BAEF Awards 2015-2016 Teacher Innovation Grants
The Bethlehem Area Education Foundation recently awarded the 2015-2016 Teacher Innovation Grants. This grant process encourages educators throughout the Bethlehem Area School District to apply for funding for specialized projects. This year, the Foundation received an overwhelming 47 grant applications! Executive Director Julie Bailey and the Board of Trustees granted 12 of these applications, awarding nearly $11,000 to teachers throughout the district. Each application chosen presented an original academic program, utilized specialized instruction materials, or involved curriculum not currently used in the classroom. These specialized projects provide a unique opportunity for pioneering teachers to expand the curriculum in new and exciting ways. Projects being funded range from the purchase of Fitbits to enhance fifth grade math curricula to increasing instruction of scientific programing to middle school students. For a detailed list of grant recipients and program descriptions, see list below.
Tammy Lyons, Asa Packer Elementary School - Fit 4 Life
Fit for Life uses Fitbit Activity and Sleep Trackers to enhance the fifth-grade math curriculum while also teaching students the important of personal wellbeing. Students will use information stored on these devices, such as steps taken, calories burned, and hours spent sleeping, to enhance the math curriculum. Students will learn how to graph this information, think critically about what affects their daily activity, and positively influence their health and fitness.
Lori Cirucci, Kristen Sobrinski, Mark James, Broughal Middle School - A Day in the Garden
A Day at the Garden?s main goal is to teach middle school students where the mass of plant originates. To do this, students will be planting avocado pits, nourishing the plant as it grows, and weighing the plant over the course of the year. At the end of the year, students will be able collect enough data to write a lab report and thesis paper on the origin of their plant mass. Students can continue to grow their avocado plants at home or within the school?s greenhouse until their senior year of high school when the plant will reach full size.
Serena Calario, Jane Carr, Broughal Middle School - Stem(3) Using Cubelets, Legos, Scratch to Introduce Programming in the Middle School
Stem 3?s main objective is to expose middle school students to the opportunities available to them in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. To do this, teachers will be using cubeletes ? robotic blocks that can connect to Legos. These cubeletes are programmed using a type of computer coding called Scratch, a system that utilizes color-coded blocks or puzzle-pieces to make coding accessible to kids. This fun and engaging system will open up the possibility of a future in STEM, whether that be involvement in Project Lead the Way at the high school level or the pursuit of a career in the sciences.
Lisa Schwalm, Teresa Diehl, Martha Christine, Calypso Elementary - Watch it Grow!
Calypso Elementary is one of five schools in the Bethlehem Area School District certified as a community wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. The Watch it Grow! Program is designed to increase participation between the students and the school?s
sustainable garden. Students will read non-fiction text focusing on plants, animals, insects, life cycles, and habitat. They will use this knowledge to be active participants and observers in managing the garden and wildlife habitat.
Cindy Lee Ivins, Farmersville Elementary - Shark Attack
Shark Attack serves as a fun, fast-paced alternative to flash cards. Students will utilize Math Shark, a portable electronic math game, to approach multiple digit problems without anxiety. These devices will build stamina in students, allowing them to achieve a goal each time they complete their equations within the time allotment.
Amy Vogler, Paula Weychert, Fountain Hill Elementary - Fountain Hill Book Blast
The Fountain Hill Book Blast is a literacy program focused on bringing families together anddiscoveringaloveforreadinginbothparentsandstudents. Theprogramconsists of evening events in which volunteer readers demonstrate a specific reading strategy to parents. Parents then practice this strategy at home with their children, engaging family support and enhancing reading skills.
Jennifer Wescoe, Stephanie Augello, Jody Kelly, Denise Parker, Kim VanOrden, Jospeh Vasquez, Freedom HS, Nitchmann MS, Broughal MS, Northeast MS, East Hill MS - Project ACT UP
Project ACT UP uses theatrical workshops to enhance achievements inside and outside the classroom for all middle school students within the district. Theater workshops will be used to improve students? communication skills, promote positive self-image, appreciate diversity, and respect personal differences amongst one another
Lorie Donavan, Elizabeth Hawke, Governor Wolf Elementary - Science Day
Science Day is special day designed to provide elementary school students with hands- on scientific exploration in regards to the human body and its functions. This program will run in conjunction with Grand Parents Day, inviting students and the special adults in their lives to investigate together. Students will demonstrate leadership skills by introducing activities, providing background knowledge for exhibits, and preparing grandparents for the day?s events.
Jane Ronyack, Hanover Elementary - iPad Safari
iPad Safari will allow second grade students to use iPads to research African animals and create a comprehensive report about the animal they choose. The iPads offer a variety of tools to develop research skills, including various apps in which students can watch videos, read short articles, and view pictures of African animals. This project will create a customized learning experience, teach students to collaborate in small groups activities, and allow children to work at their own pace.
Myra Stoudt, Hanover Elementary - Habitat by Proof
Habitat by Proof seeks to increase third grade students? interest in scientific inquiry. Using Chromebooks provided by the district, students will research the correct habitat for their classroom pets. By researching and caring for small animals such as hermit crabs, students will learn a larger lesson about problem solving while also gaining valuable experience with technology.
Anne Skelly, Liberty High School - Verizon Innovative App Challenge
This program allows Liberty High School students to participate in the Verizon Foundation?s Innovative App Challenge. This competition requires students to work in teams to develop a mobile app concept that addresses a need or problem within their school or community. Students at Liberty will work in groups of 5 to 7 students to write an essay about the problem they are addressing and create a short video describing the app concept. Student will have the opportunity to engage in creative and innovative thinking in an effort to better the Bethlehem community.
Lisa Gilliard, Barb Landis, Liberty High School - Making Friends and Memories
This project will require collaboration between Liberty High School?s yearbook students and its life skills students. These two groups will work together to create memory photo books for each life skills student. Life skills students will learn how to take photos and select clear, focused prints for their books while yearbook students will gain learning and peer teaching experience. Both groups of students will be asked to reflect on their collective experience through a written assignment.