SRP Celebrates Teachers by Awarding 2020 Learning Grants
More than $125,000 Awarded to 27 Schools for Math and Science Programs
SRP Learning Grants Summary:
27 grants awarded in these areas:
10 East Valley
10 West Valley
1 Casa Grande
In Scott Hogan’s more than 20 years of teaching math and physics, he never imagined he would be instructing from his kitchen — now equipped with a makeshift lab table and a computer to teach his students online. At a time when the pandemic has disrupted education and the world, a surprise phone call this week from Salt River Project’s Community Outreach education coordinator gave the veteran educator a much-needed morale boost.
“The last nine weeks have been a very hard road and I was surprised and grateful to learn I won (an SRP Learning Grant),” said Hogan, who teaches at Goodyear’s Desert Edge High School. “I couldn’t believe it. I wish all the projects could have been funded, but my grant supports physics and with budget limitations, it is always an uphill battle for funding and resources. This is special, helpful and deeply appreciated.”
The grant program, which awarded $125,794 to 27 schools in SRP service and impact territories, provides a unique opportunity for teachers such as Hogan to develop programs that give students cutting-edge, hands-on learning tools and experiences in math, science and engineering.
SRP annually contributes more than $1.3 million to education initiatives, grants and partnerships and provides free training and resources to educators throughout Arizona.
Here are this year’s SRP Learning Grants awarded for the 2020-2021 school year, listed alphabetically by city:
Cottonwood Elementary ($3,600):
Vroom. Vroom. Students will soon design their own model car. “Racing into Learning” is a project aimed at maximizing student engagement while strengthening engineering, science and math skills. Students will choose between various power sources such as wind, battery, solar or a combination to power their vehicles and deepen their understanding of electricity, circuits, motion, measurement and renewable and nonrenewable energy sources.
Auxier Elementary ($5,000):
Kids love LEGOs, and SRP Learning Grants will be used to purchase 10 LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 Core Sets and five LEGO Mindstorms Expansion Sets, which help students explore new and innovative ways to solve problems through hands-on creativity, design and programming skills. LEGO projects at Auxier Elementary support all aspects of science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM) as students use interactive, model-based engineering design methods to build.
Tarwater Elementary ($5,000):
Tarwater Elementary School has a unique Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program where students learn science and math in Mandarin. It is extremely difficult to find hands-on science materials in Mandarin. Funds will be used to purchase resources from the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) and the Museum of Science’s suite of engineering curricula to support their dual-language learning.
Valley Christian High School ($5,000):
Valley Christian High School will soon replace outdated science technology with modern tools for both its science and math departments. The new equipment will improve lab and project experiences for students in ninth through 12th grades by enhancing data-collection capabilities. It will also enable teachers to cover topics in a more detailed manner. The new technologies will increase student engagement and learning and better prepare them for academic and professional careers in STEAM fields.
Coolidge High School ($5,000):
Coolidge High School plans to get a lot of bang for its buck using grant funds to bring new STEAM tools to its physics program. They intend to purchase a bundle of Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapters, 40 DFRobot Boson Starter Kits for micro:bit, a micro:bit inventor’s kit and more. The materials will help further develop critical thinking, creativity and communication skills while engaging students in STEAM knowledge application.
Riverview Elementary ($4,977):
What could be more fun than a new wireless weather station to record wind speeds and analyze force and motion on objects? SRP Learning Grants funds will be used to purchase materials, equipment and kits to bring cross-curricular, grade-level science activities into every classroom from kindergarten to eighth grade. Students will also learn about genetics, DNA, hereditary traits and more with interactive fingerprinting and blood-typing kits. Riverview students also will learn more about the solar system and space exploration with new materials.
Fountain Hills Middle School ($5,000):
Green screen video production and a microscope cart will soon be a new feature for STEAM students at Fountain Hills Middle School for a more hands-on, active learning experience. A set of Raspberry Pi kits will teach students computer assembly and coding.
Campo Verde High School ($4,952):
Campo Verde High School teachers and students will no longer have to worry about broken, outdated technology that doesn’t hold charge. Obsolete Vernier science equipment will be replaced with new and improved technology to enable students to perform meaningful, college-ready labs to make science more relevant to their lives.
Gilbert Classical Academy ($3,385):
New molecular modeling sets will help students understand how molecules combine, the types of intermolecular attractions that form between them and predict chemical and physical properties of compounds. In addition, students will have a class set of Vernier pressure sensors to conduct gas law experiments and collect, graph and analyze reliable data.
Cactus High School ($5,000):
To help boost the number of students entering STEAM-related fields, a new extracurricular club will be created focusing on the protection and conservation of wildlife with an emphasis on sustainability. Club members will set up field cameras in the White Tank Mountains to collect data on a variety of species through movement and population migration. This includes monitoring watering holes in the area and observing how a future interstate may impact wildlife populations. A solar energy component will also be incorporated so students can see how solar power works in a practical application.
Las Brisas Elementary ($5,000):
First grade students will soon enjoy new iPads and Osmo’s STEAM education technology in their classrooms. Osmo is an interactive device that enhances student creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication skills on a variety of subjects such as coding, math, drawing, spelling fundamentals of physics and world geography.
Desert Edge High School ($4,707):
The upcoming school year will be a blast for physics students as air- and water-powered rockets, solar cars, solar ovens, eco-wind generators, magnetic-levitation vehicles and mousetrap vehicles will be part of physics classes. New funding will allow for hands-on, real world learning as students engage in 3-Dimensional Science Learning outlined in the new Arizona Science Standards.
