2015 Mini-Grant Award Winners

Tom Mazzone – Hancock Middle-Senior High School

Award: $1,000
Project: Agriculture

Each student enrolled in the agriculture courses will be directly involved with the extraction and processing of honey, as well as tapping maple trees and processing it. In doing so, it is expected that students will have a solid understanding of the following topics:
- Plant bi-products
- Ag Marketing
- Agribusiness
- Identification of hive components
- Understanding of honey extracting equipment
- How to extract and process honey
- Identification of maple tapping equipment
- Process of tapping maple trees
- How to process maple syrup
The agriculture program at Hancock is in its second year of existence. At the present time, we offer both an Intro to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources course as well as a Plant Science class. Beginning next school year, we will offer the aforementioned courses in addition to a new Animal and Plant Biotechnology class and a capstone course. In the future, we would love to offer a small gas engines and welding course as well.

Jason Hutzel – Hancock Middle-Senior High School

Award: $990
Project: Foundations of Technology

Upon completion of the apple cider production lesson, it is expected that students will have a firm comprehension of the following topics:
- Methods of mass production
- Team work
- Apple cider production
- Identification of apple cider production equipment
- Operation of apple cider production equipment
- History and significance of orchards in Hancock area
- Bottling process
- Product marketing
- Profit margins
Foundations of Technology is a course designed to introduce students to the processes used both currently and historically to generate solutions to our everyday problems. Contrary to the popular view of technology, technology is much more than just electronics. Technology consists of all of the products, methods, and systems in place that help solve problems. Foundations of Technology also takes a look into how we market technology and distribute it to the masses.

Justine Keltz – South Hagerstown High School

Award: $984
Project: SHHS iTeam

SHHS iTeam was established with a grant that purchased iPads, cases, and carts and paid for professional development for teachers. When the grant ended teachers were unable to acquire needed resources for the iPads. A group of 20 teachers uses the iPads in the classroom for various projects and assignments and participates in ongoing professional development to learn about new apps and ways to incorporate the iPads. iPads are used for skills such as research, writing, reading comprehension, video creation, and other activities. These iPads have created a better learning environment for students and efficient organization for teachers.
Teachers across all disciplines will be expected to attend monthly meetings to report on their use of apps and printers. At the end of the year, teachers will be asked to complete a survey assessing the successful use of iPads for instructional purposes. Teachers should be expected to use the iPads at least once a week with at least two classes for writing instruction, video production, research projects, or other lessons. With frequent iPad use, students will increase skills in writing, revision, collaboration, research, responsible technology use, and other college and career readiness skills. Students are expected to be more engaged in classroom instruction and exhibit less behavioral problems.

Laura Marfut – South Hagerstown High School

Award: $990.56
Project: Homeland Security Completer Program

Expectation is for the funding to be used to turn student projects into safety solutions for the school in a manner that would set the example for other county schools to follow. An additional expectation is that students will learn the art of coordination and collaboration through a real-world scenario as they work with the school’s Safety Committee to set priorities and with the administrative and facilities engineering staffs to determine labor requirements and adherence to school policies.

In completing the SHHS Emergency Preparedness project, students were required to identify potential safety issues at South High that were most important to them and develop innovative solutions to mitigate the risk. Students were required to present their solution in the form of infographics that could transcend language or comprehensive barriers. Solutions included creative ideas such as; photo-luminescent arrows along the baseboards to aid in fire evacuation, creating of traffic circles to eases hallway congestion, and educational graphics to discourage fighting and bullying. To maintain focus on ideas over artistic abilities, final projects appeared as “rough drafts” suitable for handing over to graphic artists.

Mischelle Colella – Boonsboro High School

Award: $999.15
Project: Around the World

The World Languages Collection will allow students and staff to experience the language, art, and culture of the Spanish, French, and Japanese speaking regions of the world. Providing materials that support valuable experiences through authentic language, art, and illustrations, as well as culturally accurate storytelling will aptly fulfill these goals. Each title in this collection will be carefully curated to help students gain a better understanding of the language and culture of different regions of the world, which will in turn help them to become knowledgeable and culturally aware global citizens.

