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Learning grants by SRP 2016-17 recipients

This year, 26 schools were selected through evaluators and the committee to receive a learning grant. All areas of the Valley are represented plus Page, St. Johns, Florence, Prescott and Payson.

Of the accepted grants, four requested science equipment, ten were for curriculum materials, two for garden and water-related science projects and eleven for technology and robotics.

SRP will fund the following projects for a total of $122,066.82.

Elementary schools (12)

  • Abia Judd Elemantary (Prescott) – $5,000. The Grant will be used to create the Abia Judd Robotics Lab with the purchase of WeDo 2.0 robotics kits and iPad mini 4's. The lab will use Lego Education WeDo 2.0 robotic kits, and will inspire students in grades first through fourth to use science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)in the areas of physical, life, earth, and space sciences. Participants will use analytical and critical thinking to collaborate with partners to explore, create, and share. They will gather information, ask questions, define problems, design creative solutions, and generate new ideas as they plan, build, program, and modify. Students will use iPad mini 4s to program robots, record data, draw conclusions, create photo and video documentation, and present findings and solutions. Math skills will be used to measure distances, graph data, determine size and placement of axles, beams, and plates, and adjust sensors, motor speeds, timing, direction, and angles. This grant will impact 192 first through fourth grade students each year.
  • Circle Cross Ranch K-8 STEM Academy (Florence) – $5,000. Circle Cross Ranch is working to create a kindergarten through fifth grade robotics program to complement the middle school robotics elective. Grand funding will be used to purchase the LEGO Education Simple and Powered Machines Complete Package to use with fourth and fifth graders. This program would bridge the gap between the LEGO Education We Do 2.0 robotics program the second and third graders are using and the VEX Robotics that middle school students are using. The grant would impact 200 fourth and fifth grade students each year.
  • Copper King Elementary(Phoenix) –$5,000. As part of Copper King’s science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) water academy students will take a trip to the Salt River to complete field research. Students will spend the first day rafting the river while making observations about wildlife and river ecology. The second day will be spent completing water quality tests/analysis to assess the health of the river, as well as creating river themed art projects. Prior to the field day students will be learning about freshwater quality and watershed management. After the field day students will prepare a presentation for the University of Arizona project WET cohort 2017. The funds will be allocated into four areas: field day expenses, technology for water quality testing, models to engage in inquiry about watersheds and outdoor equipment for the field days.
  • Fireside Elementary (Phoenix) – $5,000. Implementation of an “Innovation Station” will provide K-6 students at Fireside Elementary School a platform to engage in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) through innovative, technology-minded, hands-on learning experiences as they apply an understanding of Newton’s Laws of Gravity, Physics, and Simple Machines. Innovation Station is a space where young “STEMgineers” will use specific technology such as Chromebooks, 3Doodlers, Hanzbloks, and LEGOS to research, create, make, discover, investigate, and invent ways to engineer catapults, Rube Goldberg machines, and much, much more. The space will give all 850 students a chance to apply problem-solving skills, 21st century learning, the 4Cs, the 6 steps of the Engineering Design Process, and have FUN as they seamlessly integrate STEM curriculum with real-world application of NGSS learning objectives.
  • Lake View Primary (Page) – $4,763. Lake View Primary will create learning labs encompassing science, mathematics, and technology. Their kindergarten classes will rotate between these areas of focus. Each lab will be created and overseen by classroom teachers with the hands-on items purchased from grant funds. The technology lab will incorporate applications in mathematics, science, and reading. The science and mathematics items will be utilized to further explore and improve problem-solving skills, while deepening student understanding. The books will be used as introduction to content to encourage curiosity and provide background knowledge in a cross-curricular approach. The STEM books will provide teachers with solid and effective lessons to increase problem-based learning.
  • Landmark Elementary (Glendale) – $2,240. Hands-on inquiry of science creates future scientists. The physical science standard in fourth grade focuses on students demonstrating how electricity flowing in circuits can produce light, heat, sound, and magnetic effects. The electrical circuits kits purchased with these grant funds will allow students the ability to explore all of these more safely than the old wires, battery and light bulb circuits. Our fourth grade scientists or electrical engineers will become constructivists of their own learning with the use of the circuit kits. Through a series of hands-on investigations, students will experience the effects of magnetism and learn about static and current electricity. Students will design, build, and use series and parallel circuits, a simple compass, and an electromagnet. Students will learn the role of electromagnets in the construction of electric motors and experience how electrical energy can be converted to heat, light, and motion. These kits will impact 120 fourth graders in addition to 100 more in an after school Young Scientist Club.
