Teachers Score Big with SRP Learning Grants
Twenty-Eight Schools Receive $124,000 in 2021 SRP Learning Grants
It is common for teachers to dig into their bank accounts to buy needed items for their students and classrooms. This school year, 28 teachers across the state have extra cash to purchase new math and science tools after being awarded Salt River Project (SRP) Learning Grants. SRP gave more than $124,000 to be used by teachers for a variety of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) projects, ranging from robotics to lab equipment. Grants are up to $5,000 per school.
SRP contributes more than $1.3 million annually to education initiatives, grants and partnerships and provides free training and resources to educators throughout the state. To apply, learn more about SRP Grants for Teachers, and get grant-writing tips, visit www.srpnet.com/education.
Here are this year’s SRP Learning Grants awards for the 2021-2022 school year, listed alphabetically by city:
- Desert Willow Elementary ($4,371):
Desert Willow students will explore entrepreneurial learning through a project-based learning unit. They will create products to offered in their school store that support a Positive Behavior Intervention initiative. Students will learn math, economics, engineering and technology concepts by developing their own business models. All third to fifth grade students will join groups to create small businesses that will develop products for the school store. They will lead all activities from market research to product distribution. With its grant, Desert Willow plans to purchase a 3D printer, two laptops, a workbench and materials for students which will make their entrepreneurial projects possible.
- Sonoran Trails Middle School ($5,000):
With this grant, Sonoran Trails can now purchase radiation monitors, Earth Science Collection kits, electronic scales and a microscope kit. Students will gain better understanding of science using the sensors to graphically see the world around them and be better prepared as they advance in science classes. Bringing technology into the classroom for labs will increase students’ understanding of basic science concepts by allowing them to measure, collect and interpret data. They gain a deeper understanding of their scientific investigations. The grant will improve science lessons for about 900 seventh and eighth graders.
- Arizona College Prep-Erie Campus ($5,000):
ACP-Erie will implement a hydroelectric generation project for ninth to 12th grade students. Students will design and build a small hydroelectric generator to capture energy from water to generate electricity at their school. Funds will be used to purchase a generator and students will design the school-based system.
- Basha Elementary School ($5,000):
Basha Elementary is purchasing materials for its entire fifth grade team to teach energy units in science using the new science standards. Picture Perfect Science is a research-based three-dimensional science program that SRP also uses as a tool for professional development. Basha will purchase teacher guides to be used for third- to fifth-grade students. Energy kits from the National Energy Education Development Project will also be purchased.
- Arete Preparatory Academy ($5,000):
Arete Preparatory Academy students will soon conduct laboratory experiments using wind tunnels to study the formation of ripples, marks and wind streaks. By using wind tunnels, students can have "ideal" conditions where they have the capability to control parameters including wind direction, wind velocity and grain size. The second component of the unit will be the collection of data in fields near Amboy and Kelso Dunes, California. Students will collect data on wind features and compare them to wind tunnel experiments to determine predominant wind direction and speed in our region. Students will use this knowledge to analyze imagery of Mars, Venus and Titan to better understand wind on the planetary bodies. The SRP Learning Grant will be used to purchase materials needed to construct the wind tunnels and 800eighth graders will get to use the new tools every year.
- Eduprize ($4,999):
New Vernier Wireless Sensors will be purchased for Eduprize’s International Baccalaureate Program. The sensors will enable 100 students per year in 10th, 11th and 12th to grades benefit from the wireless and Bluetooth technology that these sensors provide. The Vernier sensors measure heat, pH, CO2 and gas pressure, among other scientific measurements.
- Gilbert High School ($3,500):
Gilbert High School will soon implement the CASTLE program (Capacitor-Aided System for Teaching and Learning Electronics). CASTLE was developed by a group of university and high school educators as an alternative approach to traditional instruction in electricity. The goal is to lead students from initial ideas to an increasingly expert understanding of electrical wonders. More than 200 physics students every year will benefit from the program and the equipment is expected to serve the school for one decade, which means more than 2,000 students in 10th to 12th grade will benefit.
