Learning grants by SRP 2018-19 recipients

This year, 29 schools were selected through evaluators and the committee to receive a learning grant.

SRP will fund the following projects for a total of $123,962. A variety of STEM/STEAM projects will be supported, ranging from robotics to lab equipment. The following areas are represented: St. Johns, Casa Grande, Cottonwood, Pine-Strawberry, Miami, Apache Junction, and Florence.

Elementary schools (11)

  • Desert Willow Elementary (Casa Grande) – $4,967. An innovation space will be created where students are encouraged to use the disciplines of S.T.E.A.M., the design process, and resources to create solutions to real-world problems. Students in third through fifth-grade will engage in activities that encourage perseverance, foster creativity, and support the development of a growth mindset.
  • Fireside Elementary (Phoenix) – $5,000. "Powering Fireside" is designed and intended to offer fourth graders the opportunity to learn and explore renewable energy as we design a fully-operating K'NEX carnival to be showcased at Technology Night in the fall. Students will be able to engage in STEM through innovative, technology minded and hands-on learning experiences as they apply their understanding of renewable energy, physics, and simple machines in order to design hydro-powered and solar-powered rides for the carnival.
  • Florence Unified School District (Florence) – $5,000. Florence Unified School District's Star Lab inflatable planetarium was purchased for use across the K-12 district about sixteen years ago. Regular use by multiple classes has resulted in a need for and upgrades to the projector. The district has grown to serve nearly ten-thousand students, and the grant help fund upgrades to the Star Lab program so it can continue to be a highlight of our students' academic year.
  • Fowler Elementary (Phoenix) – $4,398. Fowler Elementary School would like to incorporate coding and robotics into the curriculum for all 590 students in kindergarten through fifth-grade. The use of Ozobot Kits would enable this plan. The small robots are easily programmed using color coding for primary students and block coding for upper grade elementary students. Four Ozobot kits would rotate through kindergarten to fifth grade classrooms so all students are exposed to coding, programming, and robotics.
  • Kyrene de la Colina (Ahwatukee) – $5,000. This grant will be used to purchase Engineering is Elementary (EIE) Kits for classroom teachers grades kindergarten through fifth-grade. In addition to the kits, mobile storage carts will be purchased to organize materials. These materials will provide opportunities for teachers to engage students with hands-on research-based STEM instruction in the general education classroom. The EIE kits will also be utilized in our DISCOVERoom, which is a hands-on maker space environment, as well as to plan the school-wide STEM Showcase Days.
  • Pine Strawberry Elementary School (Pine) – $4,995. A weather station that collects and converts real-time data from outside the school building will be purchased. The data collected by the station will then be displayed on a monitor in the classroom with colorful graphs and child friendly, visual data. The weather station also has access to other schools who have similar equipment and it is capable of recording and comparing current weather conditions outside the perimeters of the school building. The weather station has a motion camera, insta-cam and modern online software at the school site.
  • Playa del Rey Elementary (Gilbert) – $5,000. The creation and implementation of a kindergarten through sixth grade STEM student-centered makerspace lab in the library will provide students additional hands on STEM educational opportunities. In the library and classroom, teachers will be able to use a variety of interesting and engaging STEM resources above and beyond what is currently available to maximize student interest in learning. The STEM resources within the makerspace lab support an educational purpose with creative goals.
  • Sundance Elementary School (Buckeye) – $4,856. Sundance Elementary School is beginning to put into action a plan to shift shift Sundance to a full-immersion STEAM school in the next five years. The first step is to purchase three Engineering is Elementary units for each of our first through fourth grade classes along with 30 student reading books for most units. The units will enhance student learning of scientific and mathematical concepts while introducing the engineering design process and the idea that technology is made by humans to solve a problem.
  • Sunset Heights Elementary (Peoria) – $5,000. Seven hundred students will benefit from the purchase of a classroom set of compound microscopes for the school. The microscopes would allow students to take a better look at cell structure and organelles, micro-organisms, quality of water, and environmental pollutants to name a few. Currently, there are no compound microscopes to aid in our instruction at the site. 
  • Wildfire Elementary School (Phoenix) – $2,400. A set of 24 Sphero robots will be purchased to support computer science learning goals. The goals focus on making learning more engaging by bringing it into the physical world. Further, the robots will provide a motivating unifying concept for engineering design challenges that require the application of science and math learning, and a practical reason for working with peers.

