Round 34 grants for 11 MCSC programs awarded

The grants for Round 34 were awarded in May of 2019.  Ten grants totaling $6,772.94 were awarded to enhance learning experiences for Merrillville students.  Enriching a Student’s Experience through the use of Raise the Score in Reading, Simulating the Industrial Revolution with Tinker Toys, From Consumers to Creators, and Impairment Goggles are just a few of the winning grant ideas.

Since 2002, the Merrillville Education Foundation has awarded 411 grants to teachers totaling $356,632.86.  These grants have impacted more than 112,107 student experiences in grades Pre-K through 12.

To get more details about these programs, view the complete listing of the Round 34 awarded grants…

Grant Spotlight – Crazy Traits

GRANT TITLE
Crazy Traits

GRANT AUTHOR, SCHOOL, IMPACT & FUNDING
Cheryl Austin – Merrillville High School, Biology Dept. – 500 students – $1218.84

GRANT PERIOD
Round 29 for Fall 2016; implemented in Fall 2016

GRANT APPLICATION
“Crazy Traits” is a hands-on, modeling kit that engages students while teaching them the role that chance plays, in an organism’s inherited traits. Additionally, it gives students an opportunity to model things they can’t see, such as the genotypes of parents and the alleles inherited from each, and those of the offspring resulting from parent crosses. Student engagement level will increase because they will be having fun while using “Crazy Traits” to study how traits are passed from one generation to the next. They will benefit by seeing the results of genetics crosses that can only be done, currently, using paper-based activities. These 3-D models should significantly enhance understanding and retention of genetics concepts that are often difficult for students to comprehend.

GRANT OUTCOMES
Biology 1B students discovered that there are two types of traits: dominant and recessive. Using “Crazy Traits” kits, purchased via a Merrillville Education Foundation grant, students developed a model for how probability influences genetic variation. Students flipped coins to determine which alleles a Crazy Creature offspring would inherit from its parents. Students then built their creature and compared them to the creations of their classmates. They discovered how genetically diverse the population can be even with just 14 traits, all while using “Crazy Traits”! The program has been successful for two years now and continues to give Freshmen students a hands-on model that enriches their concept of genetics.

PHOTO GALLERY

Grant Spotlight Archives

Grant Spotlight – Crazy Traits

Using "Crazy Traits" kits, purchased via a Merrillville Education Foundation grant, students developed a model for how probability influences genetic variation. They discovered how genetically diverse the population can be even with just 14 traits.

read more

Grant Spotlight – Family Engineering Nights

Approximately 100 families attended and participated in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose of the program was to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace Room at MIS.

read more

Grant Spotlight – The Great Kindness Challenge

GRANT TITLE
The Great Kindness Challenge

GRANT AUTHOR, SCHOOL, IMPACT & FUNDING
Kara Bonin – Merrillville Intermediate School – 950+ Gr. 5 & 6 students – $553.17

GRANT PERIOD
Round 32 for Spring 2018; implemented in Fall 2018

GRANT APPLICATION
Every month, we create activities and projects to promote kindness, respect, empathy, and unity throughout the building. Our PBIS team, along with our Student Council and STAND club collaborate to create these themes and projects together, and staff members including the PBIS team, the Therapeutic Counselor and Social Worker, create monthly lessons focused on the theme.  Students are also able to write “Acts of Kindness” that are announced on morning announcements.

Research shows that kindness is learned not just be talking about or thinking about it, but by feeling kindness so we can reproduce that emotion and feeling to others by sharing kindness. The feel-good experience also produces endorphins in the brain that are associated with pleasure, social connection and trust. When our brains are in this state, our students can learn better and concentrate more on schoolwork. This project will also help to teach relationships and meaningful connections with other human beings. By doing this, our peer acceptance will likely increase leading to a reduction in bullying and behavior referrals. Finally, being intentional in focusing on kindness, we will continue to develop happy, confident, well-rounded individuals who will be able to collaborate, cooperate, and accept differences in other human beings. These skills are needed for our children as they become adults to help change our world.

