Thank you to all the teachers and staff who are willing to try a creative approach, to risk doing things a new way, and to challenge themselves and their students! Our thanks to the all the teachers and staff who brought projects to us and allowed us to support innovation in teaching and learning.
We are now accepting applications for our Fall 2016 grant cycle. Please fill out our application (click on the button to the right or here) and also see our FAQ. Applications are due November 14th!
Congratulations! You have been awarded a grant. What you need to know.
- Sign and have your principal sign the Grant Acceptance Agreement.
- Read our Grant Application and Implementation Guidelines. This should answer all your questions.
- To request your grant funds, use the Check Request Form.
- Make sure you let your students, parents,colleagues, and administration know about your grant.
- Take pictures. We love photos!
- Give your students a Certificate of Participation (for younger children) (contact us for PDF).
We currently are funding the following grants in the 2015-2016 school year:
- StarLab Portable Planetarium – Providing an in-school planetarium experience to all third-graders;
- High School Engineering – With this grant, we purchased equipment for a fabrication lab for the new course “Principles of Engineering” ;
- Integrating Math & Computers using Pro-Bots – This grant will fund a program utilizing Pro-Bots, benefiting all fifth-graders, to integrate mathematics and computer programming.
Excellence in Education Program
Change Through Chocolate
Matthew Fleck, Community (expanded to Grover) – Read More
The goal of Change Through Chocolate is to fuse curricula across grade levels and content areas, providing students with a real-world learning experience surrounding the theme of custom-made chocolates to potentially be sold as a fundraising effort. Student teams will select an organization or cause that they would like to support. Teams will then design custom chocolates and packaging that could be sold to help raise money for their selected organization or cause. The proposed activities (outlined below) encompass a variety of scenarios in which students will be self-directed as they use critical thinking skills, collaboration, effective communication and problem solving strategies.
Students will design custom-made chocolates for an organization or cause to sell as a fundraiser. Teams will manage and construct everything from the shape of the chocolates to the color scheme of the package to the nutritional facts of their final product. Teams will also collaborate with a variety of content areas to receive expert advice on particular topics.
History Really is Alive!
Lisa Stamile, Special Education, Millstone River – Read More
Students will dress up in historical costumes to perform skits they have written to re-enact famous events from early American history. This will help them to experience the social studies curriculum on another level. They would practice their skills in being an effective communicator while collaborating with their classmates in writing and performing the skits. It will help students to develop an understanding of multiple perspectives and give them a connection to the past. Students in special education would practice their speech and language goals while building confidence in their communication skills.
Modeling the Molecular World
Katherine Heavers, HS South (expanded to HS North) – Read More
Having recently attended the National Association of Biology Teachers national convention in Providence, RI, I attended a workshop given by two scientists from the Center for Bio-Molecular Modeling of the Milwaukee School of Engineering. The physical models with which they provided us for use in the class were phenomenal. Many were 3D printed models of different tertiary and quaternary level proteins. In addition, we were provided with (not to keep, unfortunately) incredible 30 models for teaching and learning the process of DNA replication. They also make a model of transcription and translation. Models of these three processes are available in one kit called “Flow of Genetic Information.”
My project is quite simple: using the materials of this remarkable company, I would like to provide my students with a hands-on, kinesthetic experience of both replicating DNA and of transcription and translation into the structure of a protein.
The goal is to bring DNA to life for the students. The activities will be the students using the models to learn these detailed and complex molecular processes. The expected results are a deeper and more thorough understanding of DNA and the way it codes for life.
CMS Maker Ambassador Maker Fridays
Rebecca McLelland-Crawley, Community – Read More
The Maker Ambassador Makerspace Maker Fridays will help foster creative problem solving and and
student-driven inquiry in our students. The open source projects on the littleBits site will enable our
Maker Ambassadors to help other budding engineers on the development of their own creations, like
bubble blowing machines and handmade keytars. The materials for the makerspace will enrich the
school curriculum with hands-on maker projects and activities linked to the engineering practices of
the Next Generation Science Standards. The student will be encouraged to present their inventions in
a school maker faire and record their inventions through a video blog to share with the community.
All of the kits are small, sturdy, and require very little maintenance or storage space. The Maker
Ambassadors program at CMS currently has over 100 students enrolled. These students self-select
this enrichment track and design their own engineering projects throughout the school year. They
also serve as the creativity ambassadors for the school and work with students and teachers alike
spreading the maker mindset. The students plan monthly sessions called Maker Fridays, where
anyone in the school community can come explore, play, and build. Stanford University’s design
thinking model serves as the overarching framework for the Maker Ambassador program. Teachers
and students alike will be trained on circuits and electricity activities by engaging with the littleBits
and Makey Makey boards and the makerspace will serve as a hub for creative design for all students.
Students can also engage in basic programming with our robot friends, Dot and Dash, by coding
specific tasks in robot challenges.
Innovative Problem Solvers
Rachel Farrow, Village – Read More
The use of picture books in math is an incredible way to engage learners of all ages. The level of discussion around a character solving a mathematical problem is exciting and the solutions tend to more creative. The problems that lie within the story are rich and children find connections that reach farther than a just a word problem on a page. Incorporating text during math instruction can be implemented to introduce a new math topic, to pose a problem and solution scenario, as an independent math-learning center, or to even use as a writing model.
Carol Murphy, Village – Read More
Mountain Math Kits are colorful, year-round, supplemental, spiral review programs. Mountain Math reviews the concepts taught at each specific grade level. Mountain Math allows you to review and preview concepts on a weekly basis or more often if you prefer. Mountain Math kits include enough concept cards to provide adequate review throughout the year. The concept cards are printed on the highest quality card stock available. Instructions and concept sheets are also included.
Lorraine Sieben and Lori Hicks, Community and HS North – Read More
A collaborative project between tenth grade and eighth grade in which students will work together on crafting and appreciating every aspect of poetry. The culminating activity will be a mini festival which will be hosted by the Geraldine Dodge foundation with poets from the Tri-State area.
Podcasting at Village
Stacey Lindes, Village – Read More
There is an emphasis in education for students to find their voice and share their message. Podcasts are an increasing popular way for students, teachers and others to share their ideas, passions and experiences with a larger, more global and connected audience. With the equipment purchased, students and teachers will be able to share their ideas through podcasting. Activities will include pull out sessions during lunch and recess time where students can script and record their podcasts. Podcast content can range from book reviews to interviews to shows sharing the happenings at Village. Students will gain confidence in their written and oral communication skills as they prepare and practice writing scripts and recording their voices for their podcast.
A 21st Century Environment Creates Engaged, Self-Directed Learners
Beth Mansfield, Town Center – Read More
Our goal is to create a classroom environment that promotes student choice and 21st Century Competencies. Students would be able to choose from a variety of different seating arrangements throughout the day to promote engagement, creativity and problem-solving. This flexible environment will allow our students to complete all activities with more choice and collaboration. As teachers, it will also allow us to explore different modes in presenting the curriculum in order to ensure greater engagement and success for our students.
Overall, we are expecting our students to become more flexible and self-directed learners who are able to advocate for themselves and make choices that maximize their learning potential.