WASHINGTON, Ill. -- Many students develop a hobby, skill, or art for which they're passionate, but they don't always get a chance to explore that skill during school time.
This week's One Class at a Time winner is giving her students a chance to nurture their passion.
Students in Melissa Davidson's class at Beverly Manor Middle School are working on “passion projects" for the first time this school year.
"They have big dreams of wanting to do planets, mobiles, and robots, and we have things like paper towel rolls to try to do those things with," explained Davidson.
Now Davidson is getting some money to help buy passion project supplies.
"My passion project is a website,” said Brailynn Porter, a fourth grader in Davidson’s class. “So far, I've been making posts and trying to present it."
"It's a robot. It doesn't move, but we used, like, materials out of cardboard," said Lukas Virgil, another fourth grader.
Once their projects are finished, the students talk about them to classmates.
One student says there are other reasons they like Davidson as a teacher.
"She hands out these cat paws to good kids and we get free time Friday," said Aubrey Hunter, another classmate.
Davidson says the passion project is another way to help improve student learning.
"I'm really stunned, I can't believe that we won,” said Davidson. “I'm really thankful and very appreciative.”