PBI: STEM Grant
The following STEM grant application is available to provide up to $500 for your classroom’s STEM-focused project. In order to qualify for grant funding, you will need to present a case for the need for funding, provide an overview of your classroom and students, and outline how you will use the funds. As a component of funding, we are also interested in you or your classroom “paying it forward.” You will explain how you will use the project to help others, or how you will share what you are working on so that others can use it, too.
Your name: Mr. Hewett
School: Sabin Middle School
Address: 1420 Austin Bluffs Pkwy, Colorado Springs, CO 80918
Tell Your Story
Tell us about your school, classroom, or out-of-school location. Where is it located? Does your school, classroom, or club have a particular emphasis? What makes your school or club the unique place it is? Remember, we do not know anything about you, so help us get an idea about your location.
I had the opportunity to teach Sabin Middle School located in Colorado Springs, CO. As I entered the classroom several things struck me almost immedatly, First, a handful of students were sitting in long ridgid lab stools in the corners of the room. Having noticted that, I also noticted that this small room had 32 students awaiting lecture in it. The school is located within distric eleven, where funding is sparse. ^2% of students attending Sabin Middle School revieve Free and Reduced Lunch.
When looking at the school established in 1975, people notice the poor landscaping and outdated construction. They may also notice the large, metal statue of a St. Bernard keeping post outside of the school. The students in the metals shop class built it in 1986. Each boy and girl cut out a piece of metal to contribute to this enormous statue. If you look closely, you can see some names and comments by the students on these pieces of metal. The students placed a time capsule inside the statue.
The description of the school from the website says, “Sabin’s mission is to inspire and promote life-long learning so students succeed as productive citizens using critical thinking and problem solving skills. In order to accomplish our mission, we offer a wide range of educational services. The Student Centered Academic Interdisciplinary Learning Lab (SAIL) program designed to challenge the minds of gifted and talented students; interventionists in reading and math help students to acquire the skills they will need to be successful in high school and beyond. Because middle school is a time for students to discover their own interests, we offer a wide range of exploratory classes including band, orchestra, choir, physical education, foreign language, Project Lead the Way, art, computer literacy, and forensics. Sabin students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities including working with the Colorado Division of Wildlife, creating projects for the regional science fair, building bridges and boats for MESA competitions, and challenging themselves in the Geography Bee and the Knowledge Master Open. The school offers both intramural and competitive sports.”
Now tell us about your students. Who are they? What are they like? What gets them excited? What challenges do they face? Feel free to add anything here that will help us know your students a little better.
The students in my classroom are a part of the Gifted and Talented program. The program description from Sabin’s website says, “The middle school GM program is a full-day, self-contained Gifted and Talented Magnet Program for grades 6-8. The middle school philosophy focuses on educating the whole child through rich, in-depth curriculum centered on yearlong themes, instruction in the Autonomous Learner Model, experiential learning, and a wide variety of exploratory classes and academic competitions. Our curriculum is interdisciplinary and built around the concepts of Discovery, Change, and Conflict. The curriculum is highly rigorous, exceeds state content standards, and requires depth and complexity of thought. Differentiated instruction ensures that students meet teachers’ high expectations and have opportunities for content acceleration. Teachers can meet individual student’s needs through specific instruction due to the program’s flexibility. We encourage interest development and independent study in areas of passion. Students have unique opportunities for experiential learning through activities such as field trips, team building, guest speakers, mock trials, and debates. Finally, students are encouraged to try all exploratory classes offered and to participate in athletics, intramurals, clubs, and competitions such as Battle of the Books, Knowledge Master Open, Science Olympiad, Math Counts, History Day, Geography Bee, MESA, and Solar Energy Challenge.”
The students are quick, smart, and easily bored by typical instruction. To challenge them, they require real world application and chances to apply the knowledge taught. Challenges they face in the classroom consist of keeping instruction fast enough to prevent boredom, finding funding for labs, projects, and field trips that will keep them engaged and learning, and having enough space in the classroom to safely participate in labs and projects.
How Can We Help?
Materials: What materials would help you with your mission? Itemize the materials you are requesting, along with costs and sources for those materials. If desired, you can add pictures of these materials as well. Do not forget to include how many of each item you would need.
- 16 Vivitar 410 Digital Video Cameras $18.93/camera
- 16 SanDisk 16GB Class 4 SDHC Flash Memory Cards $11.99/card
Project Description: Share your ideas! We want to know about the project you plan to do with your students. Describe the project and the plan you have for implementation. Include when you plan to use these materials.
The students are developing a review consisting of four paper products and a presentation for their peers to help prepare for the upcoming 8th grade Science CMAS exam. The students will be required to split into 16 groups of two and become experts on their assigned science standard. One of the requirements is that each group interview an expert in their field on video to explain in their presentations (and four products) how the topic/standard applies to the real world. The students will be required to edit the interview to be included in their presentation and use the information obtained to develop four paper review products. The students will be required to submit the interviewee as a primary source on their work cited page.
Currently, we do not have any video cameras to record the interviews. This grant will allow me to purchase the digital cameras and memory cards.
How will these materials make a difference? We want to know that our materials will matter to you and that there is a need for assistance. Use this section to discuss the difference these materials will make in your classroom or club. Also, include other potential sources of funding for you to be able to complete your project(s).
The video cameras will enhance the students’ learning experience and keep the CMAS test relevant to them. The interviews will provide engagement and real world application to their project and test. Gifted and talented students are among the top students in the school. Providing them with the opportunity to learn from experts and then share that knowledge with their peers, teaches them the importance of making ones’ knowledge accessible to others. Students will be able to amass interview, editing, presentation, study, and speech skills from the use of recording the interview with the expert. These real world skills make the CMAS exam relevant.
Your Turn: How You Can Give Back
In the spirit of paying it forward, tell us how you can take this grant and help others. There are many ways to do this, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
- share lessons with other teachers
- teach another teacher
- allow students to teach other students
- share pictures
- use your project for a good cause
My hope is to have the class develop a review project for not only their classroom peers, but also the entire 8th grade class. Two weeks before the CMAS exam, I plan to have students prepare online review packets and presentations and make them available to their 8th grade class via the school’s online portal. I will also share my lesson with other teachers and parents via pictures and the online topic reviews completed by students.