Grants Recipients & Descriptions

A.K. Suter Elementary: “From Weeds to Seeds” Grades K-5 (Literacy)

Our elementary students are breaking down the doors to get into the library! Yesterday we had to replace the hinges, again! That’s the third time this year! A shipment of new books arrived and our students couldn’t wait to check them out! Sadly, this is not our reality! Our enrollment has increased by over 300 students with no extra library funding. Be our super hero by turning our weeds (outdated books) to seeds (new books)!

Lead Contact: Paula Stillman


Bellview Elementary: “Help Our Kids Win with WIN” Grades K-5 (Literacy, STEM, Student Retention)

Have you heard about WIN time? WIN time is where every student gets what they need to be prepared for classroom learning. During WIN time, students that have academic, behavioral, or social-emotional needs leave the classroom to receive interventions. The rest of the class engages in Project Based Learning where science and social studies are integrated with English/language arts, and students have the flexibility to direct their learning. Will you help our kids win at WIN time?

Lead Contact: Laura Coker


C.A. Weis Elementary: “Robotics are Elementary” Grades 1, 3, and 4 (Literacy and STEM)

If you want students to be excited to come to school, learn math, science, technology, even engineering concepts, then robotics are the way to go! Students of all ages are motivated to program machines. They have so much fun they don’t even know they’re learning! Robots in classrooms give students opportunities to hone math skills in a practical way. Cubelets are little cube-shaped robots that provide big learning opportunities!

Lead Contact: Holly Magee


Escambia High School: “Salty Science: Students Helping Our Estuaries” Grades 10, 11, 12 (STEM)

“Salty Science” is a multidisciplinary STEM project affording marine science, environmental science, and biology students the opportunity to help solve some of the most relevant and pressing environmental concerns facing our state. When students have the training, the tools, and the desire, they are quite effective citizen scientists. Students will monitor local estuary water quality using high-end equipment, participate in an Invasive Species DNA project, implement shoreline restoration, and create their own research project.

Lead Contact: Matthew MacGregor


Ferry Pass Elementary: “Moving to Learn: Activate Learning!” Grades K-5 (Literacy/Student Retention)

Students are consistently asked to sit still, be quiet, wait, do this, go here, do that. These same students need to move, jump, bounce, bend and breathe. We know that adults can’t sit still for more than 17 minutes without their brain going to sleep. Our Active Learning Paths and an Active Learning Lab will give students appropriate outlets for their built up energy loads and activate their brains so they are ready to learn.

Lead Contact: Michelle White


Jim C. Bailey Middle School: “Use Virtual Reality to Awaken the Genius Inside and Improve Science Skills” Grade 8 (STEM)

When students personally experience science knowledge and awareness through virtual reality on a skill or concept in science, they have effectively immersed themselves into the content. This project will enhance a student’s sense of involvement in the content area of science. This project will utilize an Action Research focus which will be ongoing after the initial research project. The technology of Virtual Reality will enable students to understand and acquire knowledge in science on a level beyond the textbook. Why not awaken the genius inside while introducing a technology that can transform science curriculum?

Lead Contact: Roberta Wetzel


J.M. Tate High School: “TLC (Thrive-Learn-Community)” Grades 9 – 12 (Literacy/Student Retention)

We want to create an organization that will help supplement our typical school day by addressing certain needs of our students in order to better prepare and support them for jobs, college, and life. We will tackle the topics of Wellness, Communication, Study Skills, Job/College readiness. Organizations and individuals from the local community will be invited to participate and present opportunities and expectations for the students’ futures. Another purpose of TLC is to build rapport between teachers and students.

Lead Contact: Elerene Walters


Kingsfield Elementary: “What’s Cooking: STEM Snacks and Culinary Collaboration” Grades K- 5 (STEM)

Our school is seeking the opportunity to expose students to experiences that combine cross curriculum disciplines. We wish to build student conversations, connections, and social skills by integrating STEM and cooking lessons into their learning routines.

