Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2017/18

Submitted by: Cynthia Kuhlman Email: Grade Level: prek-5 Subject: science and math
Co-Applicant: Email: Grade level: Subject:

School: Highland City Elementary Type: Public Grade Levels:preK-5 County:Polk

Approx. Enrollment: 450 Number of teachers:28

School Address:

Highland city, Florida 33846

Phone: 863-648-3540 Principal:Amy Weingarth Email:

Project Title: Wither or Water - YOU Choose!
Project Dates: November, -May, 2018 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :sustainability- stewardship- science - technology

Our bodies are more than 1/2 water - our state is surrounded by water - we need our students to be aware citizens of tomorrow and understand the importance of sustainable farming, stewardship of our lands and water, and understand the science behind it. Our students will research and promote water conservation and pollution prevention. Students will research all aspects of water and present it to other students by designing and hosting information stations at a school wide Wither or Water day - one station to be an "escape room" that students will do in their respective classrooms. Students will use Virtual Reality to Explore the Oceans through Nearpod. Growing fruits and vegetables in a hydroponics system will prove to them that farming can be low water usage. Additionally students will send water usage surveys home with all students, track data, and monitor effects of campaign. Sending an App to their parents' phone that they designed will be an amazing culmination of their learning. Pending funds from another source will allow students to visit Circle B Reserve and have hands on learning with dip nets. Additionally, education outreach representatives from area mines and the Phosphate Museum have been invited to visit our classes and share their expertise.


How is your project innovative?   (25 points)
Students will learn how hydroponic farming grows food in a smaller footprint and uses less water - a vital commodity. Virtual Reality allows students to explore amazing places right from my classroom. Potentially some students could create their own VR lesson to be placed on Nearpod's website as a resource for other classes. Students engineering - designing their booth, researching the information to be presented, and teaching all other students at our school - is a very empowering process. I believe they will become true stewards of our resources and influence their friends and families to do so as well. Through my students are learning to code - students will work in groups to design an App centered around the water facts they have learned. Escape Rooms are a very engaging way to convey information or review knowledge gained - the are fun for students to both build and utilize.

How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points)
Certainly all of the Nature of Science standards will apply as well as research ELL standards. SC.4.6.E.3 in which students learn that some natural resources are non-renewable is important to remind students that we cannot make more water. 5.E.7.1 and .2 standards support the water cycle and models of it - this is what students will be demonstrating to the entire school - they will have to master knowledge in order to teach it to younger students so they can master SC.2.E.73. SC.14.L.61 revolves around plant reproduction which will be clearly demonstrated in the hydroponic garden. The garden will also provide us nutrition information and how to lead a healthier life. Students will learn how to synthesize information across multiple subjects all to reinformce the importance of clean water.

How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points)
As students learn the importance of water conservation, they will encourage their families and community the importance of safe aquifers and reduced water usage. Knowledge is power - when students learn the effects that not caring for our water resources can cause, they will be driven to affect change. Our school will benefit from a day meant to inform younger students and driven solely by student created methods. Students will, I believe, take real ownership in the importance of this information and the importance of how to impart it to younger students. Students will enjoy fresh produce that they have grown and will benefit from nutrient lessons and the personal reward of eating something you have grown from seed.

How will technology be utilized?  (20 points)
Students will use virtual reality to explore the ocean. Students will use computers to create an app utilizing that can be sent to their parents' phones that displays their knowledge gained and new respect for water. Students will utilize computers to research and design information stations to convey information to other students - I don't allow PPTs but my students do embrace many other ways to present information: PowToon animated presentation, stop action video, green screen technology, QR codes, and interactive quizzes (Mentimeter). Additionally 4th and 5th grade students will use Peace River Watershed Excursion - an online virtual tour/webquest. Students will research the history of hydroponic farming and design their own system using recycled materials.

What evidence will you collect to show student gain?   (10 points)
Students will be pre and post tested on water cycle and groundwater issues. My group of students will monitor a change in water usage by all students' families utilizing a home survey. While this is the statistical data, I believe students writing a self assessment of how this has effected their water usage and water knowledge will provide great anecdotal evidence of learning.

How will participants share your project results with the community?  (15 points)
All families and local media representatives will be invited to our Wither or Water day. Additionally, we will post pictures and information as the project proceeds on our school's website and Faceboook page and will submit to our school district's social media pages. Our school newsletter will track effect on home water usage and this info will also be shared on social media. We have joined a local garden group sponsored by a university outreach program - we will weigh and track all produce grown in our hydroponic towers - this organization shares information throughout our community.


Service/ Item Description Cost
VR Headset x 3 504
Hydroponic Towers, growing medium, nutrients, fittings, delivery, and setup 1466.20
SchoolSmart poster board x 2 18.04
Bioquest River to Sea Model 235.25
Case of Copy Paper 235.25
Total Cost of Project 35.00
If matching funds identified list source: ICAP grant, Southwest FL Water Management District
Donated Goods/Services:Water Usage surveys, water cycle bead/bracelet ki est. 500

I, Cynthia Kuhlman, certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from Amy Weingarth,the Principal of Highland City Elementary and any other individuals required by my school district.