Grants Recipients & Descriptions

A.K. Suter Elementary, Grades K-5, “Full STEAM Ahead: Interactive Exhibits that Inspire Students to Pursue STEAM” Connecting Science, Technology, Engineering, fine Arts, and Mathematics into a revitalized STEAM interactive lab, students will increase their knowledge of scientific principles through student-led investigations, acquire new vocabulary, and develop a meaningful understanding of scientific concepts. Some STEAM exhibits include engineering a helmet that protects the human brain, participating in a Master Gardener community outreach program through the University of Florida, understanding force and motion by using harmonographs to create artwork, engineering windmills, building PVC pipe xylophones, constructing a small roller coaster, and many more activities to inspire a love of learning. Students will realize that science does not just occur in the classroom or through the textbook, but that learning can happen anywhere and everywhere. It is Full STEAM Ahead at A.K. Suter Elementary! Lead Contact: Anna Harageones

 

Ensley Elementary, Grades K-5, “Can Robots Dance?” Robby the Robot, R2D2, and Rosie, the Jetsons personal maid, were all humanoid robot characters who provide vivid images for most of us. Our students have their own unique perspective of a robot, including Bee Bot, Sphero, and of course, Wall-E. As developing scientists, students will enhance their understanding of robotics through literature, exploration, and specific lessons created to guide them in how they can use cubelets, small robots used to design moving robots. They will compare and contrast their own body parts to the parts needed to build a robot that moves using a variety of ‘Sense’ cubelets. Students will also determine cause and effect of specific cubelets, creating if/then statements, and possibly advance to writing code for personalized robots. Ensley Elementary students will hone their 21st Century skills of innovation, critical thinking, and collaboration, and of course, have a whole lot of fun learning. Lead Contact: Myra Palmer

 

Escambia High School, Grades 9-12, “Extreme Exploration” Many of our students at Ferry Pass Elementary have never been out of Pensacola, let alone to a another state, another country, another continent, underwater or up in the air. Google Expeditions will take students to places a yellow bus could never go. Imagine virtual trips to places like museums, undersea adventures, and outer space in 360° panoramas and 3D images! Teachers will use existing curriculum alongside Expeditions, which is a collection of virtual reality linked to supporting materials that are easily integrated into the classroom. This virtual reality experience like exploration, space, and landmarks will be priceless for Ferry Pass Elementary students. Lead Contact: Tim Deloge

 

Ferry Pass Elementary, Grades 2-5, “STEM Expeditions – Virtual Experience – Real Learning!” Many of our students at Ferry Pass Elementary have never been out of Pensacola, let alone to a another state, another country, another continent, underwater or up in the air. Google Expeditions will take students to places a yellow bus could never go. Imagine virtual trips to places like museums, undersea adventures, and outer space in 360° panoramas and 3D images! Teachers will use existing curriculum alongside Expeditions, which is a collection of virtual reality linked to supporting materials that are easily integrated into the classroom. This virtual reality experience like exploration, space, and landmarks will be priceless for Ferry Pass Elementary students. Lead Contact: Valerie Kaye

 

Ferry Pass Middle, Grades 6-8, “Star Wars: The STEAM Awakens” Can you imagine over 800 students participating in an exciting, action packed week of STEM and literacy activities? Thanks to the generosity of this grant, all of the students at Hellen Caro will immerse themselves in fairy tales that will provide students a “problem” to solve through teamwork and collaboration. Can you see 5th graders creating a pair of shoes after reading The Elves and the Shoemaker, or Kindergartners building a bridge to support the weight of goats from The Three Billy Goats Gruff? This mind-stimulating week will provide memorable learning experiences for all children in our school. Lead Contact: Kaye Worley

 

Hellen Caro Elementary, Grades K-5, “Full STEAM Ahead!” Can you imagine over 800 students participating in an exciting, action packed week of STEM and literacy activities? Thanks to the generosity of this grant, all of the students at Hellen Caro will immerse themselves in fairy tales that will provide students a “problem” to solve through teamwork and collaboration. Can you see 5th graders creating a pair of shoes after reading The Elves and the Shoemaker, or Kindergartners building a bridge to support the weight of goats from The Three Billy Goats Gruff? This mind-stimulating week will provide memorable learning experiences for all children in our school. Lead Contact: Angelia Grimes-Graeme

 

Holm Elementary, Grades K-5, “Sink or Float: It’s a Pirate’s Life for Me” Our goal is to establish an atmosphere where children learn to take pleasure in their accomplishments, and persist in their learning despite challenges and obstacles. One-third of our students not only deal with what most would consider regular childhood challenges, but strive to overcome disabilities that would disrupt the life of even the most stalwart adult. Amazingly enough, our students do not see the disabilities of themselves or their peers, but rather look at the possibilities! We are excited that this grant will challenge students to think critically, to be creative, to collaborate, and to synthesize their learning.  This project is a wonderful opportunity for our students to build a community of learners that are preparing for their future as problem solvers, life-long learners, and world changers. Lead Contact: Susan Tapparo