  • Oakwood Elementary (Peoria) – $4,956. Science can be brought to life through demonstrations and models made available through technology. Providing a new way to engage with science will further students understanding and development of basic research skills. Oakwood would like to make it easier for students to interact with technology in the science classroom by obtaining a laptop cart with a charging station and six student laptops. The laptops would be dedicated to science use. Oakwood has two computer labs shared by 37 classes which is limiting their time to study science. Students will complete units on the solar system, interactive microscope practice, Galileo research, genetic engineering and a program unique to the Peoria District called Ecomuve, in which students explore either the forest or pond ecosystem in an educational video game designed at Harvard. Students learn about different species and how changes in the environment can affect these ecosystems. Two-hundred students in seventh and eighth grade will be impacted annually.
  • Settler’s Point Elementary (Gilbert) – $5,000. Science, math, and technology resources will provide students the opportunity to explore science, math, and technology concepts above and beyond what is available in the classroom. These hands-on manipulative and interactive resources will allow students the opportunity to explore their interest in math, science, and technology and develop a basic foundation that can be built upon throughout their life. These resources will help teachers provide math, science, and technology enrichment for their students that will reinforce key concepts, promote mastery learning, and improve their students’ overall test score results on the AzMERIT in science and math. These resources will be used throughout the day and during daily math enrichment. Settler’s Point’s after school S.T.E.M. Club and the annual Family Science Night will also benefit from the resources. Technology in the classroom will provide students the opportunity to become digital learners and strengthen math and science concepts. Six-hundred seventy students will be impacted each year.
  • Sonoran Foothills School (Phoenix) – $3,986. The purpose of this project is to promote the integration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among the students of Sonoran Foothills School. A brand new school with a goal of achieving excellence through STEM education and preparing students for real world application. Throughout the class, students will think like scientists and engineers. They will experiment and overcome obstacles, build self-esteem and confidence, and be inspired to participate in science and technology to become fully equipped in the challenge of the future. They will also research and solve real-world problems arising in their own community and share their solutions while building an autonomous robot using engineering concepts. Using the Lego Mindstorm Ev3, students will learn basic programming skills and advance from being merely computer users to creators and inventors. Sonoran Foothills will have STEM I and STEM II classes impacting 140 students annually.
  • St. Jerome Catholic School (Phoenix) – $4,911.97. In this project, science and math labs will be implemented throughout the 2016-2017 school year and used weekly from that point on to include technology and hands- on resources for 220 K-8 students at St. Jerome Catholic School. These resources will provide the opportunity to increase student's engagement and overall understanding of science and math concepts. Furthermore, obtaining a variety of hands-on materials will equip teachers with the tools to differentiate learning and provide instruction that will meet the individual needs of all students. In addition, students will utilize these resources to put their ideas into practice by presenting their projects at Family STEM Night. Funds for this grant will be used to purchase a variety of hands-on math and science materials.
  • Weinberg Elementary (Chandler) – $4,671. Grant funds will be used to purchase tools, equipment, and supplies to enable students to learn about plants, the technology that enhances their growing, where our food comes from, what happens below the ground, coupled with a fostering of love for nature as well as the joy of learning. Third grade teachers will work collaboratively to create opportunities for experiential learning creating plant centered inquiry-based learning plans encompassing scientific methods with an emphasis on technology. Moving kids outside to learn, practice, measure, experiment, reflect, harvest, and eat is a perfect method to teach great STEM skills while incorporating scientific and creative writing during communication and presentation activities. Most of the students live in apartments or in homes without gardens and have little or no opportunities to grow their own food or work outside. The grant funding will enable Weinberg to connect students with nature, learning where their food comes from and fostering an appreciation of hard work and responsibility. This grant will impact 130 students directly and another 400 indirectly.
  • Zaharis Elementary (Mesa) – $5,000. At Zaharis Elementary School, the science curriculum includes electricity in fourth grade and flight in fifth grade. Grant funding will be used to purchase materials needed to make both units STEAM focused. As part of the re-designed units, students will utilize the Design Process (Ask-Imagine-Build-Evaluate-Share) to create a functional circuit. Fourth grade students will use a computer-aided design (CAD) program to create circuit stickers that will connect an LED light to a coin cell. They will be allowed to do multiple variations and iterations to develop their most effective/efficient working circuit. In fifth grade, students will use the CAD program to fashion a circuit sticker for a Night Flyer. They will have to consider the four factors of flight in creating paper airplanes that will include a power source, conductor, and LED. In addition, students will collect data to drive their decision-making through iterations of building a plane that flies the farthest possible distance. This will impact 255 students directly.