Middle schools (7)

  • Arete Prep (Gilbert) – $5,000. The eighth grade students at Arete Prep will study how groundwater moves through our environment. Through the use of multiple labs, students will problem solve how contaminants get into the groundwater and how to minimize their effect. 
  • Cottonwood Middle School (Cottonwood) – $5,000. Cottonwood Middle School is transitioning from a sixth through eighth grade school to a K-8 school. They are in need of science equipment to accommodate the additional grade levels. Funding from this grant will go to creating a makerspace where students will be able to investigate science concepts using hands on engineering inquiry.
  • Fountain Hills Middle School (Fountain Hills) – $4,899. Fountain Hills Middle School is creating a makerspace classroom for fourth through eighth graders to use. This room would be an extension of the STEM classes currently offered as electives to the sixth through eighth graders, to the fourth through eighth grade Robotics Club, and for the upcoming fourth through fifth grade STEM electives. A MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D printer and a classroom set (for up to 31 students) of standards-based STEAM activities including materials will also be purchased.
  • Highland Junior High (Mesa) – $5,000. The primary goal of The Drone Light Show is to allow students a platform where they can discover how robotics, programming, music, and art can enhance one another rather than live exclusive from one another.  By using the Engineering Design Process students will define their goals, brainstorm ideas, develop a model, present ideas, and improve design.
  • Imagine Prep (Apache Junction) – $4,898. Robotics and the Environment is a hands-on learning program involving more than 150 unique students from grades six through twelve. The program seeks to demonstrate the interaction of advanced technologies while providing solutions through the use of emerging robotic technologies. The program also involves 3D printing technology and the cost effective development of water-saving and energy-saving components and programs. All funding will go towards materials for these programs, which includes: software, 3D hardware, 3D pens, Engineering and Robotic kits.
  • Miami Junior-Senior High School (Miami) – $5,000. Miami Jr/Sr High is seeking funding to develop and implement a thematic quarterly curriculum for our seventh and eighth graders. They will develop eight quarters, each centered on a particular topic. For example, the Civil War, Mining, The Origins of Life, the World Wars - and every subject will address the topic. During the Civil War quarter, science will focus on munitions and food canning, English on Lincoln's speeches, history on the actual events, math on ballistic curves and artillery. Students will produce major artifacts each quarter, and the quarters will rotate every two years. Funds will be used for classroom materials, books and a teacher summer work.
  • Sonoran Foothills (Phoenix) – $3,579. To enhance the STEM curriculum, seventh and eighth graders will explore how forensic science is used in criminal investigations. They will apply the principles of forensic science to a hypothetical crime and take on the role of crime scene investigators to solve a case. At the end of the program students will be able to: describe the range of work in forensic science, including careers that use forensic science techniques, identify major procedures used in conducting a crime scene investigation and explain the importance of following procedures and demonstrate multiple ways to collect forensic evidence while preserving the crime scene.

High schools (11)

