The Europe South District's Smart Money Project is a program for educators to apply for grants that support innovative projects they believe will have a direct impact on improving the learning experience and achievement of students in their classrooms. The projects are connected to the school’s continuous improvement action plan and will include activities related to student writing and/or mathematics achievement.
Project – Podcasting
Project Description – Implement a podcasting extra-curricular educational program that supports DoDEA Career and College Ready writing standards, the School Action Plan and DoDEA’s vision and mission. Podcasting most poignantly develops the skill of speaking and listening. After students have researched, integrated their ideas and information, planned and sometimes collaborated with their teachers, experts online, etc., they have will have developed useful oral communication and interpersonal skills as they present their podcasts. Writing is an essential component of podcasting and will directly support our current School Action Plan focus opinion and argumentative writing skills in a fun and entertaining manner for the podcaster as well as the audience. Students will plan, revise, edit, and produce their podcast.
Grant Funded Equipment – 1 Zoom recorder, Microphone, Stands, cables
Project – 3D Printing
Project Description - Using 3d printers students will produce objects based on computer generated designs and multidisciplinary collaboration. These activities have the potential to attract students into Science, and Technology from other fields not traditionally associated with STEM. Potential student led, teacher facilitated, projects will involve students with artistic, business, marketing and technical skills in a constructive environment as to create new products or objects. Moreover, student created objects have instructional usage beyond the manufacturing process. A student’s computer programing / 3d printing class or after-school program may produce or recreate objects or re-produce artifacts related to a history project. Applying the same potential to English-language arts / drama; students may then manufacture objects or props related to a play or student created skit. Consequently, this type of collaboration extends to multiple learning styles and environments while raising the visibility of STEM type applications to other disciplines.
Grant Funded Equipment – 1 MakerBot 3D Printer
Project – Everyone is an Inventor with Makey Makey
Project Description - With Makey Makey everyday objects are transformed into touchpads empowering students to interact with computers as creative tools. The computer becomes an extension of their creativity, fostering imaginative play and discovery. Through co-planning and co-teaching the Educational technologist will introduce STEAM activities to promote student engagement through creative thinking and making.
Grant Funded Equipment – 1 Makey Makey kit
Project – CODE: Cognitive Opportunities Designed with Enthusiasm
Project Description - Students in grades K-2 engaging with educational robotics equipment that allows them to become producers and creators of technology through interactive coding. There is a need for robotics equipment at the K-2 level that will allow students to learn code with robots that can solve real problems. This equipment will support the Europe South District's and Aviano Elementary School's Action Plans' "Access & Equity to Rigorous Instruction" goal by assisting in the integration of science, literacy, math, and technology and engineering standards. Students' ideas will become physical and tangible. KIBO Robotics equipment provides opportunities for K-2 students to create, design, and decorate screen-free, hands-on, programmable robots. Focusing on engineering concepts, problem-solving, sequencing, language, and collaboration, students become empowered learners, designers, computational thinkers, and creative communicators.
Grant Funded Equipment – 6 KIBO Robotics kits with advanced coding extension set
Project – STEM Approach to a Gardening and Wellness Program
Project Description - Gardening and wellness is a real world application of critical thinking skills, application of STEM-based applications and an effective tool to improve student achievement. Gardening and wellness affects all high school students (9-12) and provides an intellectually stimulation and educational rigorous classroom and/or extracurricular curriculum to directly enhance student achievement across core and CTE curriculums. The gardening/wellness program has been alive and well for 5 years and a catalyst within the Corps of Cadets. Our garden program is one of the few in DoDEA Europe of this size and proportion. We have taken a seed to mouth approach for students to understand and appreciate the self-sufficient concept critical to the overall success and a healthy lifestyle. The garden is comprised 60 X 10 meters with a variety of raised beds which are cultivated year round. This requires attention to detail with watering, weeding and fertilizing crops and flowers. The need of the two rotating tumblers is essential in recycling the waste the garden generates and allows for the soil to be homegrown and safe without any chemicals. These hand on efforts by students are essential for students as a hands on approach to innovative design and applications.
