Learning Grants by SRP 2014-2015 recipients

A total of 102 applications were received for the Learning Grants by SRP program. The review team was pleased with the response and the quality of the applications and 29 projects were selected for funding. There were many that were deserving of funds and the final choice was difficult.

SRP will fund the following projects for a total of: $124,025

Elementary and middle schools (18)

  • Abia Judd Elementary School (Prescott) – $2,910. This elementary school would like to expand their Lego Robotics program to all 270 of their 3rd-5th grade students. They began their program last year and are looking to build on that success. All funds will go to purchase EV3 Robotic kits and a dedicated computer for the program, as well as supporting materials such as batteries. None of the grant funding will go to registration or travel expenses. Additionally, the 3rd-5th grade students will present their projects to the rest of the school.
  • Beaver Creek Elementary School (Rimrock) – $3,500. Students in grades 6-8 will design and construct a water catchment system for their school to conserve and recycle water. Students will determine water usage and waste through the conduction of a water audit on campus and a modified water audit at their home. Designing a rain water catchment system based on the water audit findings will allow the students the opportunity to use problem solving skills. Grant funds will be used to purchase water audit kits, 10 rain barrels and diverter kits and landscape materials to establish placement. 350 students will be impacted.
  • Brunson Lee Elementary School (Phoenix) – $4,753. Brunson Lee Elementary is faced with using outdated and dilapidated science materials for their 5th-6th grade students. Grant funds would be used to purchase digital microscopes to enhance science learing. The digital microscopes allow students to expand learning by capturing both still and video images of the specimens. These images can be used to calculate the size of the cellular parts, to create multi-media presentations and to share the images with others. The goal is for each student to broaden their understanding of cell structures by utilizing the new technology. 100 students will be impacted directly each year. It is expected that the digital microscopes will last many years, increasing that number.
  • Centennial Middle School (Kyrene) – $5,000. The 7th grade science teachers need more hands-on experiences to help their students understand ecology, geology, and the environment. Using an existing gated area, the students will construct greenhouses and raised planting beds for native and non-native plants. Students will be able to use the gardens to see examples of limiting factors, food chains, decomposers, and energy pyramids. These concepts all start with plants or soil, which would live in the garden and be a short walk from their classrooms. Additionally, there is an elementary school with close access to the area. The garden would be accessible to those students as well. All grant funds would be used for materials and plants.
  • Chaparral Elementary School (Higley) – $1,660. Fourth grade teachers at Higley are finding they have limited curriculum materials to effectively teach the standards required for 4th grade. A science program, called The Structures of Life, would give them a solid foundation to effectively teach science concepts. The module consists of four sequential investigations dealing with observable characteristics of organisms. Students observe, compare, categorize, and care for a selection of organisms, and in so doing they learn to identify properties of plants and animals and to sort and group organisms on the basis of observable properties. This is an 8-week program that would impact all 120 4th grade students.
  • Desert View Intermediate School (Page) – $5,000. Desert View is lacking in technology for their students. As they transition to new state standards, the need has increased. They would like 20 Surface Laptop computers to enhance the learning of the students and increase their twenty-first century skills. Integration will happen across curriculum and deepen the understanding of skills taught. This technology will allow students to participate in research experimentation and engaging research based instruction. The school contains a high amount of English Language Learners where the technology will allow a variety of learning modalities to have individualized instruction. More than 600 students will be impacted across multiple grade levels.
  • Dreaming Summit Elementary School (Litchfield) – $2,230. The Litchfield School District does not have an adopted science program. The 4th grade teachers at Dreaming Summit have identified a program that will better allow them to effectively teach water and weather science concepts. The Seeds of Science Program from Amplify Learning is a comprehensive, 5-week program that includes informational text, activities and assessments. The program will be implemented by the 4th grade team and will impact more than 150 students for multiple years.
  • Florence Unified School District (Florence) – $5,000.The Florence District has implemented a very successful and innovative video conferencing program to their science curriculum. They are looking to expand it this year. Interactive and collaborative videoconference events are an effective way to provide differentiated instruction with techniques and content that may not be readily available in the classroom. For 3rd grade, standards will be addressed through a plant program. For 5th grade, the Space Center Houston provides the unit on Earth and Space Science. This program and Florence and SRP were featured in an article in the East Valley Tribune earlier this Spring. It will impact more than 1,400 students.
  • Ironwood Elementary (Casa Grande) – $3,000. All fifth grade students at Ironwood Elementary School will complete three engineering projects as they study their required fifth grade science units in space, biology and physical science. They will design and make a parachute as Aerospace Engineers. They will make an actual knee brace after they study the human body. Lastly, they will create a simple machine as Industrial Engineers. The kits are designed and sold by the Boston Science Museum for a program called Engineering is Elementary which is recognized nationwide for its innovative and engaging lessons that incorporate all subjects into each engineering lesson. Engineering is Elementary is a program SRP uses in teacher workshops as well. Each of these units will last one quarter of the school year and impact 90 students. Ironwood also received a Learning Grant from SRP last year.