GRANT OUTCOMES
We have been working hard to create a Culture of Kindness at MIS.  So far, we have demonstrated 5,775 acts of kindness since the inception of the program.  Every month we set a goal as a school.  We celebrate every month with the “Act of Kindness MVP” award. When a staff member recognizes our students demonstrating acts of kindness, the students are given a Kindness Coin. The coin is turned in for an entry into a drawing.  Students and teams have been recognized for their acts of kindness with rewards and prizes. Every month, we draw one name for 5th grade and one for 6th grade as our MVP. That student receives a trophy, and they have their picture on our Kindness Wall of Pride.

Grant Spotlight Archives

Grant Spotlight – Crazy Traits

Using "Crazy Traits" kits, purchased via a Merrillville Education Foundation grant, students developed a model for how probability influences genetic variation. They discovered how genetically diverse the population can be even with just 14 traits.

read more

Grant Spotlight – Family Engineering Nights

Approximately 100 families attended and participated in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose of the program was to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace Room at MIS.

read more

Grant Spotlight – Family Engineering Nights

GRANT TITLE
Family Engineering Nights

GRANT AUTHOR, SCHOOL, IMPACT & FUNDING
Kara Bonin – Merrillville Intermediate School – up to 120 people at each of three events – $895.00

GRANT PERIOD
Round 32 for Spring 2018; implemented in Fall 2018

GRANT APPLICATION
We will host a Family Engineering Night each trimester. Parents and students will be invited in to participate together in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose is to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace at our school.

Activities will include: Arches, Boxing Beans, Glue is the Clue, Inspired by Nature, Let’s Communicate, Make It Loud, Shifting Shapes, Who Engineered It, Domino Diving Board, Happy Feet, Solid Ground, Assembly Line, Launcher, Stop and Think, Team UP.

Students and families will learn the engineering process and be encouraged to participate in our Time to Invent Club as well as seeking interest in future STEM professions. This will also support our three STEM projects that we are incorporating throughout the school year. Students and families will learn collaboration, thinking, problem solving, and simply a great way to have fun as a family.

GRANT OUTCOMES
We have held two Family Engineering Nights. Approximately 100 families attended and participated in a variety of STEM activities.  The purpose of the program is to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace Room at MIS.  Students and families learn the engineering process, be encouraged to participate in our Time to Invent Club, and seek interest in future STEM professions.                                            

Families worked together in the Launch activity, designing a catapult with only a spoon, rubber bands, and popsicle sticks.  The Tower Activity challenged them to build the tallest free-standing tower with only pipe cleaners.  Throughout the challenge, different parameters were put into place such as no talking with team, one hand only for each team member, etc.  The final activity was the assembly line, where the teams had to create the most efficient and effective way to build something.  Students and families used collaboration, thinking skills, and problem solving.  Everyone enjoyed themselves, and this was a wonderful and fun family learning experience for all.

PHOTO GALLERY

 

Grant Spotlight Archives

Grant Spotlight – Crazy Traits

Using "Crazy Traits" kits, purchased via a Merrillville Education Foundation grant, students developed a model for how probability influences genetic variation. They discovered how genetically diverse the population can be even with just 14 traits.

read more

Grant Spotlight – Family Engineering Nights

Approximately 100 families attended and participated in a variety of STEM activities. The purpose of the program was to introduce our parents to the engineering process and the new Makerspace Room at MIS.

read more

Round 33 grants for 13 MCSC programs awarded

The grants for Round 33 were awarded in October of 2018.  Thirteen grants totaling $6,461.77 were awarded to enhance learning experiences for Merrillville students.  Enriching a Student’s Experience through the use of Chroma Key Technology, Inclusion Dance, African American History and the College Experience, and Simple Machines Are Not That Simple are just a few of the winning grant ideas.

Since 2002, the Merrillville Education Foundation has awarded 273 grants to teachers totaling $335,835.94.  These grants have impacted more than 109,009 student experiences in grades Pre-K through 12.

To get more details about these programs, view the complete listing of the Round 33 awarded grants…