Dysart Education Foundation Supports TeachersMini-grants support innovative learning experiences for Dysart students
DEF Mini-Grant Guidelines
The Dysart Education Foundation anticipates having availability funding for mini-grants each year. The grant application deadline is in October and awards are announced in November. See below for information about previous recipients of the Dysart Education Foundation mini-grants.
Any Dysart teacher or group of teachers may apply for funds. The person signing the application should be the individual with the primary responsibility for executing the project and reporting the results to the Foundation Board.
Dysart Education Foundation mini-grants will be awarded for up to $2000 each and may involve one class or any combination of students and teachers. To be accepted, the grant applications must be signed by the teacher and the school principal. The District Office will review each grant to ensure compatibility with district goals and curricula. Projects benefiting a larger number of students will receive higher priority.
Grant applications must be computer generated using the approved application form. The review panel will select awards based on originality, professionalism, established need, benefits to students, student involvement, appropriate age level, and budget details. Each category is equally important. Recipients must submit a brief written report on their project to the DEF president within 30 days of the completion of the school year. Failure to submit a report within the time limit will result in loss of future mini-grant awards.
Applications for the 2019-2020 school year are due to the office of the Assistant Superintendents in Dysart Unified School District by Friday, October 11, 2019. See below for previous recipients!
Congratulations to the Fall 2018 Teacher Mini-Grant Winners!
Mini-Grant Awards Fall 2018
PE Shoe Loaner Program Beverly Zwick, K-8 Physical Ed, Dysart Elementary School Research shows that there are many health and academic benefits for students when they are able to participate in physical activity on a regular basis. However, students sometimes attend PE classes without appropriate shoes for various reasons, including that they don’t own the right kind or they have outgrown their shoes. This program will allow them to borrow a pair of shoes to participate in the PE class and exercise safely. Shoes will be disinfected in-between uses.
Design Thinking Using a Makerbot 3D Printer Nichole Perez, K-8 iExplore Program, West Point Elementary Students will redesign teacher supplies such as staplers, etc. by surveying teachers, creating original designs on Tinker Cad software, and use the 3D printer purchased with DEF Grant funds to print a replica of their product. Activities will also include an analysis of the resulting prototype and a marketing campaign for their product.
Little Bits Innovations for iExplore/ MakerSpace Classes Liana Gillespie and Kristin Binazeski, K-8, iExplore Program, Canyon Ridge Elementary Little Bits is an open-source library of electronic modules that allow users to learn electronics via prototypes. Using the DEF funded Little Bits equipment, students will create circuitry and then use their creations in their original projects.
Picture-in-a-Flash Kelly Potter, Teacher for the Visually Impaired, K-12, District Tactile graphics, including tactile pictures, diagrams, maps, and graphs, are images that use raised surfaces so that a blind or visually impaired person can access them through touch rather than sight. While braille is available in the District, tactile graphics are more complex. Using the Picture-in-a-Flash Embosser that will be purchased with DEF funds, a printed image, drawing, or photocopy can be scanned and a raised image will result.
Lighting Up the Theater ClassroomKendra Schroeder, Theater, 9-12, Shadow Ridge High School DEF funds will be used to purchase lighting equipment, including a laptop, necessary for students in theater classes to use in order to explore and learn lighting techniques. Students will learn how to mix color, use the lighting design program to create cues, create a plot, run a show, and focus lights.
Piano Schoologists Diane Richardson, Music 5 – 8 Surprise Elementary School Students will learn to play a self-selected piano piece on purchased keyboards and record themselves multiple times in order to assess their own progress identify areas to work on. In addition to twelve keyboards, the DEF grant will fund keyboard stands and headsets.
Wearing Art Christina Williams, Art, 7-8, Marley Park Elementary Students will have the experience of creating and running a clothing business, including the logo design, company name, prototype of their product, and potential price breakdown. They will also design and dye their fabric as well as cut and sew it to achieve the finished product. Funds will be used to purchase the materials for the wax resist process of fabric dyeing.
Chromebooks in the Art Room Sara Mendoza, Art 3-8, Rancho Gabriela Elementary Five new Chromebooks in this art classroom will allow students internet access to images that can be used to teach fundamental art techniques, processes, and use of tools. Downloaded images can be used as a reference as students begin their own creation. When students study an art style, they will be able to access and study the work of other artists who use that same style.