  • Patterson Elementary (Chandler) – $4,890. At Patterson Elementary, 4th grade students will engage in projects through the exploration of a structural engineering timeline: Ancient Civilizations of the Americas through the present. This STEM project provides students with the opportunity to develop attitudes and competencies necessary for life long problem solving and to become the innovators of tomorrow. There are six phases to this project that will last the length of the school year that incorporate science, math, engineering and the environment with history, social studies, and human geography. A variety of materials will be purchased including classroom materials, hay bales, pvc piping, craft materials for construction, and informative text sources for research. Progress will be documented on video and shared with parents at a culminating event. This program will impact 150 students per year and can be used for multiple years.
  • Pine-Strawberry Elementary School (Pine) – $4,131.19. Pine-Strawberry Elementary is seeking materials to develop a new Science Lab for their school. Much of what they currently have is either outdated or in disrepair. This teacher outlined a year-long plan to be able to give her students a better opportunity to learn science through hands-on activities and materials. While this teachers plan is directed to her 4th grade students, the new Science Lab will be available to all grades. These materials will be useful for a number of years impacting hundreds of students.
  • Sanders Elementary School (Sanders) – $5,000. Teachers at Sanders Elementary want their students to understand sustainability and the environment. They would like to construct a small greenhouse and several raised planting beds to start a garden. Students would be able to see what effects weather, water, air, and soil all have on the growth of plants. This is the first step of a project that could be sustainable for many years to come. There will be 450 students impacted through this project.
  • Santan Junior High School (Chandler) – $5,000. Two years ago, Santan Jr. High received a Learning Grant from SRP to start a Robotics class and an afterschool program. There were 24 students involved the first year. That grew to 30 last year, with a waiting list of 10 more. Santan would like to grow the program. Next year, there will be 4 sections of robotics classes and the afterschool program. Involvement has been 92% male to this point. A student recently applied to start a female robotics club. Funding for this grant will help provide the materials needed to support a Girls Robotics Program. Additionally, it is expected that with 4 sections of the class, they will be able to recruit more girls to be involved. This also required more equipment. The goal is to add at least 20 girls to the program.
  • Settler’s Point Elementary School (Gilbert) – $5,000. Settler’s Point received a Learning Grant from SRP two years ago to build a STEM Science and Math Resource Lab. Teachers are able to check out materials to provide students with hands-on learning activities in their classroom. They have seen AIMS scores rise in math and science since the lab was made available. With new Next Generation Science Standards coming, the need to expand has presented itself. They would like to provide more materials. They have also started a STEM afterschool program for students. This also requires more materials. The goal is to be able to provide additional science enrichment in aerospace, sustainable energy, physical science and engineering.
  • Trailside Pointe Elementary School (Laveen) – $5,000. Trailside Pointe would like to start a program for their 7th and 8th grade gifted students called, “Engineering Our Future”. The workshop-type program would offer monthly opportunities for the students to complete projects and compete in the Math Olympiad program. Six chrome books and a variety of supporting materials would be provided for approximately 100 students. The students would also compete in the ASU and U of A sponsored MESA program (Math, Engineering, and Science Achievement). The goal is to give these students the opportunity to be exposed to STEM curriculum and to represent the school in activities previously not available to them.
  • Vernon Elementary School (Vernon) – $4,979.71. Vernon Elementary is implementing a new science and literacy STEM program for the 2014-15 school year. Currently, they do not have a school-wide science curriculum. The Seeds of Science Program from Amplify Learning is a comprehensive, 5-week program that includes informational text, activities and assessments. This program offers Vernon the opportunity to implement a multi-grade science program to improve student achievement in all grades. The program will impact 100-125 students for multiple years.
  • Western Valley Middle School (Fowler) – $5,000. The Fowler School District has implemented a district-wide STEM initiative. To meet this need, Western Valley would like to expand their robotics program. They currently have a successful robotics program. Last year, one of the teams presented their finished projects to the school board. As a result of this presentation and celebration, 50 new robotics students expressed interest in joining. There are not enough materials to support this many students. Western Valley would like to expand their program so that all students can be included. This involves the purchase of 13 additional EV3 Robotics kits. They also plan to have their robotics teams present to local elementary schools to build interest in the program.
  • Zaharis Elementary School (Mesa) – $5,000. Students at Zaharias will be researching types of solar lighting, designing a plan to light a specific area at their school, and present the plan to the administration for approval. They will work collaboratively between the 4th grade and the Gifted and Talented Program to enable students to plan, design, write-up, and install solar lighting that is needed at the entryway of our school's common area for nighttime activities. This cross-curricular project will directly impact the school’s 150 4th grade students as well as the 750 other students at the school that will benefit from the end result. The lighting will be used as an educational tool for future 4th grade students.