Middle schools (4)

  • Arete Preparatory Middle School (Gilbert) – $5,000. The focus of the science program at Arete Prep is to give students more hands-on activities, allowing them to experience science from a real world perspective. The goal of this project is to bring chemistry home to students so they can see the relevance to everyday life, and see how their lives can be affected by their literacy, or illiteracy, in chemistry and the general sciences. It will also allow us to address a challenging topic while giving the students experience with applying what they learn to a practical problem. Last year, the school moved to a new campus and in doing so, were not able to secure the necessary equipment (fume hood, vacuums) to complete our chemistry lab. Working with some chemicals and metals is impossible without the use of this specialized equipment, and therefore, students must simply learn about these processes through a book or lecture. We want our students to experience these processes through experimentation and problem solving. The grand will fund a new fume hood and other materials that will enable 300 seventh to tenth grade students to experience hands-on chemistry.
  • Bicentennial North Middle School (Glendale) – $4,466.80. The seventh grade team at Bicentennial North would like to develop and extend their current Environmental Club: Sustainability Performance Task from the Defined STEM curricular program. The Environmental Club: Sustainability Performance Task allows for students to investigate ways to make their school more environmentally conscious. Defined STEM offers online resources for a flipped classroom model and students have complete access to articles, videos and design software to solidify a presentation on sustainable school options. Students will: research schools that have “greener” models on laptops, develop a brochure explaining practical sustainable options for our school, students interview an architect that specializes in re-designing schools, create blueprints of the school with the implemented ideas, design a model of the school on a 3D computer program, construct a 3D model of a "greener" school using the 3D printer, and present models to the leadership team during an annual STEM Night. This grant will impact 450 sixth to eighth grade students.
  • Queen Creek Middle School (Queen Creek) – $4,882. Students will use Google Maps, GPS, satellite imagery, tablets and other technology to map the trails in the San Tan Regional Park near our school. This will be an ongoing project. Students take photos along the trails and use them to create questions for the next year’s students. The questions will be based on the geology of the area and/or the land forms on the trails. Students will embed the photos in Google Maps and create descriptions and avirtual field trip of each trail. Rocks, plants and wildlife will be noted and categorized, along with other observations, such as evidence of human interaction. The following year, students will use GPS coordinates to find the points created, answer the questions, create new questions, record observations and mark points for next year’s students. Virtual scavenger hunts will be created for families visiting the park and for use by the park ranger. Grant funding will be used to purchase 36 mini-tablets and a wireless access point.
  • St. Johns Middle School (St. Johns) – $5,000. The grant will fund 20 Chromebooks for a math and science rolling STEM lab. Their school is focusing on integrating math, science and technology to help students see how these area are integrated and relate to each other. The rolling Chromebooks will allow SJMS to help the students write lab reports, do virtual science experiments and collaborate using Google Chrome. St. Johns Middle School achieved a B rating from the state last year, missing an A by only a few points. They are in need of more technology to help raise achievement. Students needs more access to technology to be successful in the 21st century job market. SJMS also focuses on teaching our students to code, using the website code.org.

