Learning grants by SRP 2017-18 recipients

This year, 28 schools were selected through evaluators and the committee to receive a learning grant. All areas of the Valley are represented including Springerville and Casa Grande.

SRP will fund the following projects for a total of $127,353. A variety of STEM/STEAM projects will be supported, ranging from robotics to lab equipment.

Elementary schools (14)

  • Rudy G. Bologna Elementary (Chandler) – $5,000. The grant provides funds to purchase 12 Vex Robots, curriculum and competition arenas to support and enhance STEM instruction. VEX IQ, a robot building system and platform, transforms STEM learning for students and teachers. The companion curriculum aligns 12 flexible units to the common core, next generation science, and technological literacy standards. The final project is a team challenge where students have an opportunity to compete and experience the inspiration, excitement, and learning that comes from participating in the teamwork, programming skills, and robot skills challenges. The STEM research project challenges the team to explore, develop and organize a topic of interest related to the STEM theme for the season and share their findings in a four-minute presentation to event judges.
  • Christ the King Elementary (Mesa) – $5,000. Funds will be used for the development of a beginners robotics elective for fifth to eighth-grade students. The recent success of their FIRST Lego Robotics team has generated interest in teachers, students, and parents in a more structured STEM curriculum at the school. Using the LEGO Mindstorm EV3 Core kit, the science teacher and STEM professional volunteers will run a semester long course on beginners robotics topics. These topics will include basic concepts such as building and use of simple machines, motors and sensors, programming using the EV3, and applied mathematics used in the design and construction of robots. The goal of this elective is to increase interest and awareness in STEM topics, problem solving acumen, and provide a new and exciting curriculum.
  • Desert Cove Elementary (Phoenix) – $5,000. This project will be used to create both in-class and after-school STEM opportunities for students to explore and learn different aspects of STEM. A variety of items will be purchased covering engineering, energy, robotics, and various other science concepts. Students will collaborate with partners to explore, create, and share. They will share ideas, gather information and problem-solve as they plan, build, modify, and present their findings and creations. The components include: remote control machines that they build and operate, simple robotics, hydropower, renewable energy, motors and generators, forces, motion, and simple machines, matter and motion, contraptions building, snap circuits, building bridges, construction kits for engineering, solar mechanics, power houses, and discover control for learning how to control objects. The activities will involve building models, making changes to see what happens, research, presenting, teamwork, and learning about the various concepts as they explore each type of engineering, energy, and robotics.
  • Desert Oasis Elementary (Surprise) – $5,000. Kindergarten through second-grade students will have their knowledge of STEM concepts expanded using Code-a-pillars. Third through fifth-grade students would have the opportunity to use the basic coding skills they have learned and code the Dash and Dot robots where they can eventually participate in competitions and six through eighth-graders would have the opportunity to code using Spheros. This project would provide students at all grade levels with the opportunity to do hands-on coding as well as learn the math and science behind the fun games they are creating. This grant would provide the opportunity to share the robots with students at the other three schools in the Tolleson District potentially to impacting 2,000 students.
  • Fireside Elementary (Phoenix) – $5,000. Creation Station is designed to emulate a "makerspace" that hosts specialized equipment for assisting learners in their exploration. Implementation of this project will provide K-6 students at Fireside Elementary School a platform to engage in STEM through innovative, technology-minded, hands-on learning experiences as they apply understanding of energy, physics, and simple machines. Students will use specific technologies such as a laser cutter to create, make, discover, investigate, and invent ways to engineer catapults, derby cars, simple machines, Rube Goldberg machines, etc. The space will give all 850 students a chance to apply problem-solving skills, 21st century learning, the 4Cs, the six steps of the engineering design process, and have fun as they seamlessly integrate STEM curriculum with real-world applications of CAD software principles, NGSS learning objectives, and computer science education. SRP funds will be used to purchase a Glowforge Pro desktop laser cutter and accessories for it.
  • Ironwood Elementary (Casa Grande) – $5,000. There are numerous benefits to STEM education including teaching coding. Teaching students to code with simple beginner friendly programs enables students to learn coding skills that help their math, geometry and science skills while playing a game. Coding is proven to increase student motivation to practice math since it’s fun. In addition, students learn a skill that will improve their problem solving skills and practical computer software skills. Coding is an important skill relevant to the current job market and sought by employers. Ironwood Elementary, an A+ School of Excellence, currently has 12 computers for 450 students to share. SRP funds would be used to purchase 13 Dell notebooks, cases, and a charging cart. These laptops will be a dedicated set for 81 fifth-grade students.
