2013 Mini-Grant Award Winners

Mr. Donald Brian Ansel & Mrs. Kris Pearl – Bester Elementary School

Award: $1,00
Project: LEGO STEM Club

LEGO MINDSTORMS Education NXT Base sets will be used to develop student based STEM projects that integrate robotics and programming. The program expectations will provide opportunities that generate ideal hands-on tool for helping our kids learn a variety of topics including math and science, and computer and design technology. The program will support student learning with STEM based projects that integrates instructional concepts of literacy, mathematics, science, and technology.

Ms. Dawn Spitzer – Boonsboro Middle School

Award: 28 Wired Mice
Project: Mice Would Be Nice

“I’m fortunate to have a mobile lab which students use daily. It has become obvious that students are having trouble navigating the laptop. Students struggle with assignments that require a lot of cutting and pasting. Students struggling most don’t have home laptops. Recently, my students became frustrated with creating newsletters. I don’t want my students frustrated by technology because most will need it in the future. This got me thinking—how many in the professional world use a wired mouse? Almost all of the teachers in my building use wired mice. Students should have access to the same convenience.  The mice are necessary to help students who struggle to navigate computers with the built in mouse pad.”

Ms. Lisa Terch – Eastern Elementary School

Award: $770
Project: GAMEPLAN

The Grade Three Charts & Visuals with Digital Supplement will be used with 3rd grade students to include activities in which students will be able to reinforce Major and Minor pentatonic, reinforce rhythmic patterns, help students explore the relationship between different note values, help students visualize form, and help spark creative movement ideas.  I expect an increase in retention of 3rd grade music concepts as a result of the consistent use of visuals, manipulatives, and SMART board interaction.

Ms. Beth Hoffman – North Hagerstown High School

Award: $750
Project: Freedom Writers

The Freedom Writers Foundation believes writing is a driving force behind intellectual growth and maturity.  As a trained Freedom Writer Teacher, I can implement these beliefs into my classroom and my school; we need books and teacher’s manuals to be able to do that effectively.  The program uses high interest and relevant nonfiction and fiction selections, often dealing with human and civil rights.  Assignments consist largely of empowering, project-based, and experiential learning activities in which the student impacts his/her community.  As educators we prepare the next generation to be more thoughtful, constructive, critical learners – the Freedom Writers method stresses those elements.


Mr. Jeremy Trammelle – Pangborn Elementary School

Award: $785.94
Project: Our Tablet, Our World

With the implementation of the Common Core State Standards, I have been trying to improve classroom instruction and increase student learning and engagement through technological innovation. This plan will help my students, and I to meet instructional goals while contributing to county-wide adoption of technology and sharing of knowledge and concrete data of its outcomes with the school district. In addition, this project will initiate an intensive study of student learning and technology use with tablet technology providing research and feedback for future initiatives.


Ms. Jennifer Pooling – Pleasant Valley Elementary School

Award: $987.41
Project: Interactive Learning with Green Screen Technology

The use of the technology would be integrated into the curriculum for years to come.  The students would be able to create a multitude of projects including virtual field trips, reenactments, role playing productions, original stories, plays, etc. At Pleasant Valley Elementary, we have a daily morning news program which is produced by 4th and 5th grade students. The technology would enable students to reinvent the morning news program to make it more educational and exciting. Many of the projects created could be embedded on the school website for parents to view and discuss with their children.


Mrs. Kimberly Brown – Pleasant Valley Elementary School & Cascade Elementary School

Award: $997.31
Project: Landscapes of Pleasant Valley & Cascade

The advent of video games, iPads, and other electronic devices has caused children to seldom notice what beauty surrounds them. With my landscape painting project, I would like to change that. I want to teach them how to observe closely to see the vast information offered in a landscape. Along with visual literacy, students can transfer these critical observation skills to science and other subjects across the curriculum.  I believe this experience of painting landscape from real life versus a picture will enhance my student’s school experience exposing them to a variety of ways to see learning at school.


Mrs. Chase Newton – South Hagerstown High School

Award: $647.62
Project: Regional College Visits

This grant will provide transportation for approximately thirty students and two staff members to regional colleges to tour campus, meet admission representatives, and experience college culture. The experience will motivate students to continue working hard through high school and pursue college enrollment. Students will return to South excited about college, and will share enthusiasm with peers. This program may include college-bound ELL and Special Education students, who are often excluded from college visit opportunities. This program will enhance South’s effort to promote a college-going culture, expose students (who might not otherwise have an opportunity) to college life, spread enthusiasm about attending college, and motivate participants to pursue enrollment.