each awarded the State Farm Teacher Assist grant. Forty recipients are selected from a pool of 200 submissions from teachers across Texas.

“Normally, these kids are in the hospitals working, but this year things have been very different due to COVID-19,” Hansen said. 

Due to the pandemic, students who typically spend three class days per week observing or shadowing in various medical clinics and hospitals have not been able to do so. Hansen fears her students are missing out on vital learning experiences. That’s why she plans to use the grant money to help enhance her classroom lessons to fill the gap.

AHS Classroom for Health Science
Hansen plans to add additional teaching tools to her health science classroom at AHS thanks to funding from her State Farm Teacher Assist grant.

“It has been difficult trying to replicate some of those patient experiences by working in the hospital,” Hansen said. “I’m planning to use the grant money on lessons to help simulate those experiences.”

Transparent Anatomical Manikin
A Transparent Anatomical Manikin in Hansen's health science classroom is used as a teaching tool for students. 

The experiences to which Hansen is referring include lab activities and exercises focused on medical procedures and treatments with the goal of certifying students to work in hospitals upon graduating.

Medical Equipment     Breathing Apparatus
Breathing appartus, medical equipment, and other medical tools used by Hansen's students during her health science classes at AHS.

Humble ISD Career and Technical Education (CTE) Director Larkin Le Sueur said the grant is beneficial to students. “COVID-19 has allowed us to explore new and innovative ways to support our CTE students,” Le Sueur said. “This grant will help elevate our efforts to prepare students for the real world once they graduate.”

Applying for the grant is a highly competitive process. Teachers across the state reached the 200-submission threshold in just 30 minutes during the latest round of qualifying.

The high demand for the grant reinforces State Farm’s commitment to education.

“We have a long history of working with teachers, educators, and students across Texas,” Felicia Hutchins, State Farm Corporate Responsibility Analyst, said. “It is important to give back and help create safer, stronger, better educated communities.”

Hansen has 20 years of experience in education. Twelve years have been with Humble ISD. For the past six years, Hansen has been teaching at AHS. Prior to that, she was an athletic trainer at Summer Creek High School. Before joining Humble ISD in 2009, Hansen was an athletic trainer at MacArthur High School in Aldine ISD.

View more about the State Farm Teacher Assist grant here.

View the complete list of Texas grant recipients here.