High schools (10)

  • Arizona Collegiate High School (Phoenix) – $5,000. The goal of this project is to develop Arizona Collegiate High School’s science program and support innovative teaching by expanding student’s fundamental understanding of basic science through the use of technology enhanced microscopes and ph scale kits. These additions are expected to result in high student achievement of mastery of state-mandated competencies. This program is innovative because teachers will now be able to use project-based learning to show students various images on the SMART Board using the specialized microscope; then students will be able to individually locate similar images on their own. Two-hundred 9th-12th grade students will be able to practice applying critical thinking skills during inquiry-based experiments using the ph balance kits.
  • Bourgade Catholic High School (Phoenix) – $5,000. Bourgade’s project is entitled STEM Through the Curriculum. Bourgade Catholic High School has adopted the Modeling Curriculum from the American Modeling Teacher Association in all of their core science classes, as well as infusing blended learning practices into all units. During each unit, students work in project groups conducting laboratory experiments designed to solve a real world problem. Students then analyze their data to discover one of the scientific principles or models that is the focus of the current unit. Groups then collaborate to share and compare their data. This grant would fund the purchase of Vernier probes and LabQuest2 equipment to build the use of technology into our curriculum as well as other sensors and lab equipment impacting 300 students per year.
  • Desert Edge High School (Goodyear) – $3,245. Desert Edge High School is requesting funds to enable 300 Algebra 1 students at DEHS to complete 6 STEM projects over the course of a year and compete in an end of the year Inter School STEM competition. The goal is to integrate physical science concepts into the algebra curriculum that stresses real world math connections. Each project will have maximum instructional impact by exploring the mathematical structure of key functions (linear, quadratic and exponential) that lie at the core of algebraic understanding. The overarching goal is to improve end of course assessment and state standardized test scores through using relevant equations to solve practical problems. The 6 projects include model bridge building, designing electrical circuitry, exploring projectile motion, examining constant linear velocity, launching water rockets and constructing solar cars. Finally, the grant would purchase a set of 10 graphing calculators to study and analyze the data from each experiment.
  • Eduprize Gilbert (Gilbert) – $4,980. EDUPRIZE Gilbert High School is implementing a new 9th - 12th grade Intro to Engineering Design and Development class for the 2016-2017 school year. This will strengthen the relevance of our applied STEM curriculum. To implement this course, the school needs to create a class computer lab. Grant funds will facilitate the direct purchase of 6 robust computer systems meeting AutoDesk Inventor 3D modeling software specifications. EDUPRIZE will match funds to bring the total number of purchased computers to 12 as necessitated for the first year of the curriculum rollout.Led by a teacher with a 20 years of engineering experience, students will learn by using course directed 3D modeling and prototyping exercises that reinforce engineering principles. The curriculum follows the nationally recognized Project Lead the Way program and meets credit requirements for fourth year state mandated competencies in math and general requirements for science.
  • Great Hearts Trivium Preparatory High School (Goodyear) – $4,978.05. Trivium Preparatory Academy, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit public charter school in the Great Hearts Academies network, is requesting sustainable scientific instruments and supplies to support their biology curriculum. The materials will specifically allow 122 students annually to conduct DNA extraction and gel electrophoresis, but they will also be used in other units in biology and chemistry, such as their microbiology unit and throughout the year in chemistry. The DNA extraction lab will bring a complicated topic to life for the students and will bring the subject down to the molecular base level. By the conclusion of this lab and DNA unit, students will have a comprehensive understanding of familial matches and where their specific DNA comes from. Furthermore, this lab will provide essential base knowledge regarding buffers in acidic and basic solutions for chemistry, which they will take the following year in tenth grade.