Westar Elementary ($3,579):
SRP Learning Grants will pay for new Project-Based Learning Coding Clubs that focus on designing, engineering and problem solving when coding an Ozobot. Westar Elementary’s grant will pay for three Ozobot Evo kits that introduce coding at a basic level and progressively become more challenging through a coding app. The school’s coding clubs will prepare students for real-life situations and set them up for a strong transition into the work force with the ability to one day develop their own websites, apps and computer software.
Longfellow Elementary ($2,800):
How would you like to have a robot that can perform chores? That is what students will soon build and program. Several LEGO Education SPIKE kits will be added to classrooms, so students can learn to solve problems, work together and innovate.
Rhodes Junior High ($5,000):
SRP Learning Grants will fund an Electricity and Magnetism Exploration Center inside the school’s MakerSpace, which is a space that allows students to learn, design and create. The area also will support the seventh- and eighth-grade science classrooms where the new resources can be used for new energy, electricity and magnetism units to meet science standards.
Academy of Math and Science, Desert Sky ($5,000):
Middle school students will be getting a small virtual reality development lab where they can gain valuable technical experience in developing virtual reality applications. Many students at the school have never traveled outside of their local neighborhoods or seen other parts of the state. With virtual reality and hardware such as a 360-degree camera, students can create applications to explore and experience Arizona and other parts of the world.
Bernard Black Elementary ($5,000):
When students return to school, they will soon have a new MakerSpace, which is an area that allows students to learn, design and create. They will also have a new three-dimensional printer with corresponding accessories as well as STEAM robotic kits they will use to ignite creativity and find solutions to a real-world problems.
Madison Camelview Elementary ($5,000):
A new MakerSpace will be created in the school’s STEAM room so students can experience scientific phenomena, complete engineering challenges, explore creative outlets and develop mathematical skills. Teachers plan to build a LEGO wall and provide a workstation with supplies for students to collaborate and build their ideas. SRP Learning Grant funds will be used to purchase a 3D printer, 3D pens, cardboard construction kits and tools, electronic-circuitry exploration and robotics kits and a set of basic hand tools that teachers and students can use.
Madison Highland Prep ($5,000):
In partnership with Arizona State University’s Chemical Engineering and its Engineering Professionals in Community Service program, students in the Madison Highland Prep Engineering Club will bring low-energy water purity to community gardens. They will learn to drive down the total dissolved solids that can make flood-irrigation gardening challenging in Arizona. By phase two of the project, students will deploy a working filter in an existing school garden. During phase three, club members will identify iterative improvements based on data, build the second-generation model and begin testing. SRP funding will provide the tools necessary to collect data and documentation and allow the project to keep going indefinitely.
Maryvale High School ($4,415):
New science tools will allow students to examine Galileo’s discovery and research the acceleration of gravity. Students will establish a deep knowledge and mathematical understanding of physics by utilizing the latest in Vernier science software and technology.
Northwest Christian School ($4,845):
With its new “Discovering Drones” project, Northwest Christian School students will build Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, or drones, to practice engineering, programming, robotics and configuration. They will develop hands-on skills all while learning principles of design, math and technology. Students will assemble drones using frames printed with a new 3D printer and attach components such as motors, receivers, transmitters, batteries, propellers and mini-remote cameras. Knowledge about drones can give students a substantial head start for careers in agriculture, digital media, information technology, computer science and programming.
Pendergast Desert Horizon Middle School ($5,000):
Seventh- and eighth-grade students will study principles of agricultural sustainability by exploring food production in the United States, which traces food from the seed to table. Two hands-on projects will allow students to design an aquaponic farming system and begin producing vegetables and fish. At the end of the year, students will engage in a capstone project and travel to study natural habitats and wild ecosystems. Students will compare manmade vs. natural ecosystems and what is needed for both to thrive.
Simpson School ($4,855):
Students will soon learn all about drones with new drone kits that help improve student engagement beyond traditional teaching methods. Drones support student understanding of the laws of physics such as calculating how long it will take the drone to travel a certain distance or how the wind influences the its path.
Trevor Browne High School ($4,842):
New teaching tools will help students investigate electrophysiology and aid them in making connections among neurology, physics, engineering, computer programming and mathematics. In anatomy, physiology, physics and robotics courses, students will learn how a single sensory neuron can adapt to stimuli. They will use newfound knowledge to design investigations into what affects neuron adaptation. Ultimately, the goal is for students to better understand how and why we learn.
Acorn Montessori ($4,853):
Acorn Montessori will use funds to create two course units that utilize 3D printers. In the first unit, students will work together to design, create and print a device that would be helpful in a survival scenario. For the second unit, they will research a famous inventor and re-create the inventor’s invention with the school’s new 3D printer.
AZ Aspire Academy ($4,451):
SRP Learning Grants will be used to incorporate engineering, conservation and design elements into the STEAM curriculum by utilizing project-based learning. Students will have up to four hands-on projects each quarter with sustainability themes. Students will learn a variety of foundational skills such as energy, magnetism, simple machines, design concepts, electricity and conservation.
Queen Creek Unified School District ($3,989):
Second- through fifth-grade students in the Queen Creek Unified School District will soon be able to create technologies and explore the various fields of engineering when their district purchases Engineering is Elementary (EiE) Curriculum Units. Students at all levels and multiple schools throughout the district will have opportunities to become problem solvers utilizing STEAM skills.
“The last nine weeks have been a very hard road and I was surprised and grateful to learn I won (an SRP Learning Grant). I couldn’t believe it. I wish all the projects could have been funded, but my grant supports physics and with budget limitations, it is always an uphill battle for funding and resources. This is special, helpful and deeply appreciated.”
SRP is a community-based, not-for-profit public power utility and the largest provider of electricity in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, serving more than 1 million customers. SRP is also the metropolitan area’s largest supplier of water, delivering about 800,000 acre-feet annually to municipal, urban and agricultural water users.