Learning Circuit

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Vol. 27, No. 2 / Summer 2016

Hands-on science and water workshops enrich learning experience

While many people were relaxing on vacation, Arizona educators were attending training workshops in June and July. To encourage critical thinking about complex issues, teachers participated in a variety of hands-on exercises and demonstrations designed to illustrate concepts associated with energy, water and natural resource management.

SRP partnered with Arizona State University and Arizona Project WET to provide the workshops free of charge. If you missed out, free lesson plans about these topics are available here.

Theme Announced

National History Day 2017

A large group of students hold a banner that reads, 'National History Day in Arizona.'

Every year National History Day frames students’ research within a historical theme. The theme is chosen for its broad application to world, national or state history and its relevance to ancient history or to the more recent past. This year's theme is "Taking a Stand in History." The selection of this theme provides an opportunity for students to push past the antiquated view of history as mere facts and dates and drill down into historical content to develop perspective and understanding.


We know that the leaders of tomorrow are being created by today's educational environment. That’s why SRP invests in education initiatives that brighten the outlook for Arizona's students and it's why we are proud to support the local academic competition National History Day in Arizona.

Beyond the academic excellence component, the competition provides students with an opportunity to gain teamwork and problem-solving skills, which better prepares them for college and the workplace.

National History Day is a yearlong competition for middle and high school students focused on the teaching and learning of history. Students create documentaries, exhibits, papers, performances and websites based on research related to the annual theme. These projects are then evaluated at regional, state and national competitions. To learn more about this year’s theme or find out how you can get involved with National History Day, visit nhd.org .

Congratulations to all of the students representing Arizona at the 42nd annual Kenneth E. Behring National History Day Contest held June 12-16 in Maryland.

The following students medaled at the event:

Basis Peoria students Aman Agarwal and Dakash Gopalani took third place in the Junior Group Website category for their project, "Unit 731: Perpetrators of the Asian Holocaust."

Basis Tucson North student Sharon Vaz received the Senior Division Outstanding State Entry Award for her project, "The Unanticipated Impact of Father Kino's Mission on the O’odham People."

New Vistas Center for Education student Ayla Young received the Junior Division Outstanding State Entry Award for her project, "The Wire that Connected the World."

Social Studies Grants Highlight

Students explore intelligent cities at Vista Del Sur Accelerated Academy

Front entrance of the Arizona Science Center

Gifted students at Vista del Sur Accelerated Academy experienced a yearlong multidisciplinary exploration as they learned why people create cities and how cities evolved. Ravae Johnson, teacher to the gifted students, received a grant from SRP to help fund the lesson.

"Thanks to SRP, we were able to offer more students the opportunity to experience firsthand what their community is doing to address the ideas of intelligent urbanization," said Johnson. "We were also able to offer twice as many field trip opportunities because we received the SRP grant."

Grant Recipients

Fourteen schools were selected to receive a 2016-17 SRP grant in social studies.

Field trips included visits to city transportation centers, reclamation projects, historical preservation sites, building construction sites and public art projects. The field trips provided students with the chance to ask the following questions about their own city: Is our city environmentally sustainable? Has our city preserved our heritage? Does our city use the appropriate technology? Is our city’s infrastructure efficient? Is our city a place for everyone? Does our city conserve its resources?

According to Johnson, the project was a hit with the students.

"Students learned how their city works with the ideas of intelligent design, and students also learned how each of them can play a role in developing a great city."

Grant Proposal Writing

10 Tips to get noticed

Two men and a woman working on laptop computers and discussing something.

Want to increase your chances of submitting a successful grant proposal? Keep these helpful tips in mind:

1. Know the territory: Read the guidelines and criteria in their entirety before you begin your proposal. Determine the due date of the proposal and give yourself ample time to complete the application process.

2. Make a plan: Allow for adequate planning time; form a school or grade-level committee, if you are planning for more than one classroom.

3. Tap the power of description: Develop a program description and describe the intended activities. Paint a clear picture with your words; provide details of your project/program.

4. Highlight the good stuff: Use bullet points to enhance readability.

5. Be persuasive: Construct a strong statement of need explaining why your program should be funded. State your goals and objectives, and include an implementation plan and/or project timeline.

6. Do your homework: Gather supporting statistics, e.g., student demographics and test scores. Cite all supporting research.

7. Think it through: Construct a detailed budget with itemized expenses. Develop an evaluation plan. How will the project outcomes be measured against goals and objectives?

8. Write like a pro: Write clearly and concisely. Avoid ambiguity and excessive educational jargon. Follow grant guidelines to the letter. Never skip or omit sections.

9. Final touches: Ask another person to read the grant guidelines and then proofread your application.

10. Last but not least: Submit your application on time.

Classroom Connections Grants

Apply to fund your discovery starting Oct. 1

Teachers working in a school library.

SRP offers a total of $200,000 each year through three Classroom Connections programs: Learning Grants, Social Studies Grants and Powering Our Future Mini-Grants. View eligibility requirements or to apply.

If you have further questions about SRP grant applications, please email educate@srpnet.com.

Learning Grants

These grants allow schools, teachers and students to develop projects and programs geared toward state-mandated competencies. Funds can be used to support innovative teaching strategies that improve student performance objectives in math and science.
Award: Up to $5,000 per school

Social Studies Grants

Grants are awarded to help educators present academic content and teach skills in the interrelated disciplines of history, geography, civics, government and economics.
Award: Up to $2,500 per school

Powering our Grants

These grants are awarded to teachers of grades 4 –12 to help them purchase supplementary materials and supplies to teach the hands-on components of the Powering Our Future curriculum. Powering Our Future in-service workshops are offered regularly.
Award: Up to $350 per teacher

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