Mini-Grant Awards Fall 2017
Student-Centered Flexible Seating Denise Hall, Grade 2, Riverview Elementary Flexible seating that will allow students choices as to where and how they are going to work.
Creating a Sustainable Tortoise Ecosystem Natalie A Moore, Grade 7 Science, Canyon Ridge Elementary An area in the school where students will be able to see and participate in the entire process of energy flow, from composting to plants to feeding tortoises in the tortoise habitat.
Ukuleles in the Music Classroom Chareeze Abarquez, Grade 5-8 General Music, Cimarron Springs Elementary School Funds will be used to purchase a classroom set of ukuleles. Ukuleles provide students an easy venue for composition and the opportunity to learn to play a string instrument.
3D Printing to Enhance Chemistry and Physics Learning Justin Greathouse, Chemistry and Physics, Dysart High School As the beginning of a Maker Space, chemistry students will build polyatomic models using the 3D printer, and physics students will design and engineer their own devices in order to record and calculate data using the laws of physics.
Mini-Grant Awards Fall 2016
Technology and the Music Room Diana Richardson, General Music 5th – 8th, Surprise Elementary Students will utilize online platforms of Google Classroom, Google Drive, and Google Chrome to complete individualized projects that include instruction on the instrument of their choice and creatively designing and sharing their own piece of music. Funds will be used to purchase headphones, keyboards and stands, and acoustic guitars.
Makerspace Melissa Bowman and Loni Fife, Kinder – 8th, Countryside Elementary Countryside Elementary is transforming its library to include a space for students to gather to create, tinker, invent, explore, and discover using a variety of tools and materials. A student committee will work to design the space, create the structure and schedule, as well as other tasks. Funds will be used to purchase materials for the Makerspace area.
Snap Circuits for 1st Grade Alyssa Moon Dyke, Grade 1, Cimarron Springs Funds will purchase Snap Circuits, which enable younger students to learn how basic electronic circuits work through hands-on exploration. This understanding then transfers to other STEM areas such as electrical engineering and robotics. Student-directed projects encourage strategic thinking and collaboration.
Coding and Robotics with Dash and Dot Kathryn Berger, K-8, Ashton Ranch Students will work collaboratively in teams to use coding skills to interact with sets of robots Dash and Dot, to be purchased with mini-grant funds. Students will strengthen 21st century learner skills as they use mobile apps to code robots to complete specific tasks.
Incorporating Advances in Technology and Innovative Materials in Ceramics Jennifer Pulbratek, Art, Grades 9-12, Dysart High School Art students will be aware of current trends in the art world as they incorporate materials purchased with grant funds that are not typically applied in high school ceramics classes, yet are very appropriate and necessary. Students will be encouraged to experiment, combine materials, and push limits.
Virtual Reality Experience Erin Lynch, Grade 10 World History, Valley Vista High School Students will use their smartphones and purchased Virtual Reality V2 holders to access free Google sites that allow them to move through areas and events as if they were there in person. Hundreds of free educational videos are available to use with the viewers including many historical topics. Increased student engagement and achievement is expected to result.
Mini-Grant Awards Spring 2016
Recycled Car Noelle Downs, Sonoran Heights Elementary, Grade 1 With newly purchased Chromebooks, wireless color printer, and 3D printer, students will collaboratively design 2D blueprints of cars and construct the cars using recycled materials. They will test out their created cars and collect data on Chromebooks, then create Google Presentations about their cars. The 3D printer will be used to print license plates designed by the students.
GarageBand Danae Marinelli, Cimarron Springs Elementary, Music K-8 Digital handheld recorders and Midi piano keyboards will be added to this music classroom. Using the Apple application GarageBand, all students in the school will have the opportunity to compose/create music, including multiple tracks, musical loops, various instrumental effects, and voice recordings.
STEAM through Physics Justin Greathouse, Countryside Elementary, Science Grades 7/8 Students will collaborate to design a theme park in a team-based setting. Activities will tie learning to in-depth and real-world applications, and include Science, Technology, Arts, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM).