  • IntelliSchool High School (Phoenix) – $5,000. The purpose of the "IntelliSchool Connect to Tech CTE" jobs program is to make science and math relevant through hands-on training. Upon successful completion of the program, at-risk high school students will receive industry-specific certification in telecommunications, copper cabling, and fiber optics so they can obtain skilled, high-paying jobs upon graduation. The program consists of a series of weekly classes involving direct instruction and hands-on activities integrating math and science. An additional class, "Employability Skills," provides students with practical information on how to get - and succeed - on the job. The program is modeled as an apprenticeship using curriculum created by CTE Associates, Inc., a New Jersey company whose primary goals are “to prepare students for jobs or additional education by employing a unique entry-level, hands-on, gender-neutral approach to training” and “to certify students for meaningful employment and/or advanced training in the telecommunications field.” Grant funding will support the hands-on technology portion of the "IntelliSchool Connect to Tech CTE" jobs program for 80 students over the next two years. All of the grant purchases are for reusable curriculum materials.
  • Payson High School (Payson) – $4,897. This grant proposal is to add to and update Payson High’s science department Vernier technology inventory to meet the needs of increased enrollment in science classes from grades 9-12. These funds will be used to procure Vernier lab quest 2, sensors and additional accessories for the entire class. Students will be using Lab quest as data collectors, information organizers, calculators, and for data analysis while developing critical thinking skills and prepare them for a STEM related career. The additional Lab quests and the sensors will provide students an opportunity to perform additional labs and to conduct more rigorous experiments for future courses. The proposed lab quests in conjunction with the sensors and the Vernier Lab manual would be used in the following subjects: physics, chemistry, biology, Earth and space science, along with AP physics, AP chemistry, and AP biology in the next and future years. This will impact 500 students annually.
  • Red Mountain High School (Mesa) – $4,090. Beyond the Surface of the Earth is an authentic, hands-on project-based learning experience deeply embedding the content and processes of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), allowing students to explore the atmosphere without ever leaving the surface of the Earth. High altitude ballooning requires student decision-making, content knowledge, and collaboration. Students develop questions about the atmosphere, determine methods for testing, design and engineer payloads, collect and interpret data, and communicate results. Over 200 students will be involved in planning and executing the high altitude balloon (HAB) design, launch, recovery and data analysis. STEM (specifically engineering and biotechnology) students from Red Mountain High School will design the payload, create testing instruments, launch and recover the HAB. In addition, elementary and junior high feeder school students will identify and develop instruments to test questions of interest with mentorship from RMHS STEM students creating a sustainable, collaborative model focused on the design process. Grant funds will be used to purchase an extensive list of materials needed for this project.
  • Scottsdale Preparatory Academy (Scottsdale) – $5,000. Hands-on experience with current technologies in science enriches education for students of all ages. One of the most exciting and powerful new directions in 21st century science is the collection and analysis of “big data”, computationally-intensive stores of information from globally-distributed sensor networks that can provide new scientific insights. Scottsdale Preparatory Academy (SPA) will use the grant to purchase a weather station and dedicated computer hardware to collect and store climatological data on our campus in north Scottsdale. We will connect the weather station to the GLOBE network, an intergovernmental program that allows K-12 schools to contribute to a rapidly expanding global database of environmental data. Involvement in this program will give our students hands-on experience with big data, allowing them the opportunity to analyze data from our location and around the world. At least 125 students will be directly impacted.
  • Sunrise Mountain High School (Peoria) – $5,000. Each year, the technology and equipment that is available for student use becomes outdated and/or broken. Updated technology would provide students with the opportunity for more hands-on learning opportunities in and out of the classroom.The objective of this project is to integrate the use of Vernier LabQuest 2 standalone hand-held interface into the classroom. The interfaces will allow students the opportunity to conduct experiments and collect/analyze data in the same manner as real scientists. The interfaces will also allow students to engage in student-centered, inquiry-based learning and motivate them to learn with the use of scientific instruments to conduct real-time investigations. The students will also be able to use the interfaces to conduct scientific investigations outside of the classroom, allowing students to investigate the world around them. Furthermore, this technology will help prepare students to meet Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards, Arizona's Educations Technology Standards, and the Next Generation Science Standards. This grant will impact over 200 chemistry and honor chemistry students each year.

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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