Lead Contact: Cassie Mense


Lincoln Park Elementary: “Practice Makes Proficient”  Grades K-5 (Literacy)

How can you develop new skills without the tools to practice? Readers need books to practice literacy skills, as surely as a carpenter need tools to practice carpentry. Literacy skills like decoding, fluency, comprehension, and stamina develop best when practiced in a  real-world situation with actual books. We desperately need emergent level books for our earliest readers, as well as older students who are on an emergent level. Tools are key!

Lead Contact: Laura Hobbs


Myrtle Grove Elementary: “Track to the Future” Grades K-5 (STEM)

Today’s students are the future leaders, innovators, and educators of the 21st century. A learning environment full of STE(A)M encourages students to develop an interest and perhaps a passion for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics, with the possibility of pursuing future careers in the STE(A)M fields. This project launches student on the “Track to the Future”, providing hands-on minds-on learning, through structured classroom experiences and extracurricular activities, students become adept at taking on real-world problems and solving them in creative and innovative ways.

Lead Contact: Aurora Paul


Northview High School: “Who says We Can’t Fly? Just Watch Us!”  Grades 9-12 (STEM/Literacy) C8

Today you will watch me do something I have never done before. Today you will see me leave my comfort zone while others will doubt me. Today I will face a fear and conquer it because I have been given that opportunity. Tomorrow I will know something new about myself, and I will be more confident. I am the student body; all genders, all races, all backgrounds. Who says we can’t fly? Just step aside and watch us!

Lead Contact: Jim Shugart


Roy Hyatt Environmental Center: “Keeping an Eagle Eye Out for Our Feathered Friends” Grades 2 and 5 (STEM) C14

Imagine walking through a wildlife habitat and seeing birds, bees, butterflies, frogs, lizards, and more! Now imagine seeing hummingbirds drinking nectar, a frog eating a fly. We will turn an existing garden into a Certified Wildlife Habitat. Students will make observations using digital cameras to document and collect data while learning about such topics as habitats, life-cycles, adaptations, food chains, and more. What a fun way to participate in science based STEM activities.

Lead Contact: Molly O’Connor


Washington High School: “Soaring into the Past, Present and Future” Grades 9-12 (STEM/Student Retention) C9

Imagine taking to the skies and looking down on all the activity occurring below. You are flying over students playing tennis, football, on fields trips pulling seine nets, and searching historical ruins while learning the history of Pensacola. Record what you see, do some editing and add music! The result – an educational, awe-inspiring “you tube” video that students can share school-wide.

Lead Contact: Edward Bauer


West Florida High School: “Printing for Progress” Grades 9-12 (STEM/Student Retention) C12

Printing for Progress is a project that incorporates technology and creativity into the classroom. Students will create unique visual elements that will accompany and enhance the learning experience. This project will stretch across several subject areas allowing students to make cross-curricular connections between science and art. Students will collaborate with each other in a professional setting in order to create visually stimulating graphics that will promote a desire for learning and participation in extracurricular activities.

Lead Contact: Sarah Ingram


Workman Middle School: “Breaking Down Barriers in School and Community through Service Learning” Grades 6-8 (Literacy/STEM) C2

Our students are breaking down barriers through Community Service. The collaborative projects range from growing a plethora of organic produce to donate to the local Manna Food Bank, campus beautification and clean up, to knitting caps and scarves for the elderly and shut-ins. Students want to stretch to include reading buddies with the local elementary school, and expand tier STEM knowledge through a Robotics Club and acquisition of a 3D printer.

Lead Contact: Milly Sessions


A.K. Suter Elementary: A Phonics Phenomenon – First Grade Students (Literacy)

“EmajiN reEding stores like this eVee day. This is how Mi fRst grad stewdnts rite.” Translation: Imagine reading stories like this every day. This is how my first-grade students write. Time for a phonics phenomenon! Engaging, hands-on phonics and spelling activities will help to transform my literacy centers and small group instruction. My first graders will grow as young spellers which will directly improve their writing fluency and reading comprehension.