Monoprice Maker Architect Printer Christy Brooks, Surprise Elementary, Social Studies/Science, Grade 6 Sixth grade students will practice creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication as they design 3D products. In addition, the 3D printer will support students who are part of the Science Olympian program by allowing them to create models for a number of events.
Microscopic World in Your Hands Thasanee Chantarojwong, Valley Vista High School, Biology AP, Biology 9-12 Funds will purchase six handheld camera/microscopes. Students will be able to project streaming video images of specimens from the microscopes in real time onto computers, and also snap still photos of an image. These electronic microscopes allow more time to share and explore various specimens, and allow the teacher to assist more students at one time.
Technology for Dysart’s National Board Certified Teacher Candidates Beth Maloney, Arizona/Dysart Teacher of the Year High quality equipment, including a camcorder, boom kit, and tripod, will be available to teachers who are pursuing their National Board Certification. Designed to develop, retain, and recognize accomplished teachers, the NCB voluntary process is the most respected professional certification available in education. It takes up to five years to attain and includes submission of videos of actual teaching.
Mini-Grant Awards Fall 2015
Classic Car Rally Kurt Woods, Dysart High School, Auto Tech Grades 9-12 DHS and Arizona Restoration Club of Sun City West are partnering to build a 1967 Mercury Cougar to enter in the 2016 Great Race Across America. DHS will be one of only 2 high schools entered from the entire U.S. Funds will be used for tires, replacement of old parts, and fuel.
Light Up My Room Kristin Bienvenue, West Point, Pre-K Funds will be used to purchase a light box and accompanying materials for preschool students, some with special needs. The project provides additional light and translucent materials that help young learners explore shapes, letters, and science concepts.
Cimarron Students Building Learning Blendspaces Beth Rolfe, Grades 6-8 Art, Cimarron Springs Elementary Three Chromebooks will be used along with Blendspace, a platform for creating multimedia lessons that kids can access online and at home. Art teachers from three schools: Cimarron Springs, Sonoran Heights, and Riverview are currently developing art lessons that are shared all over the District. They also plan to have students create their own art lessons, using this medium.
Molecular Modeling to Support the 4C’s Corinne Carlson, Willow Canyon High School, Grades 10- 12 Chemistry Molecular Model Sets will allow chemistry students to build 3 dimensional models of molecules and therefore better visualize highly abstract concepts. It will also better prepare them for college chemistry, where modeling is a requirement.
Building a City Mary Odom, Fine Arts Academy, West Point, Middle School Students will collaborate with the Shadow Ridge HS Architecture students in designing solutions to real world problems as they explore city planning. A 3D printer and colored filaments, purchased with mini-grant funds, will allow students to print out their final products.
The EYES Have it! Eyshon Salahuddin, Cimarron Springs, Grade 7 Science The purchase of an Ultraviolet Sterilization Goggle Cabinet and soft vinyl impact goggles will ensure that students can complete a lab safely when working with hazardous chemicals or particles and that goggles can be sterilized and kept dust-free between uses. Glasses currently worn by students are worn out from use over time.
Mini-Grant Awards 2014/2015
Story Podcasting Lisa Garon, Grade 5, Cimarron Springs Elementary Two new iPads will be used by students to record their own narrative stories. Students will learn the importance of expression and inflection. Completed stories and the process for creating them will be shared with the other 5th grade classrooms.
Building a Learning Community Mary E. Odom, New Media Arts 6th-8th Grade, West Point Elementary Students will use principals of design and the elements of art as they design quality t-shirts that can be worn in classrooms and at district events, and can be displayed on the school website. Purchases include software, pressure sensitive pens for the iPad, and inkjet transfer sheets.
Technology at Cimarron Springs Beth Rolfe, Grades K-4, Cimarron Springs Elementary Two iPads will allow younger students, who have difficulty bringing technology from home, better access. iPad applications that support the 21st Century skills will be used for small group instruction.
Technology in the Art Room Sara Mendoza, Art 4th-8th Grade, Rancho Gabriela Elementary Students will have access to two cameras, an inkjet printer, and two Chrome Books. They will learn how to use a digital camera and printer correctly, how to manipulate and edit photo images, and how to transfer images to other mediums for multi-media artworks.