  • Madison Camelview Elementary (Phoenix) – $4,444. This grant will help integrate science, music and technology activities to supplement and support students learning and growth in these areas. By using Little Bits STEAM Education Class Kits and Little Bits Synth Kits the students will collaborate in groups to design a musical instrument using simple electronics and circuitry components. These activities support the Arizona Arts Education and Science Standards for third and fourth grade. This grant will also provide students use of Chromebooks to report what they learned to the community and provide an opportunity for students to engage with the parent community through applications like Class Dojo, SeeSaw, and Google Classroom to continue dialogue and support critical thinking skills. This grant will impact 260-300 students.
  • P.T. Coe Elementary (Phoenix) – $4,945. Grant funds will be used to purchase 18 Simple and Powered Machine Sets by Lego, as well as 10 Lego WeDo 2.0 Core Sets. These materials would further enhance and support the current Robotics Program at P.T. Coe. With the purchase of these materials, 50-60 students at a time will be engaged in furthering their problem solving skills as well as their coding and programming skills using the Lego WeDo 2.0 kits. Students who are using the Simple and Powered Machine Sets will be engaged in exploring and building machines, investigating motorized machines, and studying gearing mechanisms. The software that these materials require would be installed on our existing computers.
  • Paseo Pointe Elementary (Laveen) – $2,500. The gifted program at Paseo Pointe would like to do a project called “Where in the World.” This project would incorporate geography, earth science, math and physical science. SRP funds will be used to purchase environmental science materials, a geo-caching event, topographical maps, and math manipulatives.
  • Patterson Elementary (Gilbert) – $3,800. Patterson Elementary sixth-grade and STEM Club students want to learn how to garden the way astronauts do. Using technology that NASA uses to grow plants in zero gravity, students would get hands-on science experience as they learn to work with aeroponics, the process of growing plants without the use of soil. This project not only teaches the importance of good nutrition, but also covers the Science standards of plants, ecosystems, and conservation and care of natural resources. SRP funds will purchase aeropnic towers impacting 85 sixth-grade students and 30 in an after-school STEM Club.
  • Pinnacle Peak Elementary (Scottsdale) – $2,515. The STEM program at Pinnacle Peak would like to incorporate art into the program, creating a STEAM curriculum. SRP funds will go to purchasing STEAM Education Kits from Lil Bits Electronics. The use of these kits will allow students to engineer real worlds solutions to problems presented in the classroom through invention. The students will be able to explore programming and apply this knowledge to their inventions. The addition of art to the curriculum will promote creativity and expansion of ideas. The use of these kits will be ongoing throughout the school year. This grant will impact 450 third to sixth-grade students each year.
  • Queen Creek Unified Gifted Program (Queen Creek) – $1,754. The addition of Engineering Units to the Queen Creek Unified gifted program will benefit 149 gifted students within the district. With the implementation of hands on engineering, students will be able to experience real world situations traditionally not present in today's classroom. Teachers are able to offer richer, and more relevant curriculum that strengthens their ability to investigate, observe, question, and create. All of these skills are necessary to pursue careers in science, math, and technology. The Extended Learning Program wishes to purchase materials for four engineering units that progress students through the engineering design process. SRP funds will be used to purchase materials for four engineering kits to be used at five schools.
  • Round Valley Elementary (Springerville) – $5,000. Round Valley will purchase 30 Engineering is Elementary (EiE) kits and a mobile cart to organize materials that all K-4 teachers can use. EiE is a proven program developed by the Boston Children’s Museum. This curriculum provides real world problems for students to apply their knowledge to solve. This grant will impact 550-600 students.
  • Wilson Elementary (Phoenix) – $5,000. Students will use Vernier technology as a tool for data collection, mainly surface, air and liquid temperatures. While all STEM areas are incorporated for this project, the primary science concept of thermal energy transfer encompasses the use of mathematical skills to analyze data and draw conclusions while practicing scientific thinking and reasoning. Students will apply what they've learned about thermal energy to the engineering design process. Their task will be to design a sustainable home that will stay as cool as possible inside when exterior temperatures are high. The overall goal is to consider how urban development leads to the urban heat island effect and microclimates, and how sustainable architecture can not only help reduce the urban heat island effect, but also help restore biodiversity and reduce our global warming impact due to the overuse of energy resources. SRP funds will provide for O2 and CO2 sensors, temperature probes, and eight Lab Quest 2 interface systems.