Grant Funded Equipment – 2 rotating composter bins
Project – Flight Academy - Enhancing Student Achievement
Project Description - The Flight Academy - Enhancing Student Achievement initiative offers a unique and exciting learning opportunity for students to learn and apply CCRS career exploration in aviation fields; provides a STEM-based curriculum and delivers a hands-on, real-time, application using cutting-edge flight simulator technology. The overall initiative affects all high school students (9-12) and provides an intellectually stimulating and educational rigorous classroom and/or extracurricular curriculum to directly enhance student achievement across core and CTE curriculums. This exciting and innovative initiative introduces the student with a blended curriculum consisting of online technical aspects of the science of flight; an in-class demonstration of mastery of skills; and, in-class or after school application flying an advanced flight simulator. This curriculum focus is on application of math skills as well as technical writing in an aviation-related environment. Students will enhance their College and Career Readiness (CCRS) experiences by learning about aviation career opportunities while also improving their college application skills and competing for an annual flight scholarship.
Grant Funded Equipment – 1 C2 Professional Desktop Flight Console flight trainer
Project – Strengthening the Standards of Mathematical Practices through Inquiry & Investigations
Project Description - Students need opportunities for inquiry, to discover and use divergent skills while investigating and solving problems. Little Bits will be implemented to spark student’s inquiring minds. Students will learn how to use Little-Bits to support Standards of Mathematical Practice (SMPs) and integrate what they have learned with the provided design challenges into other content areas. The Educational Technologist working collaboratively with the Information Specialist will implement a Little-Bits Makerspace using lessons designed to connect to children’s literature
Grant Funded Equipment – 1 LittleBits Pro Library Kit
Project – Innovations Studio
Project Description - The Video Communications and Production classes at Bahrain Middle High School have been growing over the last few years. The Innovation Communications Studio project is designed to provide a real-world video production experience for students to match what students are experiencing in other DoDEA video productions programs. Student success and achievement is contingent upon accessing required video production hardware and materials to gain mastery of middle school CTE course competencies and standards. Students are able to operate audio and video equipment to produce professional-quality video projects. Students are able to capture clear audio and well-focused video producing; a student news show, commercials, public service announcements, and school event promotional videos.
Grant Funded Equipment – 3 Canon T7i DSLR cameras with extra batteries, 2 Hollyland Mars Wireless HDMI systems with batteries and cables
Project – Implementing Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Formative Assessment and Inform Classroom Instruction
Project Description - Evidence-Based Practice of Active Student Responses (ASRs) significantly improves student outcomes through improving student engagement as well as increasing the use of formative assessment and practice of skills. ASRs are defined as teacher-directed questions/statements which requires student responses to academic content. By increasing ASRs, teachers gain a more accurate understanding of each student’s current level of knowledge, which enables instructional tasks to be matched to learner needs. ASRs are associated with increased academic achievement and can be effectively implemented using response cards, whiteboards, and technology quizzes.
Grant Funded Equipment – 20 Hama Laminators with lamination supplies, 17 Dry Erase Boards with markers and erasers, Pens, Post-Its, Ziplock bags
Project – Podcasting
Project Description - It is our responsibility as educators to introduce students to new literacy practices with the use of technology. As one of the latest mediums to emerge into the mainstream, podcasting is one of the forefront technologies providing new experiences and learning opportunities. Not only are educators using podcasting to disseminate information but students are also creating their own content. Students can design their own podcast, which can include questions, discussions, presentations or projects. These projects can then be made available to their classmates and the community at large. By allowing students to take control of an aspect of their education they will be more engaged in the material. They can question, they can contribute and they can teach each other.
Grant Funded Equipment – 1 Zoom H6 Portable recorder with accessory pack and case, 2 Audio-Technica USB microphones, 4 Audio-Technica Studio Monitor headphones, 1 ART multiport headphone amp, 1 Rode RODECaster Pro Podcasting Kit, 1 Focu sound Acoustic Foam Panel kit.
Project – Enhancing Student Writing and Well-being with Using Photography Project Description - The project is to start a photography program for the elementary population with a special emphasis on our early childhood population. This project will directly support our School Action Plan Strategy: Write to Learn. We believe that photography provides an exceptional tool for encouraging children's voice. Our younger students often struggle with expressing themselves with text, but photography could be a springboard to improving student writing. Children feel a sense of ownership over their images and can easily communicate the ideas behind them which can then be turned into a writing sample. Students would be able to move around both indoors and outdoors to capture moments. Photography also encourages movement. There are several ways that photography can support the well-being of our students: it boosts self-confidence and self:-esteem by learning a new skill, encourages creative thinking and problem-solving, promotes creativity and self-expression, helps manage stress, promotes fine motor skills and eye-hand coordination, boosts mood and increases happiness, reduces stress, and aids in processing negative emotions and trauma. This project is a holistic approach to increased student learning.