Sixth Grade Technology at Cimarron Springs Judy Kellner, Grade 6, Cimarron Springs Elementary Students will choose an ancient culture they have studied in social studies, and create a narrative including lively characters and an authentic setting. Two iPads will be used to turn their stories into digital videos and web stories.
“You are the change you wish to see…” Erin Young and 7th and 8th grade Arts Academy Team, West Point Elementary Chromebooks will be purchased for students to use as they identify issues in the community and create a solution. Narratives, research, citations, videos, and posters will be uploaded to the students’ website so they can effectively communicate their plan to the community.
Mini-Grant Awards 2013/2014
Fitness Fun Beverly Zwick, PE Teacher, Dysart Elementary Funds will purchase a circuit timer, hand weights and rack, and resistance tubes. Teacher will set up an exercise circuit of exercises to be used by both students and staff, and as part of regular PE classes as well as before/after school opportunities.
Building a Green City Noelle Downs, all 1st grades, Sonoran Heights Elementary Students will design, construct, run, and evaluate small green communities. The project will cover many math, reading, writing, science, and social studies standards plus use of technology. Funds will buy 3 iPad minis that will be used in a variety of ways during the project.
Technology Use to Enhance Academic Progress Ann Karien Calvert, 4th – 8th grade Cross Categorical Exceptional Services, West Point Elementary The purchased document camera will allow the teacher to simultaneously project instructional images for intense academic instruction to students with special needs. Students will also be able to demonstrate their work for others to see.
Technology in the Level C Classrooms Karen Reale, Kinder – 8th Level C Classrooms, Sonoran Heights Many students in these classrooms have limited or no verbal communication, and others have only basic communication skills. Two iPads purchased with DEF funds will be used assist students in communication and to support academic and IEP goals. Funds will also purchase two styluses, iPad covers, and a few apps.
iPad Stephanie Badsgard, 1st grade, Sunset Hills Elementary The purchased iPad will be used by students individually and in groups, The addition of an Apple Dock connector to the classroom projector will allow for whole class activities. Film and a cover case will be purchased to protect the iPad, in addition to several new apps.
Solar Kart “Racing the Sun” Kurt Woods, Auto Tech grades 9-12, Dysart High School Eric Bennett, Engineering, Shadow Ridge High School Through a cooperative effort between Dysart and Shadow Ridge, students will design and build a solar go cart for an annual competition hosted by the U of A. Teams earn points throughout the year for presentations, meeting milestones, and based on performance on race day. The race competition tests student abilities in three areas: speed, endurance, and team spirit. DEF Funds will be used to purchase go-cart parts such as the brake system, chassis material, rear wheel mounts, steering controls, road wheel, gearing, and the main frame. The race sponsors provide the electronic systems including solar panels. Students will also display at the Dysart Career and Club Fair and speak at feeder school science classes.
Classroom Web Publishing Justin Greathouse, 7th grade Science, Countryside Elementary Students will use five Acer C7 Chromebooks to research scientific topics and create websites through Google Sites as a means of presenting their information in a final published form.
Mini-Grant Awards 2012/2013
I-Pads in Self-Contained Classroom Jennifer Kelly, Self-Contained SPED, Surprise School Students in this self-contained special ed classroom, many with limited to no verbal communication skills, will use iPad apps to establish and increase communication skills. Other applications will be used with the iPads for instruction in other areas.
iPads for use as Formative Assessment and Remediation Tool Tom Triolo, High School Math, Sundown Mountain High School Students will take turns using iPads for math assignments. This will allow students to not only answer the questions and upload their work for teacher review, but will also allow them to dictate comments/questions verbally using the voice recorder.
Time to Get “Kinected” Dale Akita, Digital Communications and Computer Animation, Valley Vista High School Funds will purchase two Wacom Intuous5 Medium Digital Tablets that will create 2D and 3D graphic design images while using both multi-touch and a pressure sensitive pen. In addition, a Kinect Sensor will be purchased. Using this, the computer can recognize face and voice, and interpret physical actions of users, among other things.
