2020 Innovative Grant Recipients

AP Environmental Technology Assistance – Fairview Outdoor School

Principal:                  Jeffrey Longenberger
Teacher:                    Sabrina Blair

AP Environment students are offered a day long Potomac River study each Fall in cooperation with the National Park Service. In the next academic year, the Park Service is offering financial support for 2 trips for each school. In order to create a water study that includes college level technology, purchase of a data package is necessary. Students will be able to use technology to more accurately test the quality of water in the Potomac River. This increases student skill level while placing their data in a higher tier testing category. This means their data is more reliable when shared with state agencies. Students will gain skill using data collection and be motivated to pursue careers in Environmental Science.

Welding Fabrication Station – Clear Spring High School

Principal:                 Tim Eskridge
Teacher:                   Tom Mazzone

Students enrolled in Agricultural Mechanics at Clear Spring High School experience a diverse, fast paced curriculum consisting of electrical wiring, small gas engines, carpentry, plumbing, and welding.  Students learn the skills in Ag Mechanics I, then have the opportunity to apply their newly learned skills in Ag Mechanics II.  This year, Ag Mechanics 2 students will construct a “welding fabrication station” in the shop area. In order to do this, pairs of students will be given parts of a blueprint and be assigned to construct a specific portion of the fabrication station to specifications. Once finished, the part will be assembled together to create one, unified fabrication station. This process closely resembles manufacturing processes that construct different portions of their equipment in different locations, then ship them to their end user who assembles them. Students will learn to read a blueprint, cut and shape metal, hone their welding and electrical wiring skills, and learn to work together towards a unified, common goal.  Once completed, the fabrication station will remain in the Clear Spring Ag Shop and provide students with the type of station needed to carry out their individual, unique projects for years to come.

Using Thermal Imaging in Scientific Inquiry – Smithsburg High School

Principal:                Gary Willow
Teacher:                  Raymond Johnston

Students will make meaning of something not visible without this technology. A cornerstone of physical science is energy.  Students must understand how energy transforms to explain what happens in systems they encounter every day. Students struggle to understand thermal energy.  A FLIR C3 Compact Thermal Camera with Wi-Fi will be used by physical science students at Smithsburg High to study thermal energy in a variety of lab applications.  They will use the images captured to model their understanding of thermal energy’s role in their daily experiences. The FLIR thermal camera will be used in physical science classes to explore the role of thermal energy in numerous scenarios.  Labs involving the transformation of mechanical energy to thermal energy, thermal equilibrium, and chemical reactions are a few examples. This technology will allow physics and chemistry students to explore thermal energy in a way previously unavailable to them. Visible images of thermal energy will lead to a richer meaning in the students’ minds. This will have an enormous impact in understanding the role of thermal energy in conservation of energy, chemical reactions, and numerous other areas they are inspired to explore. Thermal imaging cameras are also used in construction, HVAC, firefighting, defense, and has multiple industrial applications.  Students will gain valuable knowledge operating a technology with wide ranging potential.

Biochemical Model Kits – Clear Spring High School

Principal:                  Tim Eskridge
Teacher:                    Jen Aydelotte, NBCT

Students struggle with understanding science concepts they cannot see – such as biological molecules and biochemical reactions.  Our curriculum requires students to explain how inorganic molecules can be combined through photosynthesis to form organic molecules; how the products of photosynthesis can be used for energy during cellular respiration; and how the sugar molecules combine with other elements to form proteins, lipids and carbohydrates.  These kits will enable my students to construct various biochemical models including macromolecules and DNA.  By constructing 3-D models, students will see how elements combine to form biomolecules and see how the biomolecules can join to form new biomolecules.  They bring to life otherwise unseen biological processes. The purchase of various additional 3-D molecular model kits will further bring to life bio-molecular chemicals and biochemical processes for greater student understanding.

Instrumental Music Assessment/Sight-Reading Literature – Hancock MS/HS

Principal:                  Chris Cline
Teacher:                    Susan Mott

Both the Hancock High School and Middle School Bands are in great need of building a music library of sight-reading and assessment literature. Students are expected to play quality literature at our middle and high school instrumental music assessments for a panel of judges each year and have exhausted our music library having played almost every piece in the drawer. These funds provide music literature hand selected by the students who will be playing it. The impact this music will have on our students is that they will be excited to play newly composed literature and enjoy learning, while increasing their proficiencies along the way.