Middle schools (5)

  • Andersen Junior High (Chandler) – $5,000. Science and physical education teachers at Andersen Jr. High will work collaboratively on a project to assess, measure and analyze student fitness progress. Students will track their own progress with data collected on a fitness app installed with an iPad mini. The eighth-grade science and physical education teachers will work together by creating fitness plans for the students in the P.E. classroom, and then using this data in the science classroom to calculate and analyze the student's speed and velocity. By addressing the science standard of reading and interpreting graphs, as well as determining speed and velocity of an object, students will be able to use real-life and individualized data to practice this skill. In addition, the iPads may be used as a rolling STEM lab in which sixth to eighth-grade students will be able to access virtual labs and collect scientific data with a portable device. The school will use SRP funds to purchase 16 iPad Minis, covers, and a charging cart. This project will impact over 900 students each year.
  • Arete Preparatory Academy (Mesa) – $5,000. This project would allow students to learn about energy and consumption through hands-on activities such as energy audits and wind turbine/solar car design. Students would use instruments such as watt meters and infrared thermometers to conduct an energy audit of their homes and school in order to determine the efficiency of windows and doors. They would learn how different appliances utilize energy use so that they can conserve in simple ways. Additionally, it would provide the funds necessary for students to complete hands-on engineering projects to build and test the efficiency of wind turbines and solar cars. This project will quench students' thirst for the study of energy and get them thinking about engineering solutions for effectively harnessing renewable energy. Materials purchased with this grant will include watt meters and infrared thermometers, as well as materials for the building of wind turbines and solar cars. This will include balsa wood, corrugated white board, Kid-Wind turbine kits, dowel rods, voltmeters, alligator clips, solar panels, and solar car kits.
  • Canyon Springs STEM Academy (Phoenix) – $5,000. Canyon Springs would like to improve their STEM programs through the use of Lego Mechanisms kits. The Lego Mechanism pack includes everything needed to inspire and empower middle school students to discover how the world works using machines and mechanisms. Activities include building and exploring machines and mechanisms, investigating motorized machines, calibrating and capturing wind, designing pneumatic systems and studying gearing mechanisms. The purchase of 24 kits would impact 394 students this year.
  • Mountain Sky Middle School (Phoenix) – $5,000. This project will provide an opportunity for students to engage with important STEAM content while learning skills that directly apply to countless college degrees and jobs. The funds from this grant will be used to purchase 20 Arduino Microcontrollers with accessories and 20 Raspberry Pi microcomputers with appropriate accessories. These devices and accessories will provide students the opportunity to apply their computer programming skills they previously acquired in our STEAM program, as well as building functional robots and devices to solve real-world problems. As the devices and components last for many years, they will serve thousands of students.
  • Porfirio H. Gonzales Elementary (Tolleson) - $4,733. This project is an in-depth systematic exploration of genetics within the science curriculum. Students will participate in a hands on authentic experience as they begin to explore, research, collaborate, and generate innovate questions and solutions both collaboratively and individually on topics that are currently being explored within the field of genetics. Through the use of 3D printers, students will create models of a gene, chromosome, nucleus, DNA, etc. to demonstrate their understanding of genetics. After the unit, students will contact and interview researchers from organizations such as TGEN in order to gather information that will allow them to solve a task or design a product that is solution oriented and innovative. They will use utilize 3-D printers to create models of this product and present to an organization outside of the school setting. SRP funds will be used to purchase the 3-D printer.

High schools (9)