21st Century Reader’s Workshop Lisa Gura, Grade 1 teacher colleagues, Dysart Elementary School Funds will purchase 6 Nook Color wireless reading devices. First grade students will receive fluency and English language support with the text-to speech feature, as well as have access to a variety of resources otherwise not available in the classroom, such as informational, persuasive, and functional texts.
Genetic Transformation of Escherichia coli with pGLO Bacterial Transformation – Using a gene from a Jellyfish that Glows in the Dark Patricia Christopher, Biology, Shadow Ridge High School Students will use various sizes of purchased Micropipettes to experience authentic activities that will prepare them for future biotechnology study, applications, research, and careers. In one activity, students will use the micropipettes to transform bacteria with a gene from a jellyfish that glows in the dark to express a new protein.
Mini-Grant Awards 2011/2012
Understanding Subatomic Movement in the Production of Light in Chemistry Tiffany Smith Chemistry, Shadow Ridge High School Spectroscope sets, spectrum tube sets, a flame test kit, and a Molymod Molecular model set will allow students to build models of compounds to be studied, measure light, study spectral lines, observe the colors of light emitted by metals placed in a flame, and identify unknown metals using a flame test.
Document Camera Lori Murphy and Joni Maville, Grade 3, Sunset Hills Elementary School A document camera, to be shared by the 3rd grade team, will be used in a large variety of ways to enhance instruction. This model also has a web cam that can be used to communicate outside the classroom.
Creating a Global Classroom Melodie Brewer, Special Ed grades 5 and 6, Canyon Ridge Elementary Students will be able to access high quality programming through the medium of videoconferencing. Communications will be digitally recorded and used by other students at later times.
Elementary Kindle Connections Kristie Ann Franco, grade 4, Sunset Hills Ten Kindle Keyboards will be used by students in small reading groups, to interact at Literacy Centers with audiobooks, to look up unknown words in the included dictionary and thesaurus, and to conduct research online.
iPods for the 21st Century Learner Sara Murphy, Grade 6, Countryside Elementary Five iPod Touches will be used in a variety of ways, including to increase reading fluency. Students will record their oral reading, listen, read again, listen, then record their best efforts into iTunes, where they can be accessed by students, parents and teachers.
iPod Touch’s Touch Lives Kara Kujawa, 7th grade science, Sunset Hills Elementary Five iPod Touches will be used in the science classroom for research, brain teasers, video recording and sharing, skills practice in math, reading, and science, using many iPod apps that are specifically for educational purposes.
Mini-Grant Awards 2010/2011
Skateboard Unit Christian Moghina, Physical Education, Dysart Elementary Skateboarding encourages students to be creative and participate in an alternative physical activity. It develops balance, coordination, stamina, endurance, and many other skills. Skateboards and protective helmets purchased with these funds will be used to teach safe skateboarding skills.
Utah Shakespeare Festival MacBeth Alice Lee, English/Theater 9-12, Valley Vista High School VVHS will host Utah’s Shakespeare Festival traveling troupe’s production of Macbeth on March 10, 2011. In addition, three workshops will be offered by the troupe and will be attended by theater students. Mini-grant funds will be used to pay for the performance.
Pencast to the Rescue Lidia Goodman, Library Media, Reading, and Math, K-8, Cimarron Springs Elementary Teachers and students will create books and students will be able to review both the audio and video of a lesson on the internet. Entire lessons will be available to students and parents for review, Mini-grant funds will be used to purchase Livescribe smart pens, notebooks that support the functions of the pens, and a charging cradle.
Unity Camp Michelle Bohon, Jan Fellows, Counselors, Sundown Mountain HS, Shadow Ridge HS Unity Camp is a cultural diversity camp, held at Camp Sky Y in Prescott, Arizona in early 2011. New skills learned are brought back to the campus, family, and friends. Mini-grant funds will be used to defray the costs of the camp. Students will each pay $35 to participate. Additional funding will be provided by tax credit donations.
Student Created Math Casts Tom Triolo, HS Math, Sundown Mountain High School The teacher intends to create a library of “math casts” for a variety of math topics that can be uploaded to the web for all students in Dysart Schools and across the world can access. Students will work in groups to talk through problems and reach solutions while recording their discussion and data with Livescribe pens. Mini-grant funds will be used to purchase two Livescribe Echo pens, 2 notebook packs that contain special paper that allows work to be uploaded to a computer, and 2 protective cases.
