Hoover City Schools Foundation
At Trace Crossings Elementary, students will use 3D models to build an indoor/outdoor imagination playground.
Students with disabilities at Rocky Ridge Elementary School will get a chance to explore art this fall using materials and supplies designed to meet their needs.
Those are just some of the innovative ways to learn outside the traditional classroom students in 10 city schools will experience over the coming year thanks to nearly $21,000 in grants announced by the Hoover City Schools Foundation.
Griff Waters, chair of the grants committee for the Hoover City Schools Foundation, said it was tough whittling the 40-plus grant applications from 12 schools down to the 13 projects selected.
“We look for projects outside the normal school curriculum, innovative projects that go above and beyond,” he said. “I’m amazed at the diversity and vision shown in the applications we received this year.”
Waters said the teachers who lead the innovation projects do so outside their normal duties on their own time.
“To be able to go into the classroom and see the reaction from the students and passion from the teachers shows our grant money is being well spent,” he said. “The extra work the teachers put into this is commendable. It makes me as a parent proud to have students in Hoover City Schools.”
The Hoover City Schools Foundation is a non-profit that has been providing resources to help schools since 1992. For more information on the foundation, go to hooverfoundation.org.
Here are the 2015-16 grant recipients and details of the projects, selected out of over 40 applicants (The Hoover Sun/280 Living will follow some of these projects as they develop beginning this fall):
"Reachable/Teachable Art” at Rocky Ridge Elementary School ($1,020 grant):
Led by Ellen Anson, this project will enable students with disabilities to explore art in their own class using materials and supplies designed to meet their needs.
“FORE (Finches, Outreach and Engineering)” at Spain Park High School ($1,287 grant):
Led by Scottie Wilson, Spain Park High Engineering Academy students, Spain Park Computer Science Principles students and Rocky Ridge Elementary fifth-graders will learn engineering and problem solving techniques through the use of robotics.
Derbying for Data” at Riverchase Elementary School ($1,238 grant):
Led by Garret Rogers, this project will allow students to use Pinewood Derby Cars to learn about math, science and data collection. Among issues they will explore is the effect that weight, air resistance and friction have on motion of an object.
“Mobile Play: The Indoor/Outdoor Imagination Playground” Trace Crossings Elementary School ($2,000 grant):
Led by Amanda Stone, this project will unlock the creative spirit in children by allowing students to learn how to build using 3D models and then recreate their work in a physical setting. It combines brain and body to create the play environment, providing learning in symmetry and geometry.
“Building Mathematical Understanding With Legos” South Shades Crest Elementary ($1,970 grant):
Led by Lori St. Clair, this project allows students to use Legos to deepen their understanding of multiplication and fractions. It will strengthen and encourage use of physical representations to better understand these concepts and help alleviate math anxiety.
"Spain Park Forensic Science Primary Anthropology Set” Spain Park High School ($1,500 grant):
Led by Kristie Cannon, this project allows the forensic science program at Spain Park to establish a hands-on approach to learning by giving students the opportunity to actively experience the differences of the skeleton based on gender and race. They will also observe how skeletal damage can indicate cause of death.
“Green Into Learning” Green Valley Elementary ($610 grant):
Led by Brooke Johns, this project allows students to build clocks in their classroom based off of content in the book “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznik. It will provide hands-on experience to enhance students’ problem-solving through clock building with gears and small pieces.
“Robots on the Move” Berry Middle School ($1,925 grant):
Led by Angela Mangina, this project will allow students to acquire STEM skills via collaborative hands-on, project-based investigations that stimulate critical thinking and scientific reasoning.
“Robots on the Move” Bumpus Middle School ($1,925 grant):
Led by Vinny Chiaramonte, this project will allow students to acquire STEM skills via collaborative hands-on, project-based investigations that stimulate critical thinking and scientific reasoning.
“Robots on the Move” Simmons Middle School ($1,925 grant):
Led by Cindi Morris, this project will allow students to acquire STEM skills via collaborative hands-on, project-based investigations that stimulate critical thinking and scientific reasoning.
“Integrating Current Events Into Reading and Writing Standards” Green Valley Elementary School ($1,468 grant):
Led by Julie Strength, this project will enhance reading programs at the school by providing content rich reading materials across all genres of literature. It will give students access to relevant, engaging text that can easily be differentiated for all learners.
“Bee a Tech Learner” Riverchase Elementary ($1,937 grant):
Led by Dr. Alice Turney, this project will introduce robotics programming to young children allowing students to explore electricity and the opportunity to build words using tangrams and to do some problem-solving activities. It will increase students’ understanding of robotics and critical thinking skills.
“Environmental Science vs Human Anatomy: Game On” Spain Park High School ($1,970 grant):
Led by Amber Lewis and Jean Gillespie, this project will place an aeroponic tower garden in two classrooms, allowing environmental science students to study nutrient recycling, limits to resources for food production and methods for improving methods and resources. It also allows anatomy students to learn about nutrients used in this unique and innovative growing system, relate it the importance of food choices and the effect on our physiology.