 

Jim C. Bailey Middle, Grades 6-8, “Digital Literacy with a Twist of STEM” Welcome to digital literacy resources “accessible 24/7 every day of the year” (Felvegi & Matthew, 2012). With this grant, Jim C. Bailey Middle School will provide students Electronic books (or eBooks) at school, at home, or even on a school bus, engaging reluctant readers and giving busy students an exciting way to access reading materials no matter where they are or what device they are using. Teachers will be provided curriculum tie-ins plus professional resources in a digital environment. Together, students and teachers will have digital resources for creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration in the classrooms and Makerspace. Why not take this opportunity  to meld digital literacy resources, curriculum and STEM into a world that is becoming more digital everyday as well as providing an engaging and exciting format. Lead Contact: Roberta Wetzel

 

Longleaf Elementary, Grades 3-5, “Fantastic Fun and Games with Math and ELA” SplashMath, 30 Second Mysteries, Tribond, Blurt, Password, Last Word, Guess Where, Oodles of Doodles, Secret Square, Mystery Garden, 20 Questions, In A Pickle, and A to Z Jr. These are all the educational games that will provoke discussion and problem-solving for our 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, focusing on the use of technology specifically for Math and ELA instruction and remediation. Many of our students come from low socio-economic families that sometimes underperform compared to more affluent neighboring counties. Our goal is to have students master at least 40 individual math skills throughout the school year and meet ELA requirements at grade level. This grant will provide learning opportunities towards that goal, and, most importantly, can make learning fun and engaging our students! Lead Contact: Rena Croker

 

Myrtle Grove Elementary, Grades K-5, “Building Blocks for Better Books: Lego Novels” Using Legos, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade student groups create storyboard scenes to be photographed and integrated into digital Lego software. At this point, Lego artists become authors. Within the software, these authors rewrite classic fairytales, creating graphic novels and envisioning history comic books. The authors then become mentors to their “buddy” class in the primary grades as they share their newly published novels with younger peers and help them to create their own story with Legos and software. Younger students gain incredible enrichment  and bring a new level of creativity and ownership to their stories, while allowing the older grades to help grow as leaders in their school. Lead Contact: Cassie Mense

 

N.B. Cook Elementary, Grades K-4, “A.P.P.S. (Accelerating Peer Participation Science)” Students as innovators? Peer teachers? App developers? Of course! At N.B. Cook Elementary, you will find 4th graders develop a science lesson plan, science experiment, and educational computer application. They will then complete their experiments in a Kindergarten classroom as peer instructors, where the Kindergarten students, through hands-on learning, gain an increased knowledge in science and technology. Creating a learner driven classroom environment, this grant will also help us increase student interest and knowledge in STEM activities and demonstrate collaborative learning through teacher and student interaction. Lead Contact: Anne MacDonald

 

Northview High, Grades 9-12, “The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster” Blast off with Northview High School as we take our students, both figuratively and literally, out of their desks and into a world of possibilities. Using the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, students understand how Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math can explain and solve real-world problems, problems that they thought were out of their grasp from solving. With great humility, the administration and staff of Northview High appreciates the generosity of Grants for Excellence. Because of GFE, educators now have the tools to encourage and guide students to reach beyond their socio-economic situation and show them that the sky’s the limit as future scientists, technologists, engineers, or mathematicians! Lead Contact: Jim Shugart

 

Oakcrest Elementary, Grades 3-5, “It’s About Time! Looking Back and Moving Forward” An after school drama/theatre/art activity for “Encore”, a group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders of Oakcrest Elementary will partner with Pensacola Little Theatre and Tate High School’s television production classes. Encore students will write plays to include live action and multi-media presentations, and experience the full gamut of theatre, from audience to participant, using three divisions: Art (set design & props), Theatre (backstage and stage crew) and Drama (actors and actresses). Students take a backstage tour of PLT, participate in a workshop onstage, followed by attending the opening night of “Charlie Brown Christmas.” Working with Tate High, students are mentored about production, filming, and utilizing recordings for promotion of their plays. ”Theater, particularly theatre for children, fires the imagination. It gives our children the skills and creativity necessary to face the world, to understand it, and perhaps to change it, too.” Lead Contact: Cathy Melton

 