Printing: Full Steam Ahead – Hancock Elementary School

Principal:                Michelle Gest
Teacher:                  Darleane Lowe

This project, Printing: Full Steam Ahead, involves math, science, art, and technology. This grant funds the purchase of a 3-D printer which will provide students with an opportunity to create. Students will be able to design and construct models. All grade levels will be able to design and conduct authentic scientific investigations in order to collect and analyze data, design and create solutions to real-world problems, and enhance geometry. Teacher Darleane Lowe wrote in her application, “I expect the impact on students/student learning to be significant”. The educational motivation alone would be significant, not to mention the affect it would have on our future engineers, teachers, scientists, and doctors. The impact on student learning/ achievement will put the students at HES at an advantage as we prepare them for an unknown and constantly changing future.

Studio Visual Art Experience – South Hagerstown High School

Principal:                 Dr. Heath Wilcox
Teacher:                   Audrey Hammond

The Studio Visual Arts Experience will provide Studio Art classes with a variety material to explore a wide range of mediums and techniques to expand on their art curriculum. Topics include but are not limited to: color theory, drawing, painting, sculpture, ceramics and digital media. This exposure will broaden the visual arts experience by understanding design, context, and the emotional impact of compelling artwork. This Experience will allow students to explore the elements of art and principles of design, as well as understand art’s role in history. Students are challenged to problem solve, think creatively, and express themselves through innovative studio projects that help them enhance their own creations and find their own artistic voices. The Studio Visual Arts Experience will give advanced art students pre-college exposure focused on first-hand research with various traditional and experimental art techniques. Having access to custom fine art supplies will emphasize proficiency with various drawing, painting, sculptural techniques and tools.

Engineering in Life and Earth Science – Williamsport High School

Principal:                 Scott Noll
Teacher:                   Robert Burkhart

The Next generation science curriculum standards incorporate standards of engineering into every science discipline.  These standards call students to design, build, evaluate, test and refine solutions to problems related to specific science disciplines.  This grant funds 4 Williamsport HS Earth and Life Science teachers to better “engage students in true STEM learning as they apply the Engineering Design Process to develop solutions to real world issues”, wrote Robert Burkhart in his application. With these funds to purchase materials, anticipated outcomes include “increased student engagement in science course, improved student understanding of the Engineering Design Process, … and Really cool student project designs to share.”

Let’s Get Growing! – Antietam Academy

Principal:                  D. Tim Morrow
Teacher:                    Jennifer Gormer

This project is designed to give students real world skills that will carry beyond the classroom. Students will utilize a greenhouse to produce winter vegetables and spring flowers. They will plan, evaluate cost, plant, monitor, water, fertilize and harvest the vegetables and flowers with the intent to learn how a business model works. Additionally, students will develop a community service project that involves sharing the produce/flowers that are grown with a community partner.

Cricut and Cortical Vision Impairment – Marshall Street Center and the Job Development Program

Principal:                 Sarah Stare
Teachers:                 Mary Chanda Thompson/Kristen Schaffer

The purchase of a Cricut machine and related items will benefit the students at Marshall Street School with Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI). CVI is the total or partial loss of vision in a normal-appearing eye caused by damage to the brain’s occipital cortex. Students with CVI often engage better with materials that are textured, shiny or a specific color. The Cricut would allow us to customize materials specific to each student’s individual vision needs, allowing greater and more meaningful access to their educational program. Anticipated outcomes include Marshall Street School students with CVI will engage more fully in their instructional activities. The use of the customized materials will improve student performance and engagement in the classroom. By supplying our students with Cortical Vision Impairment with customized, individualized materials based on their specific vision needs, the students will be able to explore instructional materials in a more meaningful manner, enabling them to improve upon their performance and engagement in all educational settings.

Pedometer Race Across America in Phys Ed – Potomac Heights Elementary School

Principal:                 Kathleen Forrest
Teacher:                   Chris Grove

These funds will purchase 30 Pedometers to use in every Physical Education class – every grade. Project will “chart the distance each student travels based on the number of steps that student accumulates during physical activity while in PE class and tie in math and social studies skills along the way. Students will learn the value of movement and much more along the way.