- South Valley Jr. High ($5,000):
Students at South Valley Jr. High will use a variety of new technology tools to measure carbon and oxygen levels to explore the concept of photosynthesis. They will be able to quantify patterns they see, create claims and back them with evidence collected and work together to create a model of how photosynthesis works. Students will be given opportunities to change variables and measure outcomes, then present ideas and findings around what impacts the rate at which plants photosynthesize. These ideas will be the foundation students use to explore climate change and human impact. The grant will benefit 1,000 seventh- and eighth-grade students every year.
- Pensar Academy ($5,000):
Pensar Academy has developed a program called Designing the Future, which will immerse students in STEM subjects. Students use project-based learning and work collaboratively to examine and find solutions for real-world problems. The grant funding will be used to purchase three 3D printers and filament that till be utilized by students.
- Palm Valley Elementary ($4,800):
Palm Valley Elementary is now able to upgrade its math program to Guided Math, a nationally recognized program. Each guided math unit has detailed- and differentiated-lesson plans, activities, games and cards for Guided Math whole- and small-group lessons. The school will use grant funds to soon purchase four new laptops to implement in the math program.
- Poston Jr. High ($5,000):
New science equipment will allow students to explore several science concepts with a hands-on, student-centered approach. Seventh and eighth-grade students at Poston Junior High will now obtain essential lab equipment to promote three-dimensional learning and scientific literacy. New high-quality balances, project equipment and ramps will positively impact science education programs at the school.
- Rhodes Jr. High ($5,000):
Rhodes Jr. High is working to create opportunities for all students in science and STEM fields. In their existing MakerSpace, students work in a hands-on environment following procedures, taking measurements, being creative and thinking entrepreneurially, all while developing chemistry skills and knowledge. SRP Learning Grant funding will be used to purchase inventory and equipment to engineer and create everyday household products for seventh and eighth graders to utilize.
- Smith Jr. High ($3,800):
Teachers want students to comprehend the core idea that the total amount of energy in a closed system is always the same but can be transferred from one energy store to another during an event. To help eighth grade students better understand, new science equipment will allow teachers to demonstrate the concept with a hands-on, student-centered approach. Students will be able to see how energy can be transferred from one store to another using high-quality thermometers and electricity manipulatives. The grant will positively impact the science education of students in a -lower income area in Mesa.
- Stapley Jr. High ($5,000):
Stapley students will more easily learn the key science concept that energy can be transferred from one store to another. With new tools and equipment, eighth grade students will complete an engineering project using solar power and learn firsthand how solar energy can be transferred into usable electrical energy.
- Julia Randall Elementary ($828):
Thirty STEM kits focused on circuits, magnetism and gravity will be now be available to Julia Randall Elementary students. The hands-on kits will allow students to work in small groups during science class to make better sense of the world around them regarding science, systems, cause-and-effect and engineering design practices.
- Payson Elementary School in Payson ($5,000):
Payson Elementary wants to incorporate more robotics into its STEAM program and thanks to SRP Learning grants teacher can do just that. The grant enables educators to purchase three Cubelets Complete Kits. The kits will be used by eight kindergarten classes. The user-friendly kits can be used in many different ways such as for simple coding and incorporate many different learning aspects.
- Payson Unified/Rim Country Middle School ($4,869):
Rim Country Middle School will start the year with new electricity kits called Snap Circuits. The kits will help with the instruction of electricity and resistors/capacitors. With the SRP Learning Grant the school will have enough kits to provide STEAM instruction to approximately 60 percent of the student body for the next five to 10 years.
- Vistancia Elementary School ($3,385):
New molecular modeling sets will help students understand how molecules combine, the types of intermolecular attractions that form between molecules, 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.
- Creighton Academy ($5,000):
The brand new, first-year school is developing a hands-on science curriculum titled, ‘Focus on Phenomena.’ Kindergarten through second graders will participate in project-based learning activities around earth science, life science and physical science. New materials will aid in building a science and STEM lab with force and motion kits, robotics, gravity-related items and physiological materials.
- Roadrunner Elementary School ($800):
Second to sixth graders at Roadrunner Elementary will soon enjoy 20 new STEM kits that include pulleys, circuits, wind power, coding and more. The hands-on STEM kits will be used by gifted students to teach problem-solving skills, friendly competitions and higher-level thinking.
