The following teachers and schools were awarded grants for innovative opportunities in their classrooms:
Congratulations to Samantha Gegg, Kerry Anne Cocos, Tiffany Tebbe and Carrie Sachtelben at Edgar Road School for their grant title “Play the Part”. Funds for this grant will help purchase materials to help students learn and grow through hands on learning by being able to ‘play the part’ such as, but not limited to: a scientist, an engineer, a chef/baker, an architect, an artist, an author or illustrator and more. These new materials themselves are innovative, thus allowing the children to be innovative with them. There is no one way to learn. With being surrounded by interactive, hands on and innovative materials, the children will have a chance to show their learning and understanding in creative ways.
Adventure Club at Bristol Elementary will now be a prototype for other WGSD adventure clubs with the purchase of new materials that will be funded from the WGSDF. Congratulations to Jenn Hahn at Bristol Elementary Adventure Club for her grant titled “Prototype for Future Adventure Club”. Centers in their “Think Tank” will change daily and weekly to include sensory, light exploration, building, dramatic play, and movement. These centers will create a new framework and will require new materials to create these learning centers. Funds from this grant will supply Bristol Adventure Club to be able to put these new ideas into action. Bristol will be the prototype for the five other after school programs in the Webster Groves School District. By creating learning spaces with new materials they will be able change the way children interact with building, art, and many other aspects of the Adventure Club program.
Congratulations to Jennifer Puppilo at Avery Elementary for her Grant titled “Stemitizing Project Based Learning”. Students will have the opportunity to collaborate and problem solve around a central question, problem, or situation. Purchased materials from funds from this grant will give students a chance to increase the number of solutions to the problems, questions, or situations that they will be uncovering through the Project Based Learning Unit. This type of problem solving allows students to interact with grade level content in an authentic way. Students will know exactly why they are learning the things that they are learning because they will need that content in order to finish their project. These units positively impact the learning environment in the classroom because all students can find a way to be successful.
Starting in the 2018-19 school year, the WGSD is introducing an everyday Physical Education, Health, and Fitness curriculum for middle school students. Congratulations to Scott Gillian at Hixson Middle School for his grant title “Functional Fitness”. With the purchase of new equipment, there will be a variety of tools to all students with differentiating instruction. With the ease of having the new equipment on storage racks that can be rolled and placed to any position of the room, we will have the opportunity to change workouts easier and use the equipment at any point during instruction without taking away precious minutes of instruction. Technology will be applied to the instruction and learning experiences will be enhanced through using iPads for video analysis of movement performed by students. The staff will use Google Classroom to post videos of techniques so students can practice outside of the physical education setting.
Congratulations to Dr. Greg Fick at WGHS for his grant titled “Makerspace Takes Flight”. This project will have two major strands. One will focus on STEM and engineering while other will focus on physics, flight and careers. There will be an overlap of skills between the two strands, but the main focus will be different. Both of these programs will be housed in the WGSD Makerspace, but all district students will have access.
Under the STEM strand, students will have the opportunity to scratch build, design and engineer their own aircraft. Students will apply physics and mathematics in teams to create planes and drones, ranging from simple glider to complex quadcopters. The second strand of the project will focus on drone flight and careers. The goal is to create an experiential learning environment where students will be trained in the basics of drone flight. Students will also study the remote pilot regulations and policies from the FAA. Students can then take their fight test and earn a part 107 remote pilot certificate issued by the FAA. They will need to register as a drone pilot thought the FAA and take the 107 test at a testing center. There are a number of high school flight schools throughout the country with a variety of educational and career applications. This STEM flight program is innovative and an exciting way to learn applied math and science. The drone flight program will prepare and introduce our students to emerging careers in drone piloting. Having drones and drone pilots at the high school will create exciting opportunities around film and flight and open the door for creative applications in a variety subject areas.
The “Amazing Places, Outdoor Spaces” grant is awarded to Diane Stromberg and Student, Paige Sanders at WGHS for work with the Statesmen Preschool. This grant will help enrich the learning of the preschool children through experiential activities. Children will revitalize interest in the environment and will participate in STEM activities as they interact in an incredible new learning site. Funds from this grant will help to purchase a cascade waterfall, a quiet space arbor, a problem solving table area and a mud kitchen. Amazing Places, Outside Spaces will be cross curricular and provide a learning area for many classes at WGHS and throughout the district. The drama class can perform children’s theater in our arbor area. The FACS classes could use the tables as outdoor cooking and eating space. The fine arts classes can work on sketching and photography in the area. The science classes can support their learning of gravity, ecosystems and principles of water in the cascade waterfall and water table. There are plans to add additional co-curricular activities in the coming years.
Congratulation to Diane Stromberg and Students Hollen Peterson and Alina Casto at WGHS for their grant titled "Take a Look and Listen to a Book". Funds from this grant will allow for a new way to explore reading opportunities at the Statesmen Preschool at WGHS. When students are read to during their preschool years, they make exceptional progress in literacy and language development as well as important STEM Skills. Funds from this grant will help with the purchase of new listenting stations and dynamic audio books for preschoolers to learn and listen. High school learners will deepen their understanding of the learning process by engaging with these young learners while they ask questions and engage in these audio book. Exposing kids to new opportunities and activities has been a long time goal of the Statesmen Preschool.
Congratulations to Jenny Malloway at Steger Sixth Grade Center. Jenny will be moving over to Hixson Middle School and was awarded a grant titled “Preparing for a World of Independent Living”. “Preparing for the World of Independent Living” will equip Hixson Middle School staff with the tools required to provide hands-on, functional skill experiences to students with developmental disabilities. Functional skills are the skills needed to live independently. “Preparing for the World of Independent Living” will change the classroom from just a SmartBoard and desks with chairs, to a classroom with a kitchenette furnished with the necessary appliances and kitchenware to complete cooking and cleaning tasks, as well as a laundry room. By giving students authentic experiences with repeated practice, they will become the independent, productive citizens they wish to be in the future.
Congratulations to all the grant recipients! The WGSD Foundation is proud to support your innovative and creative learning opportunities!