R.C. Lipscomb Elementary, Grades K-5, “eBooks for Everyone” This grant will create an eBook collection for our school and classroom libraries, and best of all, create more engaged readers! With the perfect digital format appealing to young readers, along with science book titles that provide many different STEM subjects, students will also have the opportunity to join Book Clubs, engage in literature discussions, and provide filmed book reviews for other students to view. We are so thankful for this digital access to eBooks that aligns with Vision 2020 and the Every Child Succeeds Act. Lead Contact: Melissa Dorsett

 

Roy Hyatt Environmental Center, Grades 2-5, “Catch the STEM Bug!” Can you see our butterfly garden blossoming into a wildlife habitat? Imagine a cool water feature near bird feeders and bird houses. Listen to the hummingbirds in their feeders, toads drumming in their houses, and wings fluttering in more butterfly houses than ever before! This is all possible because of Grants for Excellence. Over time, this butterfly garden will allow students to observe living organisms in a wildlife habitat, collect and record data, as well as analyze, discuss, compare and contrast data collected. In this outdoor educational environment, every complex, critical, and interpretive skill needed in STEM is nurtured. Many inventions have their origins in the study of nature, such as flight. Who knows, maybe our next Albert Einstein will emerge from one of our students’ experience at the Roy Hyatt Environment Center. Lead Contact: Molly O’Connor

 

Sherwood Elementary, Grades 1-5, “Building Accessible Adventures” Adventures await for students as they discover the world through reading! Rotating classroom kits will give more students access to interesting books and adventures, increasing reading fluency, vocabulary, and content knowledge. Teachers can encourage more literacy activities built around the community of readers sharing the same books. Magic Tree House kits lead students to explore science and history. I Survived series expose students to themes of perseverance and courage. The Musical Journeys kit will let music teachers integrate reading with music and perform a concert with multi-cultural instruments. Students will write journal entries, poems, and travel brochures; and adventure products will be showcased media center displays, classroom performances, musical recitals, and the morning TV show. Lead Contact: Tamika Wyrick

 

Tate High, Grades 9-12, “’Taz Lab’ 3D Printing and Design Innovation Station” Allow us to introduce the exciting world of 3D printing to our students who will use a 3D printer to make their own model of objects, enhancing STEM and Literacy. Take the human heart, for example. Not one textbook diagram can compete with actually making and holding a human heart! Available to all students, this grant will provide more hands-on projects that will restore the joy and FUN of learning for students, who will not only be able to SEE, but also design, opening up a whole new dimension of a lifelong love for learning. Lead Contact: Stefany Tompkins

 

Washington High Marine Science Academy, Grades 9-12, “Water Works” This multiyear community/project-based peer teach/collaboration project will provide real world experience and opportunities for our students who will foster stewardship of our local waterways through peer teaching and collaboration with local agencies. Marine biology, chemistry, art, and math students will be immersed in a variety of learning environments. They will move from classroom to fieldwork to formal science presentations. Students will perform both chemical and biological assessments of local Bayous using several protocols developed by the University of West Florida, the Florida DEP and Lake Watch and share their findings, next step, and solutions with underclassman, UWF, and local governmental agencies at three venues: Fieldtrips with underclassman, Formal school-wide presentation, and UWF multi-school Science Symposium. Lead Contact: Ed Bauer

 

West Florida High, Grades 9-12, “It’s About Time! Looking Back and Moving Forward When Worlds Collide: Dimensions of Cross Curriculum” An after school drama/theatre/art activity for “Encore”, a group of 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders of Oakcrest Elementary will partner with Pensacola Little Theatre and Tate High School’s television production classes. Encore students will write plays to include live action and multi-media presentations, and experience the full gamut of theatre, from audience to participant, using three divisions: Art (set design & props), Theatre (backstage and stage crew) and Drama (actors and actresses). Brown Christmas.” Lead Contact: Sarah Ingram

 

Workman Middle, Grades 6-7 “Healthy Kids Healthy Choices: Take 2” What do you get when you mix Culinary, Science, and Physical Education curriculum Grants for Excellence style? You yield a heartier and healthier Workman School Community Garden! As an appetizer, students will grow fresh produce involving a butterfly garden, attracting bees, leading to greater harvests. Your first entrée will consist of science teachers introducing vermiculture, which uses worm castings to create organic fertilizer. Your second entrée has the culinary class feed the worms composted fruit and vegetables, contributing to the tasty compost pile. And, for dessert, a PE specialist with extensive school garden experience will give a special talk on healthy eating and exercise, and voilà! the most delectable service-learning project imaginable. Lead Contact: Jennifer Guthrie

 


2016 Grants for Excellence Committee

  • Denise Rosenbloum, Chair
  • Sandy Edwards
  • Ryan Hess, Studer Education, a division of Studer Group
  • Ellen Peppler
  • Randy Ramos, GBSI
  • Jeremy Tompkins

Thanks to Our Partners