High Schools (11)

  • Copper Canyon High School (Tolleson) – $4,000. Copper Canyon is a Title I, high-needs school in the Tolleson District in Glendale. The purpose of this project is to encourage and expose students to similar calculators they will use on the new PARCC assessment they will take for the first time next year. (The PARCC is expected to replace the AIMS test.) At the moment, these students are not using graphing calculators such as the TI - 84. In addition to just "using" the calculators, the students will be given labs and opportunities to explore the many functions and purposes the calculators serve, including graphing, engineering, and financial functionalities. This grant will directly impact 150 students on a daily basis and perhaps more if they are shared within the math department.
  • Desert Vista High School (Tempe) – $5,000. As part of the Earth Science Program at Desert Vista, students learn about solar photo voltaic energy. Using an engineering process, students will identify a problem at Desert Vista or in the community that can be solved by using photovoltaic (PV) cells. As part of this process, students will construct models of solar powered vehicles. Grant funds will be used to purchase kits for this. Development of this course of study stemmed from a team of Desert Vista teachers attending SRP’s Solar Summit earlier this year. Desert Vista is also a participant in SRP’s Solar for Schools program. This will impact 180 students per year and the materials are expected to last several years.
  • E Institute (Phoenix) – $4,520. E Institute has 5 charter high school locations throughout Phoenix serving over 750 students daily. They are an alternative school for at risk, inner city students and have limited curriculum materials. Their project is to provide science and math teachers across their network with STEM kits to use in each classroom. The kits will be assembled by teachers and each school will receive 3 kits- one for maglev vehicles, one for robotics, and one for catapult construction. Each kit provides materials for 30 students. With the maglev kit, students build their own vehicle and race it down an 8 ft. maglev track. With the catapult kit students study stored tension, force, vectors and projectile motion. With the robotics kit, students learn about hydraulic power and mechanics using a robotic arm. This will culminate in a STEM Science Fair competition in the spring. More than 750 students will participate in the program.
  • Eduprize High School(Gilbert) – $5,000. This grant will allow for the purchase of multi-use technology providing students the opportunity to see and use technology in a way that is more similar to actual laboratories. Using Vernier systems and probes, the same base equipment will allow investigations in physics, chemistry, and biology. Using acrylic stands, an iPad or camera phone can be turned into a microscope with resolution equivalent to a standard microscope at the cost of the stands. Using interactive software allows for modeling and virtual experiences. Currently, there are 130 students that will be impacted. That number is expected to grow to over 300 in the next few years.
  • Highland High School (Gilbert) – $5,000. Highland High would like to build a science lab for their 70+ resource students. By establishing a science exploration laboratory, students will have the opportunity to actively engage with science concepts, turning the theoretical into real life applications. Teachers will use the laboratory and its materials to reinforce concepts, develop critical thinking and problem solving ability and allow for independent exploration of scientific concepts. The materials purchased for this project include microscopes, measuring devices, and other hands-on lab materials. These materials are expected to last multiple years impacting more than 300 students.
