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To develop an interest in the engineering design process while fostering teamwork and problem-solving skills using hands-on manipulatives

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STEM- Ridgecrest's Future Engineers

grant photo
School:
Ridgecrest Elementary School 
Subject:
STEM 
Teacher:
Katia Teixeira 
 
Sharon Gage, Michelle Flemming 
Students Impacted:
75 
Grade:
K-5 
Date:
October 20, 2022

Investor

Thank you to the following investor for funding this grant.

 

JABIL - $814.72

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Goal

To develop an interest in the engineering design process while fostering teamwork and problem-solving skills using hands-on manipulatives 

 

What will be done with my students

The planks allow for multiple uses. They can be used in the classroom for instruction but also after school as part of our school-wide STEM program that currently houses 3 levels: K-1, 2-3, and 4-5 grades. I am writing for this grant on behalf of my school, not just for my individual classroom use.

One of the ways these can be used is with the curriculum that comes with the kits. It allows for building spatial awareness as well as hand-eye coordination as students work to take 2-dimensional drawings and schematics into 3-dimensional builds.

In addition to the curriculum that comes with the kit, I am also asking for a literacy tie-in piece: StoryTime STEM. This book lets you take well known folk and fairy tales and use them as a basis for solving a problem. For example, the Three Little Pigs, and constructing a house that can withstand the force from a fan at different speeds. The book offers different challenges specific to the each fairytale, and the KEVA plank sets are an excellent medium to use for this. 

 

Benefits to my students

Students learn differently. These planks allow for activities that provide movement for learners, tactile activities, social and communication skills, and problem-solving and planning. They negotiate ideas with their groupmates, and practice failing until they succeed. Activities like the ones involving these planks are amazing for students because they help me as an educator promote growth mindset – “I can improve through hard work and effort”. Not every student is bound to become and architect or an engineer, but the problem solving skills and the grit they practice in doing these exercises are the ones we want them to armed with as they continue their educational journey into the real world.

As a side note, a teacher previously stationed at my school had a personal set of these. We used them together and they have already proven their worth in my eyes. I would very much like to have a set that is based at my school so that not only my students can benefit, but other teachers can use them as well for their classes and clubs. 

 

Describe the Students

My classroom students are curious, eager to learn and explore, first graders. I do teach the magnet program at Ridgecrest, and also am the STEM Explorers teacher for all first graders- but that doesn’t really paint the picture well for why I am applying for this grant.

The school that I teach at is a tale of two schools. There is a gifted magnet program, and there is the traditional program. We are not a Title 1 school, however if you removed our magnet program, we would be. According to last year’s data, 89.5% of our students come from economically disadvantaged households. Part of our SIP goals this year include strategies of implementing enrichment clubs (like the STEM ones I mentioned earlier) as well as ensuring the equitable distribution of resources (like me not just using these planks in my classroom but providing access to other teachers at the school to use). Our SIP has a specific goal for our subgroup of Black/African-American students. It says “According to our ESSA data, our current level of performance is 35% proficient (levels 3, 4, and 5), in ELA, and 38% proficient in Math on the Florida Standards Assessment. .... The problem/gap is occurring because of a lack of highly engaging strategies for a diverse group of learners, and differentiated, explicit teaching based on formative assessment data on a daily basis. Scholars need to be exposed to higher level thinking prompts, tasks and grade level standards on a regular basis.”

It is my hope that by using these planks and activities, I am able to provide those higher-level thinking prompts, and engage students with all different learning styles using these building and design challenges. 

 

Budget Narrative

I am requesting 2400 planks as a classroom set, a set of books that allows me to tie in a literacy component, and storage bins to help me house and maintain the materials. The recommended amount is 150 blocks per student. The Brain Builders Deluxe includes a curriculum of challenge cards and projects I can use with my students. The light weight balls are part of those challenges.
I am also requesting other STEM materials such as pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks and cotton swabs in order to complete other STEM challenges. 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 MindWare KEVA Structures 600 Planks - Free-Form 3D Building kit for Kids - Create Your own Architecture Designs with Simple Wood Blocks $139.95
2 MindWare KEVA Structures 600 Planks - Free-Form 3D Building kit for Kids - Create Your own Architecture Designs with Simple Wood Blocks $139.95
3 MindWare KEVA Structures 600 Planks - Free-Form 3D Building kit for Kids - Create Your own Architecture Designs with Simple Wood Blocks $139.95
4 MindWare KEVA Structures 600 Planks - Free-Form 3D Building kit for Kids - Create Your own Architecture Designs with Simple Wood Blocks $139.95
5 Alphatool 500 Pcs Colorful Sawtooth Wood Craft Sticks- Assorted Color and Natural Wooden Popsicle Sticks Jumbo Ice Pop Treat Sticks Bulk for DIY Craft Project, Classroom Creative Designs (4.5 Inch) $16.99
6 Alphatool 500 Pcs Colorful Sawtooth Wood Craft Sticks- Assorted Color and Natural Wooden Popsicle Sticks Jumbo Ice Pop Treat Sticks Bulk for DIY Craft Project, Classroom Creative Designs (4.5 Inch) $16.99
7 Hedume 2500 Pieces Wooden Cotton Swabs, Double Pointed Cotton Buds (25 Packs, 100 Pieces 1 Pack) $15.99
8 STEM: Engaging Hands-On Challenges Using Everyday Materials, Grade 2 from Teacher Created Resources Paperback – January 3, 2018 $14.99
9 StoryTime STEM: Folk & Fairy Tales: 10 Favorite Stories With Hands-On Investigations Paperback – January 1, 2019 $11.19
10 3000 Pcs Pipe Cleaners Craft Supplies Solid Color 6 mm x 12 Inch Chenille Stems for Kids Adults DIY Arts Crafts Decorations, 30 Assorted Colors $37.99
11 Keva Brain Builders Deluxe: 75 KEVA Planks, 40 Puzzle Cards, 8 Design Cards, 3D Building Skills for Kids $29.95
12 MindWare KEVA Contraptions 4-Pack Light Weight Balls Refill $6.95
13 MindWare KEVA Contraptions 4-Pack Light Weight Balls Refill $6.95
14 MindWare KEVA Contraptions 4-Pack Light Weight Balls Refill $6.95
15 IRIS USA 12 Qt. Plastic Storage Bin Tote Organizing Container with Durable Lid and Secure Latching Buckles, Stackable and Nestable, 6 Pack, clear with Black Buckle $44.99
16 IRIS USA 12 Qt. Plastic Storage Bin Tote Organizing Container with Durable Lid and Secure Latching Buckles, Stackable and Nestable, 6 Pack, clear with Black Buckle $44.99
  Total: $814.72

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