- Sandra Day O’Connor High School ($5,000):
Students will soon be able to conduct real research in STEAM fields. The SRP Learning Grant money will be used in the classroom and by the school’s STEAM club to purchase Arduino Kits, 3D filament for a 3D printer and materials for projects. More than 1,400 students at Sandra Day O’Connor High School are involved in STEAM programs.
- South Mountain High School ($5,000):
South Mountain High School is starting a nanotechnology program, which will help and encourage students in understanding the industry of sustainability. Students will learn about the characteristics and properties of substances exhibited at the nanoscale level. The nanotechnology project will allow students to collaborate with Nano scientists from Arizona State University and Rice University to generate a set of nanoscience activities. These will help students visualize physical, chemical and biological principles that govern the behavior of particles on the nanoscopic scale.
- Sunnyslope High School ($5,000):
Sunnyslope High will have new laptops with specialized construction and engineering design programs. The funding supports a project called, ‘Designing Our Lives,’ and brings real-world applications to the classroom in construction management and engineering. Students will apply design, math and technology skills to their learning to help prepare for careers in construction and design fields. All students will have access to a 3D printer through the schools’ Maker Space in its media center. The grant is expected to benefit 2,250 students.
- Yeshiva High School of Arizona ($5,000):
Yeshiva High School of Arizona can now equip its science lab with basic chemistry and biology tools. The new equipment will enable students from sophomores to juniors to safely conduct their own experiments instead of watching teachers perform demonstrations. Students can also design and execute projects for the school’s first science fair. The new materials are expected to increase student engagement in science and 3D leaning and motivate students to consider careers in STEAM fields.
- Westwind Elementary ($1,7000):
Explore Learning Science Gizmos are interactive simulations that bring to life research-proven instructional strategies and make learning fun. Students at Westwind Elementary now have Gizmos to interact with and explore sixth-grade science topics ranging from earth science, including sun-earth-moon systems, seasons, and gravity in space, to physical science, such as energy and phases, to life science which incorporates ecosystems and food chains. Gizmos are aligned with the latest Arizona state science standards making it easy to get students ready for success. The tool allows students to access virtual labs and simulations as if they were in a real-life science laboratory, which enhances learning through exploration and experimentation.
- Sanders Middle School ($5,000):
Sanders Middle School can now create a ‘Makerspace’ where all students can investigate STEAM-related concepts and innovative use of technology. Teachers say the increased opportunities to incorporate math, science, technology and robotic practices to real-world, hands-on activities is invaluable to the Title 1 school with a Navajo student population. The SRP Learning Grant funded the purchase of 3D printers, an Arduino Kits, Raspberry Pi small single-board computers and robotics kits. Students will become members of the Chief Science Officers (CSO) program through SciTech Institute and create STEAM ambassadors at the school. The CSO’s at Sanders Middle School will collaborate with a Navajo CSO student at Cactus High School in Peoria.
- McClintock High School ($4,480):
McClintock High School students will use funds to create a three-year engineering program for its students. First-year students will work in groups on an autonomous car, which will be broken down into 3D design, using Tinkercad or Sketchup to design and build the chassis –while programming the Arduino to control and drive the car. Second-year engineering students will work in groups to design and build a robotic arm. Third-year students will work together to design and build a prosthetic hand. The new program also allows for the integration of math and science standards. Funds will be used to purchase a 3D printer to create parts for the projects as well as materials needed to construct engineering projects.
- Desert Oasis Elementary School ($5,000):
The goal of a STEAM program is to teach students how to identify a problem and create a solution. Desert Oasis students will soon explore the real-world technology challenges related to solar-powered vehicles. Students across multiple grade levels will deepen their understanding of renewable energy and utilize that knowledge to create a system that solves a problem while integrating technology. Students will learn how to program and create a solar-powered vehicle that works by a remote control. Students also will share their knowledge with younger grades who are in the midst of learning about renewable energy sources. It will be a school-wide learning experience benefiting 800 students per year. Funds from the grant will be used to purchase solar panel kits, MicroBit and MotoBits robotics.