  • Mesa Preparatory Academy (Mesa) – $5,000. This project involves conducting geologic field work and lab activities related to groundwater. Students will collect data on their campus in order to determine the risks associated with a "gasoline leak". The students will collect groundwater elevation levels in above-ground monitoring wells to produce a contour diagram and determine the direction of groundwater flow across the campus. This lab brings math and science together and forces students to think in 3D. They will also be exposed to scientific instruments that hydrologist’s use which will give them skills that could easily be used in a future career. As the materials used in this project can be re-used, it is anticipated that 1,750 students will be impacted.
  • Paradise Valley High School (Paradise Valley) – $4,760. The Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) project will give physics students the opportunity to develop and experiment with nanotechnology by building a model AFM. This model will help the students study and understand the atomic interaction that allows an AFM to function. In small teams, the students will build model AFMs using Lego Mindstorms kits and then, use the microscopes to complete an inquiry-based project to study and interpret a "sample" surface. The 2-3 week unit with the appropriate rigor will be incorporated into the curriculum of physics courses at all levels offered at Paradise Valley High School (PVHS). This project will impact 450 students per year and should be used for at least 5 years, impacting more than 2,000 students.
  • Pinnacle High School (Paradise Valley) – $4,375.94. Freshman and sophomore students at Pinnacle High School for the last year and half have been working on an out of class project to put a camera into near space ( 100,000ft +) and take a picture of the curve of the earth. This project has evolved into something bigger, and the Desert Vista Science Dept. would like it to become a full-fledged science program for the upcoming 2014-2015 school year. The students will create a payload for a special helium balloon, including a Go-Pro camera. The students then track the balloon using GPS. They make mapping predictions based on where it should land and retrieve it. Currently, this project is completed by 5 classes of freshman and sophomore physics students. With funding this year, they would like to expand to other grade levels and offer it to 10-14 classes, impacting more than 300 students.
  • Skyline High School (Mesa) – $4,994. Biology students at Skyline High School will use Design-Based Learning (DBL), the Arizona College and Career Readiness Standards, and Science and Engineering Practices to compare foods grown hydroponically versus plants grown in soil. This Learning Grant from SRP would provide funding to purchase a hydroponic growing system and materials for it. More than 750 biology students will be impacted by this project. This continues a project SRP Learning Grants funded last year.
  • Trevor Browne High School (Phoenix) – $2,320. Trevor Browne is expanding their physics program adding more Advanced Placement opportunities for students. They currently incorporate the use of robotics in these courses. The SRP Learning Grant would fund the purchase of 20 Arduino Electronic Kits. Arduino is a single-board microcontroller, intended to make the application of interactive objects or environments more accessible. This will enable a larger number of students to utilize the robotics program. There are expected to be 130 Advanced Placement Physics students next school year. The kits will also be used for their Robotics Club.
  • Vista Grande High School (Casa Grande) – $2,000. The science team at Vista Grande would like to offer more hands-on learning opportunities for their more than 500 science students. A sustainable aquaponics system shows a chemical resource recycling of nitrogen and demonstrates the ammonia/ammonium levels of the system before and after recycling occurs. This system would allow the students to actually see how this biogeochemical cycle works. This movable system will be shared by six different science teachers offering all students the opportunity to test, infer, hypothesize, and develop plans to maximize the functionality of the system.

Find out more

For information about how to apply for a Learning Grant by SRP, please visit our Learning Grant page, or call (602) 236-2484.

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