Lead Contact: Anna Harageones


Ensley Elementary: A Trip to the Exotic Petting Zoo – Kindergarten (Literacy)

Imagine you’re a kindergartener and have never seen an exotic animal. Here’s your chance to do that! You can go the Pensacola Interstate Fair’s Exotic Petting Zoo to see animals you’ve only read about or seen in movies. There’ll be animals like camels, yaks, alpacas, porcupines, baboons, giraffes, donkeys, and you actually get to interact with them. There’ll be lots of educational information about them too, Don’t miss out on this wonderful opportunity!

Lead Contact: Regina Smolensky


Ferry Pass Elementary: Seating for Super Heroes – Kindergarten (Literacy/Student Retention)

I know you’re wondering why is she wearing a superhero cape. Ok, let me share with you, I’m in charge of training an amazing group of kindergarten superheroes. Our headquarters is in need of some alternative seating. We’re tired of sitting in hard, uncomfortable seats. With your help, we will grow into amazing readers with super behavior, and we will never want to miss school. Please send help in the form of alternative seating.

Lead Contact: Nikki Cole


Ferry Pass Elementary: Flexible Seating for Success! – Grade 2 (Literacy/Student Retention)

Have you ever been in a boring meeting wishing there was a way you could move without being disruptive? If only there was a way to keep our brain engaged through some type of acceptable movement that would not become disruptive. Can you only imagine how students feel in a stuffy classroom? Enter a solution: flexible seating! If this option is available to students, the movement they crave is now available in an appropriate way.

Lead Contact: Sara Frassetti


Ferry Pass Elementary: Reading Sandwiched In – Grade 4  (STEM/Literacy)

What do you get when you combine books that tell a terrifying story from history, lunch, and the chance to design a safety vehicle that could survive a tornado? You get “Reading Sandwiched In”, where students delve into exciting tales, practice reading strategies with an interactive notebook, work through the design process, all while working in a comfortable lunch setting once a week. These students will lunch and learn their way to higher achievements!

Lead Contact: Michelle White


Kingsfield Elementary: Full STEM Ahead: Engineering Architects with Coding – Grade 4 (STEM)

My class seeks the tools today to prepare for their futures tomorrow. Through project based learning activities that incorporate computer coding, we wish to make an immediate impact on student learning, attendance, and engagement while implementing STEM learning into the curriculum.

Lead Contact: Cassie Mense


Myrtle Grove Elementary: Writing in 3D – Grade 4 (STEM/Literacy)

Writing and the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – are not new, but oh, how times have changed! Today’s students are tech-savvy, often more so than their teachers. It is imperative that teachers keep up with current technology to keep these learners engaged while increasing the rigor of instruction. “Writing in 3D” engages students in writing with an authentic purpose and provides them with a tangible product that stems from the writing process. The cross-curricular learning experience will result in increased proficiency in English-Language Arts and Mathematics.

Lead Contact: Julie Tomlinson


Oakcrest Elementary: “Creativity Takes Courage” Grades 3-5 (STEM/Student Retention) t22

When my students enter the art studio, not only does their imagination grow, but so does their superhero skills. My students are all considered superheroes because when the rest of the world has thought to give up, they will rise above and succeed. Art helps us to see the world a little different, color makes the world a little brighter when it should seem the dullest, and happiness comes from inspiring others. I will start an art club at my school to promote being an excellent artist and help students elaborate on concepts. Students who will be selected not only have to show an interest in art, but their behavior has to be maintained and their attendance has to remain high.

Lead Contact: Amanda Robar


Roy Hyatt Environmental Center: “Woodland Mystery: CSI through STEM and Standards” Grade 5 (STEM) T20

Mrs. Armadillo believes a crime has been committed just through the trees. Mrs. Rabbit has agreed to investigate. The Woodland Mystery engages students through the use of narrative, hands-on science investigation, technology, and the environment around them. The students will use GPS units to guide their investigation to the way-points. There, they will answer hand-on standards based science questions. Each of these answers will help to reconstruct the crime scene and solve the Woodland Mystery.