  • Academy of Community Partners (Mesa) – $5,000. ACP will establish a robotics program for their freshman students leading to a school wide program in years to come. Grant funding will be used to purchase 11 Lego Mindstorm kits and accompanying software to program.
  • Basha High School (Chandler) – $5,000. Funds for this grant will be used to upgrade the water purification system at Basha High to be used in the Biotechnology classes. Their system has been unusable for the past five years and is needed to perform experiments where purified water is needed.
  • Bioscience High School (Phoenix) – $4,800. This grant will fund the purchase of equipment to introduce students to sustainable engineering and biotechnology. The project begins with growing an ecosystem and ending with the creation of renewable bio fuel and/or related products.
  • Desert Edge High School (Goodyear) – $3,537. Desert Edge seeks to merge physics and art through the use of prisms, sounds waves, and canvas works of art. Students will use prisms and the electromagnetic spectrum to study multiple aspects of color and light, including formulas, key vocabulary and dispersion of light models. As each project progresses, students will use their chrome books to access a related direct measurement virtual lab to study the math and science behind color, light and sound. Once all these four projects have been completed, they will be showcased in a local community event in coordination with the city of Goodyear. This event will involve interactive exhibits and student demonstrations of each of the projects and their associated conclusions.
  • Eduprize (Gilbert) – $2,000. Eduprize is interested in providing a Physics Solar Workshop hands on experience for the fifth graders. This technology will allow students to discover how solar cells transform the sun's energy into electricity to power a helicopter, solar-bot, moon rover, stag beetle, and praying mantis model that students build. This will provide Eduprize the ability to integrate the Physics STEM curriculum into the school and meet the state standards while providing cross curricular integration.
  • Empower College Prep (Phoenix) – $5,000. Empower College Prep scholars will combine engineering drawing and design, principles of 3-dimensional printing, and the application of basic programming. Students will start with the basics of circuits and how they are connected to the programming platform (Arduino). They will write simple program codes that will be used to control basic components like a light emitting diode (L.E.D). Students will use these principles to solve real-world problems, like the design of a robot arm controlled wirelessly or an alarm system that is able to sense motion.
  • Gilbert High School (Gilbert) – $3,000. Gilbert High School is requesting funding in the amount of $3000 for the purchase of new Pasco wave resonance devices, and related equipment, for use in their AP 1, AP 2, and regular Physics courses. With new specialized equipment they can better perform labs at the national AP standard and allow students access to labs that would not otherwise be possible. Students will also learn how to write their own labs for others to use. These more technical labs will prepare students for fields in science, engineering, and technology that rely on NGSS. They will know and understand these fields before going to college, and have a better understanding of what career choices they have.
  • Maryvale High School (Phoenix) – $690. The funds used will procure two lab kits that emphasize energy in biology. One lab kit supports a modeling lab station rotation activity to give students and overview of energy. The other lab kit will be used to purchase Lego bricks that will model the chemical equation of photosynthesis and cellular respiration at the atomic level.
  • Pinnacle High School (Phoenix) – $4,943. The goal of this project is to give kids a stepping stone into real world applications of basic physics principals and to highlight the growing industry of aviation and near space sciences. The students who participate in this team build a payload that is attached to a weather balloon and fly that balloon to an altitude of one hundred thousand feet or more. At this altitude, the student's payloads enter the stratosphere and achieve what is called "near space" altitudes.
  • Sandra Day O’Conner High School (Phoenix) – $5,000. This project is an extension of an existing garden. In this project students will use a pond with fish, snails and aquatic plants to model a sustainable ecosystem. Students will monitor CO2, nitrogen and pH levels of the pond to ensure that it is healthy. They will also set up an external aquaponic system that will utilize the water from the pond and return the water back to the pond. By adding the aquaponic portion students will be able to see the effect of fish hatcheries on an ecosystem and test if the addition of an aquaponics system will remediate the waste produced by the fish. Gardens have been shown to support student inquiry, connection to the natural world, and engages students in the process of formulating meaningful questions.
  • St. Johns High School (St. Johns) – $5,000. The St. Johns High School Aeroponics project will allow students to build two 55-gallon barrel aeroponics systems, plant seedlings in the system, purchase equipment to monitor the system. Math, science, and computer curriculum will be developed to go with the systems for real-world applications.
  • Western Maricopa Extension Center (Buckeye) – $5,000. Grant funds will be used to integrate aligned technology into Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses, specifically the Energy & Industrial Technology program at West-MEC's Southwest Campus in Buckeye, Arizona. Students will be able to apply theoretical knowledge in the classroom using industry current technology. They will be exposed to internals of valves and pumps, while also learning how to maintain such components (i.e. packing and assembly). Grant funds will be used to purchase equipment/materials for the project.  Student activities align to the program's National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) curriculum and will be integrated into the program's annual calendar. The primary outcome expected from this is more than 150 students gaining understanding of valve/pump systems, utility concepts, as well as transferable applied STEM technical skills.
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