3 Carmel teachers earn Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Program grants


Mark Ambrogi







An avid outdoorsman, Carmel High School meteorology and earth science teacher Mitch Kane has always wanted to visit Alaska.

The Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Program will allow that to happen. Kane and CHS English teacher Mary Lynne Halfmann and Carmel Middle School’s Matt Moller have earned Lilly grants. Each fellow receives a $12,000 grant to support a project of personally and professionally fulfilling activities.

“Through the Lilly Teacher Creativity Grant, my goal is to explore and research glaciers in Alaska and to confer with colleagues and residents there on the climate change theories I regularly discuss in class,” said Kane, in his 32nd year teaching in Carmel. “Sometime in June or July 2017, I will be traveling along the Inside Passage between Vancouver and Anchorage to observe, explore and study the unique features of the remaining massive ice sheets. While visiting towns and experiencing the surrounding culture, I will gain insight along the way through discussions, photographs and personal journal entries.”

Halfmann will attend a writing class in Wales and study family history in Wales and Scranton, Pa.,

“My vision for this fellowship will enable me to follow through with my writing dreams by giving me the material I need to include in my stories,” Halfmann said. “As an educator, this opportunity will enrich my teaching of writing by giving me the material to write – showing the connections of life and embracing cultures and the depths of who we are through our writing.”

Moller’s grant proposal was titled “If Ezra Meeker Could Do It, Why Can’t I?” Meeker (1830-1928) was the first pioneer to go west by wagon train along the Oregon Trail and ride cross-country by train, automobile and airplane.

Moller’s plans are to travel coast-to-coast on as many different forms of transportation as possible.

“As a science teacher and history buff, I’ve always been fascinated with how quickly human transportation has evolved over the last 150 years,” Moller said. “A NASA poster on my classroom wall depicts all the ways transportation has changed over time, starting with horse-drawn wagon, trains, steam engines, cars, airplanes, etc., and centerpieces rockets with space exploration.”

Among Moller’s goals are to interview astronauts, museum curators, engineers and specialists in the field of transportation to discuss the STEM background needed to be successful in these varied career fields and produce a GoPro motion video documentary showing all the forms of transportation experienced.


Leave A Reply