Grant Funded Equipment – Class set of Fujifilm XP140 image/video cameras
Project – Maker Space
Project Description - Our school is in need of a space where students have access to materials to imagine, create, design, and collaborate. A makerspace would help students build perseverance, inspire further investigations, encourage rethinking, teach problem solving, help students focus, engage minds, encourage questioning, provide connections between lessons and the real world, improve understanding, and facilitate innovation. Our school information center is a perfect place to connect makerspace projects to curriculum and to literature. It's a place where students are already familiar and comfortable with and where they can explore their interests. By adding a makerspace and rotating our K-5 classes through it, we can build the students skills and interest while also meeting the ISTE standards for Students and the CCRS for Language Arts, Math, and Science. In addition, a makerspace meets Goal 1 of the DOD EA Blueprint for Continuous Improvement by addressing the needs of all learners and providing tools for rigorous and tiered instruction.
Grant Funded Equipment – 1 Demeo Deluxe Maker Collection with Challenge Guide
Project – Development and Expansion of the Robotics Program
Project Description - Our Robotics Program continues to develop and expand. In order to meet the needs of increasing Applied Tech class sizes and student participation in our after school Robotics Club, we are requesting additional robotics sets. This equipment will help support our Core Values of student centered instruction, continuous improvement, individual potential, lifelong learning, and shared responsibility. In support of the Write to Learn strategy the students were asked to write about their discoveries when using mechanisms such as bevel gears, gearing up, and pulleys. The students also described the main features of the sweeping machine that they designed and were given feedback using the DoDEA Common Writing Rubric for Informative/Explanatory writing as well as on their engineering design process. Additionally, students track their progress using an Engineering Design Notebook and explain their current stage of the engineering design process, how the engineering design process was used, what worked well in the day's process, and what did not work well.
Grant Funded Equipment – 6 EV3 Core Sets, 6 EV3 Expansion Sets, 6 Simple & Powered Machine Sets
Project – Development and Expansion of the Video Production Program
Project Description - The video production classes continue to develop and expand. In order to meet the needs of increasing class sizes, improve the current video studio, and offer additional opportunities for students to participate in real world activities, this project requires additional audio and video equipment. Video production classes showcase school projects that also have a clear connection to the school's action plan SMART Objectives around literacy and math. These include school projects such as the National Novel Writing Month Puma Idol, and MathCounts. These video segments are posted on our school's YouTube channel and Facebook page, allowing our parents and local community to see our school's successes in working towards and accomplishing our SMART Objectives. This equipment will also be used for highlighting our school's successes for visits from distinguished visitors and Cognia school evaluation teams.
Grant Funded Equipment – 3 two-way comm radios, 10 Rode VideoMic Pro kits, 4 Rode Micro Boom poles, 2 Rode Fur Windshields, 14 Audio-Technica headsets with microphone, 14 Tascam closed back headsets, 1 black background with support kit, 12 cables and camera support accessories
Project – Augmented Reality Sandbox
Project Description - With our switch to Next Generation Science Standards, DoDEA educators have an imperative to incorporate 3-dimensional learning tasks (those which incorporate crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and scientific and engineering practices) into our instruction. Notably, our new standards require students to incorporate the engineering design process consistently to solve real-world problems related to our content standards. VHS will integrate the augmented reality sandbox to support teachers in grades 9-12 in meeting these objectives. This sandbox is a hands-on exhibit combining a real sandbox with virtual topography and water created by using a Kinect camera (which detects contours in the sand) and simulation/visualization software which allows a projector to project colors and simulate rain, movement of water, and topographic lines on the sand in real-time. Students would conduct investigations on topography, flood and storm damage prevention, hazard prediction, sonar and radar, and a variety of other standards. The sandbox is also sufficiently mobile that it could easily be shared with other complexes within driving distance.
Grant Funded Equipment – 1 CyberPower Gaming PC, 1 BENQ 3D DLP projector, 1 Xbox One Konnect Sensor with PC adaptor, Various building supplies for the physical sand box.