Ready, Set, Learn Melynda Wescott, Self-contained team K-5, Mountain View Elementary Students with disabilities need sensory input and structured breaks between academic tasks to increase focus and retention. Students will participate in “brain gym” activities in short 5 – 10 minute segments between lessons. Mini-grant funds will be used to purchase equipment for the activities.
Mini-Grant Awards 2009/2010
Self-Portrait Linoleum Cut Prints Mario Hiter, Art 9-10, Shadow Ridge High School Funds will be used to purchase a machine for printing linoleum prints, cutting tools, and other supplies that will enable students to explore printmaking, including additive and subtractive methods of carving, the importance of layering various blocks to create a successful image, and will better understand how mass produced objects and imagery are created. These resources are reusable and will be used yearly by art students.
Raise Your Heart Rate Jeff Braun, Physical Ed K-8, Cimarron Springs Elementary Teacher will buy twelve Reebok EZ Touch Heart Rate Monitors. While the “regular” classroom has changed greatly in the last few years due to technological innovations, the PE classroom is essentially unchanged. Heart rate monitors will allow students to see where their heart rates are during exercise, and make good fitness decisions based on their data.
Musical Literacy through Literature and Technology Danae Marinelli, Music K-8, Cimarron Springs Elementary Funds will allow this music teacher to integrate music and literature through the use of technology. Students will be able to identify and notate notes, as well as compose, improvise, and critique musical pieces. Older students will create projects based on music history, composers, jobs in the music industry, music vocabulary, and present day artists. Younger students will focus on reading stories based on musical literature.
My Pipet or Yours? Paige Davis, Biology, Valley Vista High School Teacher will purchase Digital Micropipets, which will allow students to conduct various electrophoresis labs. This equipment will allow the teacher to incorporate biotechnology into the classroom. Biotechnology is a fast-growing industry that needs a prepared workforce. Students will conduct biotechnology experiments using the micropipets, analyze the data, and will discover career opportunities related to the field.
SMART Kinders!! Ronni Fredrickson and Kindergarten Team, Surprise Elementary School Teachers will purchase a SMART board to be shared among five kindergarten teachers, with each teacher having the SMART board one day per week, with that day’s lessons planned around using the SMART board. Kindergarten students are very tactile and need to be able to manipulate things in order to learn. The SMART board will enable them to use manipulatives at a higher level.
Reading Comprehension Dan Herrera, English Grade 12, Willow Canyon High School Teacher will purchase supplemental materials to assist in teaching the topics of the English Romantics, Beowulf and Macbeth, including an interactive PowerPoint that will be used to introduce the topic of the English Romantics, and two challenge games that will serve as reviews for the final exam.
Mini-Grant Awards 2008-2009
21st Century Library Todd P. Simonson, Library/Media Specialist, Dysart Elementary School Based on research into current library trends and workshops on the 21st Century Learner, Mr. Simonson will purchase CD and DVD software to be used in the school library and also to be checked out using a process similar to book checkout.
Vernier Technology Cynthia Megahan, Chemistry, Dysart High School For the purchase of four Vernier LabPro data collection devices to take the place of antiquated technology that is currently used to collect data in the DHS chemistry lab. Students will be able to digitally collect, graph, and analyze more accurate data with these devices.
Robotics Engineering Cheryl Martin, Grades 6-8 science, West Point Elementary Students will be able to create, design, build, test, and analyze a working robot using LEGO Education Mindstorm robotics kits that are designed specifically for middle school students. The proposal included an extensive rubric that will be used to evaluate student success with the project.
Math Alive! Jody Jones, 6th Grade Team, Thompson Ranch For the purchase of a SmartBoard, a large, interactive whiteboard that has the power of a computer. The SmartBoard will be used by the entire 6th grade team.
Speed Stacking Kara Kujawa, Science Grade 7, Sunset Hills Speed stacking is a challenging activity for all ages, but specifically for students in their formative years. It helps to develop motor skills, patterning, sequencing, focus, and concentration. Research has identified improvements in reading scores and hand-eye coordination, among other things.