Monday, June 1, 2015

Spring 2015 Mini Grant Award Winners

posted Jun 1, 2015, 6:18 AM by Brad Pascoe
San Diego CUE recently sponsored a competitive juried mini grant application for $750 mini grants. SDCUE members had the opportunity to pitch an idea for utilizing technology learning tools for their classroom. Applications came in from San Dieguito UHSD, Sweetwater UHSD, Escondido Elementary USD, Poway USD, Vista USD, Grossmont UHSD, National USD, Oceanside USD, San Diego USD, Cajon Valley USD, Santee USD, and the San Diego Jewish Academy.
Our 5 winners are listed below with an extract from their application.  Congratulations to all!

“Probes make chemistry come alive!”
Joshua Hill
Mar Vista High School
Sweetwater Union High School District

I plan to purchase 3 vernier probes, a pH sensor, a Colorimeter, and a Spectrophotometer, as well as a GoLink that will connect them to my laptop or any computer in my classroom. This will allow students to discover a world of formerly unexperienced chemistry!
I teach Honors Chemistry and Regular Chemistry, (and AP Chemistry next year) so I have the challenge of making students of varying backgrounds see the science behind the molecules they see in their book.
Each year the school gives me twenty two dollars to buy equipment, and there is no way I would be able to get these specialized probes without this grant.
If I am able to use these three specialized probes, the students will be able to perform a HUGE variety of different real-life chemistry experiments, which would be otherwise impossible - for instance, this would turn things from simply reading about what a spectrophotometer does in their book to being able to bring in samples from the beach, from their homes, and try it themselves - it will transform their learning from something passive to an active hands on learning!

Tech to Purchase:
Go!Link GO-LINK - $61.00
pH Sensor - PH-BTA - $79.00
SpectroVis Plus - SVIS-PL - $469.00
Colorimeter -COL-BTA - $115.00

“Minecraft Educator”
Danny Manalo
Poway Unified School District

MineCraft Edu Cloud-based Host Server and 35 student licenses allow students to play the game in a teacher-controlled environment.
MineCraft Edu offers a game-based environment that allows students to build and create world's stemming from their own imaginations. What is unique about the program is its multi-player mode that students to work in teams as they collaborate on designing the components that make up their world. Its meteoric rise in popularity has found a place in today's learning community. I attended a 3 hour session on implementing MindCraft Edu in the classroom and have introduced the game into my own 2-3 classroom during Genius Hour 2 days a week.

Tech to purchase:
MineCraft Cloud Server - $40.00
35 MineCraft Licenses - $700.00

“Video Resume Studio”
Matt Norris
West Hills High School
Grossmont Union High School District

Our school has recently been approved to begin 1:1 student use with chromebooks. As a department, we have discussed the development of video resumes and active student reflection. The items requested in this grant would develop a mini-studio that would allow students to use their own smartphones, ipods, and chromebooks to develop higher quality videos and video resumes to reflect on learning process.

As a site, we are very excited for the opportunity to go 1:1. As a department, we have discussed great interest in having students reflect on their work and be able to communicate what they do learn as well as a reflection of their growth as students over the four years that they are students at our school. In addition to the hardware, our district is exploring the purchase of WeVideo for education, which allows for green screen editing and collaborative video editing as found in a google doc. We feel that we'd be able to allow students to capture higher quality video and audio with the materials requested to supplement existing BYOD and 1:1 resources to take student work and video portfolios to a higher level.

Tech to purchase:
Itemized list with taxes may be found here.

“Robots and Grit”
Shelly Moses
San Diego Jewish Academy

We would like to purchase five Sphero robots and some protective covers to use in classrooms to teach students about coding. These robots are programmable through the iOS apps Tickle, which uses a block based coding interface, and MacroLab, which uses a text based programming interface. Both allow users to use macro commands to program the Spheros to move, jump, “swim,” and change color.

Our students, as young as kindergarten, use apps such as Kodable, Cargo-Bot, and Scratch Jr. to learn the basics of coding. Beginning in 3rd grade, the students use Scratch to create models, games, and simulations. These activities have engaged the students and they have learned much, creating projects and solving coding levels that are quite sophisticated. However, we want to extend that learning into the real world. This is where the use of the robots would spark imagination, and create excitement in order to compel students to retain their interest in programming. It would also begin the process of linking their learned programming skills to the real world.
We have also found that in a population of students who are often overprotected, overly cautious, and averse to working through frustration, coding activities seem to be one academic area where they eagerly work with perseverance and grit. They are also much more tolerant of dealing with frustration. This willingness to repeatedly “fail forward” with coding activities, has spawned some powerful conversations about using the same determination in other subjects. We feel more opportunities for our students to extend their programming capabilities to include robots would have positive spill-over effects involving grit in all other academic arenas. As the programming of the robots would be done in teams, many times with team members in buddy classes in other schools, this would give students valuable collaboration and teamwork experience.

Tech to purchase:
Sphero 2.0: 5@ $123.99 = $649.95
(can possibly get 6 Sphero 1st generation robots for $111 each from if still available)
Nubby Cover: 5@ $14.99 = $44.97 (to protect the robots and to work on slick surfaces)
Free Shipping
Taxes: $55.60
Total: $750.50

“Flight School”
Thomas Nusser
Innovation Middle School
San Diego City Schools

How would you like to make a paper airplane fly using your phone? What speed could it go? What changes in airplane design might affect the speed? How would more mass affect the planes ability to speed up or turn?
Want to know the answers? Join us.
As a stem school, Innovation Middle is always looking for ways to use experimentation for learning. We currently employ inquiry based learning where students use exploration, data collection, and reflection to learn new concepts. In order to provide these learning experiences having engaging tools and manipulatives are necessary. If awarded the SDCUE mini grant, I plan to purchase 16 Power Up 3.0 modules, which will allow students to explore physics, math, and engineering standards by creating cell phone controlled paper airplane flying machines and other fan-powered projects.

Purchasing this equipment would give me the tools to create a large number of STEM projects that would do just that. The first project, which is designing and testing the fastest planes, is detailed below, but it would not stop there. Students could use this equipment to create fan-powered cars to examine Newton’s laws, motorized Helium balloon blimps to explore density and buoyancy, wind power models for renewable energy, and even boats are a possibility. The science, engineering, and math standards that would be incorporated are extensive. Here is a link to a list of some of the science standards associated with different possible projects.

Students would go through the engineering design cycle and use systematic thinking while building and testing their planes. In preparing for a race, students test different variables that they think would affect how fast the planes would fly utilizing scientific inquiry and mathematical practice standards. This would provide an excellent opportunity to implement interdisciplinary learning at my school by including Math would be involved in calculating speed, percent change, looking at ratios. Since the entire 7th and 8th grade teacher collaborate extensively and build a common curriculum for all students, this equipment would be utilized by all the students and not just in one classroom.

Tech to purchase:
2 PowerUp Classroom Kits $350.00 each- Each classroom kit includes 8 PowerUp 3.0 Smart Module Kits, spare rudders, spare propellers, and templates. A user’s guide, teachers guide.By purchasing 16 total PowerUp 3.0 modules (2 kits of 8), there would be enough to have two classrooms using the equipment at the same time. This would allow ALL STUDENTS in entire grade levels to engage with this technology because teachers at iMidddle collaboratively build a common curriculum and the maximum number classes per grade level per period is two.
2 Spare Parts kits 11.99 each- Each includes 2 propellers, 2 canopies, 2 rudders, 2 rubber bumpers, micro-Phillips screwdriver