Foundation Mini Grants 2018

Foundation Mini-Grants 2018
Foundation Mini-Grants 2018

NOTE: The Kokomo Public Schools Education Foundation supports innovative classroom projects by awarding mini-grants to teachers in Kokomo Schools. Read about three of the projects the Foundation recently funded.


Bon Air Middle School Moon Rovers

            Technology Academy at Bon Air Middle School Science teachers James McConnell and Tamika Williams recently guided a group of Bon Air students on a space adventure.

            Using robotic moon rovers purchased through a Kokomo Schools Education Foundation mini-grant, the teachers worked with students to conduct a space simulation. Students guided the rovers across the “moon’s surface”, while completing different tasks en route to the space station.

            During this space simulation project, Bon Air students researched, designed, and fabricated different robotic models and functions for different tasks. These moon rovers will be used for 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade classes to support the space technology and engineering robotics units and standards.

            Bon Air Middle School Principal Amanda Landrum noted: “Bon Air’s STEM class has become popular among our students, and continues to showcase the exciting and inventive ways we can teach students through projects. I have no doubt that this project will be one that students can’t wait to participate in year after year. I already have seen students having fun, while working through the space technology and engineering robotics standards.”


A Night at Jay Gatsby’s Mansion

            Kokomo High School International Baccalaureate English teacher Aaron Blessing received a mini-grant to recreate a night at Jay Gatsby’s mansion at the Howard County Historical Society’s Elliott House.

            Mr. Blessing’s IB Diploma Program Language & Literature students closely study F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, while examining the culture and values of what Fitzgerald called “the jazz age” – the decade of the 1920s. Through their study and discussion of the novel, the KHS students address Fitzgerald’s arguments about love, relationships, power, and the extent to which people do, or should, pursue their dreams.

            “Part of the allure of Fitzgerald’s magnum opus is the manner in which he vividly depicts the life of a cross section of society in New York City in the 1920s,” Mr. Blessing explained. “The experience I have created, with the help and inspiration of my students over several years, is a recreation of Gatsby’s party described in the third chapter of the novel. As part of the experience, each student must create a persona and interact with other members of high society who come and go frequently in the novel. Students must consider the motivations of Wall Street tycoons, lawyers, movie stars, and international moguls.”

            Through this experience, students become better acquainted with the themes and purpose of Fitzgerald’s writing. Students also develop ideas about how to respond to the text in writing, and are able to further prepare for the oral exam over the novel at the end of the spring semester.


Three-dimensional Learning

            Wallace Elementary School of Integrated Arts teacher Jenny Mygrant finds that her 5th-grade students engage deeper with the curriculum when concepts are introduced with a 3-D art project.

            Mrs. Mygrant recently was awarded an Education Foundation mini-grant to purchase materials for several 3-D art lessons.

            “I want to take every opportunity to make learning come to life for my students,” Mrs. Mygrant explained in her application. “Through art I pique student interest and passion in subject material. The art gives students inspiration to help them explain what they’ve learned.”

            Through the grant, Mrs. Mygrant’s students will create models showcasing early U.S. settlements, models of Native American artifacts, cookie replicas of atoms and molecules, Oreo replicas of the phases of the moon, models of the solar system, and models of Native American shelters.

            Wallace Principal Jason Snyder noted: “It has been a pleasure to see these 5th-grade students engage in these projects. Mrs. Mygrant has done a fantastic job reaching the students through their natural passions, while building on the curriculum with several relatable projects.”

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