  • ASU Preparatory High School- Polytechnic Campus (Mesa) – $5,000. The physics, chemistry, and biology departments at ASU Prep High School have come together and made a list of tools and experimental equipment that can be used in science, math, and engineering classes. This equipment would help students be better prepared to work with technology, work collaboratively, and think critically. They will use SRP funds to purchase chromatography experiment equipment, a biodiversity kit, chemistry of food kits, molecular models, beakers and graduated cylinders, scales, multimeters, as well as a variety of other science equipment to give their students hands on experiences across multiple subjects.
  • Basha High School (Chandler) – $5,000. The environmental science and biology departments at Basha High have outdated microscopes. SRP funds would be used to purchase 16 new microscopes that would enable all six biology teachers to utilize microscopes on a regular basis. Currently, only two teachers at a time can use microscopes. Students will complete cell comparison labs in which students look at various types of cells to determine the differences between eukaryote and prokaryote, observe osmosis and mitosis, and view particulates from air samples in environmental science.
  • Camelback High School (Phoenix) – $5,000. The Invention Studio at Camelback High would allow students to gather create, invent, and learn in a school makerspace. This space is where students can become creative, innovative and design products using the design thinking method. The students will learn the process of designing with empathy, identifying a problem, brainstorming solutions, prototyping and testing the product with community profit or nonprofit business partners or even create their own businesses. The students will meet and mentor each other during class and after school. There will be career coursework for all freshman and entrepreneurial classes will have full access to the Invention Studio. These sustainable skills will be used by our high school students for a lifetime because of its hands on design built education to stimulate innovation creativity and entrepreneurship in STEM/STEAM. SRP funds will be used to purchase a Maker Bot 3-D printer and software, tools and equipment to set up a makerspace.
  • Desert Edge High School (Goodyear) – $4,922. Desert Edge has converted a classroom into a Maker Space lab with six designated lab stations. SRP funds would be used to expand the materials available to students in the lab. The grant will enable them to purchase 10 kits and products from five different themes impacting 350-400 students—sustainable energy, robotics, solar ovens, architecture and physical science. Students will be asking essential questions and making career connections, as they create and build a wide variety of hands on projects ranging from solar racers to hydraulic robotic arms. Hundreds of students will experience the application of learning as they set up and utilize a makerspace. They will also create a website with pictures of finished projects called “DEHS Kit Builders” to share buildable prototypes with a larger audience establishing an online forum for STEM kit building where students can share ideas and projects. 
  • Eduprize High School (Gilbert) – $5,000. Students in a new environmental science course will participate in an interdisciplinary project to gather and analyze real time ecological and hydrological samples from the Rio Salado Restoration Habitat area. Combined with their prior studies of the Lower Salt River, students will use scientific methods to draw conclusions about the Rio Salado Restoration Habitat. Students will record water temperature, measure tree growth and salinity in the water, and determine how water conductivity affects living things within this environment, including macro invertebrates. The project concludes with a public exhibition at the school, where students will present their findings in a multi-media presentation. SRP funds will build on a previous grant received by Eduprize Gilbert and be used to purchase Vernier Lab Quest kits for environmental science and water testing equipment.
  • Fountain Hills High School (Fountain Hills) – $5,000. The Fountain Hills School District is beginning a new program of study in computer coding. SRP funds will be used to purchase 25 programmable robots to be used by the high school, middle schools and elementary schools impacting up to 1,500 students. The robots will allow students to learn coding not just on a computer, but to solve problems and create actions using coding. The high school students ultimately will program the robots to play a soccer game.
  • Gilbert High School (Gilbert) – $4,300. The physics department at Gilbert High is upgrading their technology to better prepare students for the workforce. SRP funds will provide for the purchase of new Vernier data collection interfaces, the LabQuest 2, as well as a few new sensors for use in their AP 1, AP 2, and regular physics courses. Their current old set of original interfaces are no longer reliable in labs as they most often corrupt the data taken. With new interfaces they can continue to perform labs at the national AP standard, and allow students to access labs that would not otherwise be possible. They will be able to perform more technology based labs and perform labs ranging from the simple, basic labs for constant velocity of a cart and free fall of an object, to the more complex labs of balanced forces, momentum, and collisions. They will also be able to perform the highly technical labs for centripetal force, rotational mechanics, as well as magnetic field mapping, and electric forces.
  • La Joya Community High School (Avondale) – $4,940. The environmental science department plans on integrating Vernier interfaces, sensors, and software to enrich the AP environmental science curriculum to bring data collection into the 21st century in order to have a modern understanding of the environment. By having access to this technology, more labs can be conducted, more efficiently on and off school premises. This project will be the first technology integration into this class and let students use similar tools to those being used in the actual scientific field of environmental science, giving them a seamless transition to college and/or career. Activities will include clean energy generation, water quality, air quality, and soil dynamics. This equipment will impact 150 students per year and can be used for multiple years.
  • Seton Catholic Preparatory (Chandler) – $3,500. The physics department at Seton needs to improve the equipment available to students to better prepare them for college and careers. Vernier’s “Dynamics Cart and Track System” is ideal because it matches their existing graphing software. When combined with the software Logger Pro, each lab experience can be enhanced with real-time results to be observed and examined. A cart and track system addresses the core of physical laws and helps students understand and explain these forces as they apply to the real world. Computer-based tools that enable students to collect, display and analyze data in real time have catalyzed the design of a laboratory curriculum that allows students to master a coherent body of physics concepts while acquiring traditional laboratory skills. SRP funds will impact 550 students with this project.