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Teacher Grant Spotlight: STEM

2023-24 Teacher Grant applications are now open! All certificated PUSD staff are welcome to apply by October 6th, 2023.

Every year, we’re amazed at all the different ways that PUSD educators use their Teacher Grants to improve opportunities for students in the classroom. Here, we have a few quick stories about ways that teachers have used their grants to bring science and technology into the classroom.

Arduino Boards for Experienced Robotics Students
Mary Ann Kelly, Blair IB School

Mary Ann Kelly aimed to provide students with current technology tools for coding and creativity. Utilizing Arduino boards, the project addressed the evolving needs of 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade students in the Career and Tech elective. Students were empowered to advance their skills in coding and electronics through hands-on activities. By introducing them to new technology and coding methods, the project boosted students’ confidence, leadership skills, and academic engagement. The positive impact was evident in the enthusiasm of students successfully programming Arduino boards, fostering a cooperative learning environment and sparking interest in advanced courses. Mary Ann Kelly’s project not only equipped students for the digital age but also kindled their passion for exploration and innovation.

Grant Award: $840

Time to Explore!
Patricia Ortiz-Rubalcava, Longfellow Elementary

Patricia Ortiz-Rubalcava successfully ignited curiosity and enthusiasm for science among young learners. Her project aimed to provide engaging science activities and resources aligned with the curriculum. Students thrived on hands-on activities and experiments related to plant and animal life cycles, weather patterns, and pushes and pulls. Students were able to understand complex concepts like the life cycle of sunflowers and butterflies, fostering a deep love for science at an early age. The grant helped create an exciting learning atmosphere, leading to enthusiastic student participation and their proud sharing of work with parents during events like Open House.

Grant Award: $900

First Grade Robot Engineers
Dany Richy, Sierra Madre Elementary

Through hands-on engagement, young first-grade students learned about science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (STEAM) while developing skills such as active listening, literacy, patience, independence, problem-solving, and teamwork. The project addressed the students’ curiosity and love for tech-savvy activities by involving them in constructing Green Science Solar Robots, Doodle Art Scribble Bots, and Robotic Spiders. Students were provided with a unique opportunity to explore the world of robotics and mechanics, improving their self-confidence and technical skills. The project’s interactive nature not only aligned with curricular goals but also fostered a sense of accomplishment and enthusiasm for learning.

Grant Award: $2,000

Teacher Grants are one of PEF’s signature programs, and have been around for over 50 years! Learn more and apply at www.pased.org/teachers