Ashley Wisner – Boonsboro High School

Award: $284.29
Project: We the People

We the People is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education. The program goals are to educate students about the Constitution and the founding principles of the United States. The program features a competition in which students are organized into six teams and they prepare a 4-minute response to a constitutional question. After reading their response, they endure a 6-minute question and answer session from a panel of esteemed judges about their response. The Boonsboro High School Team is the 5-time Maryland District 6 Champions. They have also been the runner up at the Maryland State Competition for the last four years and last year that title granted them a Wildcard spot to compete in the National Finals of the competition in Washington D.C.

Melissa Dickinson – Western Heights Middle School

Award: $500
Project: ELA Poetry Slam Project

Gayle Danley, an award-winning author, master Kennedy Center teacher, and International Grand-Slam poetry champion, will work with our 7th graders. Ms. Danley will host an assembly for the entire grade, followed by four hour-long workshops for 100 students. All others will participate via Google Hangouts. Ms. Danley will return to guest judge our slam event and work with the top winners. This would be the second year for this program. This year’s students have been deeply affected by Ms. Danley’s model of powerful performance and dynamic encouragement. Her multicultural perspective and experience strongly speak to our students.

Bryan Pirkle – Western Heights Middle School

Award: $779.02
Project: Hands-On Inquiry Based Science

The program is designed to take science from a theoretical approach where students simply look at pictures in a book and have to imagine how something might work; to a hands-on: inquiry based approach where the students actually do what they are learning about first hand. I believe this approach makes science truly come alive for students. It allows students to take hard to understand science concepts and break them down thru a series of hands-on labs and demonstrations. The program will be implemented every year due to the fact that all the supplies can be reused again and again.

Marie Martin – Northern Middle School

Award: $500
Project: Literature in Native Languages for Middle School English Learners

This program will allow the purchase of books and e-books for English language learners in their native language. Most will be in Spanish, and some in other languages. This will allow students to continue reading independently, and in an entire class setting. E-books can be downloaded to school i-Pads, and actual books can be kept in a classroom library.

It is expected that beginning English learners will borrow and read literature in their own language while they are learning introductory English. Books and E-books will remain the property of the ELL Department and can be kept in the ELL teacher’s classroom library. They can also be shared with other ELA teachers as needed.

Nathan Swartz – North Hagerstown High School

Award: $898.52
Project: Professional Presentation Package

The program will be designed so all English, Yearbook, and AVID elective students will have the most current presentation technology available. Students will use the technology to research, create, develop, and deliver high-level visual and audio presentations. The Package will be utilized in conjunction with iPads and creative applications. The program will give students the ability to use the forth coming Digital Learning Initiative to its full potential. The program will allow students to use the Initiative’s new technology in a far more powerful and impactful manner. It will help create 21st Century Learners for tomorrow’s college and career landscapes.

Michael Maginnis – Antietam Academy

Award: $748.96
Project: Hyperlapse: Day in the Life of a Student

Hyperlapse is a new app from Instagram that stabilizes the movement long video clips when the video recorder is moving or traveling. The app can generate output video running at between three and twenty times normal speed- thus allowing a compressed view of all of the events/actions that take place in a student’s day. This product will be tied to our Restorative Practices initiative- a program meant to raise awareness of the impact we have on ourselves and others. Students will discover new facets about their impact, reflect, and then share about what they have learned in a public exhibit.

Carol Mowen and Nick Caggiano – Washington County Technical High School

Award: $1,000
Project: Promoting the Arts, Improving Literacy, Enhancing College & Career Readiness: A WCTHS Literary & Visual Arts Magazine

Our school literary and visual arts online/print magazine will be an annual publication of a collection of a variety of works which will be open to the entire student body for submission. These submitted works will consist of different forms of literature, including fiction, non-fiction, essays, poetry, and also forms of visual media, such as drawings and photography. Besides teacher-advisors, the staff of the magazine will consist of students occupying different roles such as editor-in-chief, and managing editors for different submissions. This experience will give students the opportunity to enhance their skills in leadership, literacy, and college and career readiness.

FASFA Frenzy $500 Scholarship

Tiffany Hoffman, Williamsport High School
Kashae Amis, South Hagerstown High School
Mackenzie Johnson, Barbara Ingram School for the Arts

See photos of our 2015 award winners!