Lead Contact: Adam Bretschneider


Roy Hyatt Environmental Center: “Where the Wild Things Are” Grades 2 and 5 (STEM)t21

Visualize birds flying around, stopping for a bite to eat, or bathing in a bird bath. How many do you see? What color? Do they look alike? Students will enter the bird blind to participate in bird-watching STEM activities. They will use tables to identify and document their observations. Topics such as a feather study, comparing wingspans, life-cycles, and so much more will be covered. What an exciting way to soar into STEM education!

Lead Contact: Molly O’Connor


Scenic Heights Elementary: “Reaching Ingenious Goals through Originality & Resourcefulness” Grade 1 (STEM) T4

To TEACH a child, we must first REACH the child! Getting/keeping students engaged is perhaps the most important step in creating successful learning outcomes. This grant furnishes academically stimulating manipulatives while providing flexible seating and storage. Alternative seating fosters concentration for students needing to wiggle while learning. Manipulatives provide amazing academic experiences through creativity that promote thinking outside the box. Inquiry-based projects utilize hand-on learning to develop life-long skills including adaptability, collaboration, and problem solving.

Lead Contact: Megan Etheridge


Washington High School: “Fishanado”  Grades 9-12 (STEM/Student Retention) T10

When a student wakes in the morning, their first thoughts will be, “Yes, it’s fish tank Friday! I wonder how my fish are doing?” Students will experience the “hands-on” approach to science. They will setup and maintain populations of locally caught fish species. They will learn water chemistry, fish identification, natural history, and human impacts on our local waterways by “doing and sharing science with their classmates!

Lead Teacher: Edward Bauer

Co-Lead Contact: Kevin Turner


Washington High School: “Making Extruded Parts”  Grades 9-12 (Student Retention) T19

Did you play with play dough as a kid? Remember sculpting your tiny people and their animals? You would pack your purple play dough in that tiny pasta maker, squeeze and like magic the hair would grow. Then you would try to attach it and … DISAPPOINTMENT. It would not stick, all the pieces would crack and fall off thus beginning of mixing all your colors. Did you feel the sadness at the limitations of your play dough? I did. Then I discovered grown up play dough …clay. Sweet success finally. Clay stays attached, and you can sculpt things you never dreamed of with play dough. Now there is a giant wall mounted “pasta maker”. Except it’s not for pasta, it is specifically for coils of clay. Mile and miles of perfect coils in any size or shape. This is a clay EXTRUDER. I want my students to feel the sweet success od victory over the dry, brittle play dough. Now they can let their imaginations soar. There is no limit to the possibilities.

Lead Contact: Tanya Broom


West Florida High School: “Illuminate Me”  Grades 9-12 (STEM) T7

Illuminate Me …How? Imagine being able to see the building blocks of life, amino acids so small they cannot be seen with the naked eye, but can be viewed using the UltraBright Transilluminator. The Illuminator produces a unique fluorescent signal, which can be used to determine the order and arrangement of DNA sequences. A DNA sequence can tell us the kind of genetic information needed to identify what the invasive lionfish ate for dinner last night.

Lead Contact: Shawn Walker


West Florida High School: “ART: It’s a Whole Brainer” Grades 10-12 (STEM/Student Retention) T9

This project consists of incorporating the advanced printmaking process of dry point into my current art curriculum. The addition of this unit will increase rigor in the subject area, which will enhance the many benefits that an education in the arts promote. Establishing a successfully challenging and unique art program is a crucial part of the education system. The arts develop unique skills children need in order to be successful in all areas of life. Participation in the arts increases and establishes a desire for learning, decreases student absences, promotes cognitive and creative thinking and problem solving skills, and increases test scores and graduation rates. Art truly is a “whole brainer.”

Lead Contact: Sarah Ingram


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