Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2017-2018

Submitted by: Rebekka Stasny Email: Grade Level: 6/7 Subject: Science
Co-Applicant: Email: Grade level: Subject:

School: Rowlett Middle Academy Type: Charter Grade Levels:6/7 County:Manatee

Approx. Enrollment: 300 Number of teachers:300

School Address:


Phone: 9414624001 Principal:Jamara Clark Email:

Project Title: Full STEAM Ahead - Building a 21st century learning environment
Project Dates: November 1-May 2018 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :STEAM- Literacy- -

Full STEAM Ahead - Building a 21st century learning environment  Rowlett Middle Academy is a public charter school that opened in August 2017. Our middle school, home to 300 6th and 7th graders provides opportunities for academic, social and emotional growth in a nurturing environment while encouraging creativity and leadership skills for all students. Although our school building is 59 years old, the campus is filled with innovative teachers, creative students and “out of the box” thinkers. We have created an environment that fosters creativity and innovation, and we seek to fill our classrooms with technology to prepare our students to be successful in the 21st century – in and out of the classroom. Full STEAM Ahead – Building a 21st century learning environment is a project that will provide tools to do this. We are requesting technology and innovative classroom materials to help students be successful STEAM thinkers – students who see the connection between science, technology, engineering arts and math while fostering our schools mission of providing our students with a high-quality education experience that fosters a love of learning. At RMA teachers promote creativity and excellence in academics by integrating communication, the arts and leadership through a framework of 21st century learning. Having 21st century tools to create innovative spaces will help us ensure we are able to foster innovation while preparing our students in all subjects to be life-long learners prepared for the 21st century work force.


How is your project innovative?   (25 points)
With the increased focus on high-stakes testing, students must have the opportunity, time and resources to be independent inventors, artisans, tinkerers, engineers, creators and scientists. They must see the connection between Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics and use these subjects together in order to be come prepared for the 21st century workforce. I am requesting items to create an innovative learning space, where all of these things can happen. The vision of my innovative learning space is to create a safe learning environment where all students can work to their full potential while acquiring the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in and out of school. I want to create a 21st learning environment that accommodates the learning needs for all learners and supports positive relationships needed for effective learning – both formal and informal. My innovative space will be a student-friendly, creative, fun, collaborative learning and making environment that will help students grow emotionally, socially, physically and academically. Having a space that freely allows students to incorporate the 4cs of 21st century learning - critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity – will positively impact the way I teach and the way my students learn. According to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills White paper on 21st Century Learning Environments, “citizens of the 21st century need to think critically and creatively, embrace diversity and ambiguity, and create as well as consume information. They need to be resourceful and self-reliant, while also skilled at collaboration and group process. They need to understand the many “languages” of modernity — such as mathematics, science and technology — and be fluent in varied forms of communication – such as persuasion, presentation and self-expression.” (p. 27)

How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points)
My innovative learning environment is a perfect fit for my science curriculum. This project will encourage class discussions, creative and critical thinking skills and the application of student learning to solve real world problems. This project will help reinforce standards that are taught in science throughout the year. As students learned about the design and production process, students will mimic the process and thinking skills of real world scientists and engineers (SC.7.N.1.1) This is important for students to participate in forms of scientific investigation other than experiments to understand that not all scientific knowledges is derived from experimentation (SC.7.N.1.3) Students will be able to identify the benefits and limitations of the use of scientific models (SC.7.N.3.2) and describe the methods used in the pursuit of a scientific explanation as seen in different fields of science such as biology, geology and physics. (SC.7.N.1.5) Throughout this project, students will blog about their learning in online journals which will help with their literacy and writing skills. In collaboration with the English Language Arts department, students will show mastery in the following Language Arts standards: Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue. (LAFS.6.RI.3.7) Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content. Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences. (LAFS.6.W.1.3) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (LAFS.6.W.2.4) With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach. (LAFS.6.W.2.5) Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting. (LAFS.6.W.2.6)

How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points)
42% of the students at our school qualify for free or reduced price lunch. Many of my students do not have computers or access to technology at home and since our school just opened in the fall of 2017, our technology is limited to iPads and teacher laptop computers. We do have one technology lab, however, a small number of our students have access to this class as one of their electives. Students do not have access to 3D printers, classroom computers or computer programs that would allow them to practice 3D digital scanning, movie making or computer program coding. The low SES of my school limits my student's exposure to advancements in technology and engineering. I feel that it is imperative for my students to be exposed to advancements in technology in order to be ready for life outside of school in the 21st century. At RMA teachers and students are encouraged to “think outside the box” — to do things differently than before. The technology requested will allow teachers and students to do things in new and innovative ways. Instead of creating traditional lab reports, students will be able to film and annotate experiments as they happen and will be able to present their learning in a collaborative space with people outside of our classroom walls. Students will be able to create stop-motion movies explaining science concepts in student-friendly terms and share these movies on the class website so others can see what they are learning. Our science materials collection will not be limited to what we are able to purchase or what we have in our science storeroom. If we are learning about the parts of the heart, students can 3D print models of a heart. Our science classroom will not be limited to the 4 walls that make up our room. We will be able to collaborate with scientists and students from around the world using the MyRoom function of the HP Sprout to share ideas and collaborate in real-time. Students will be able to share their learning on the class website as well as during STEAM night where they will showcase their projects for their families and community to view. This innovative space will change the classroom environment by encouraging students to be makers instead of takers. Student will be encouraged to take charge of their learning by creating new and innovative projects instead of relying on teacher-created project ideas. Students will have the opportunity to get in touch with their creative side and become critical thinkers while collaborating and communicating with others. Students, teachers and the community will see first-hand that Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics are closely intertwined and cannot be taught or learned in isolation if we want to create a school of 21st century learners, innovators and leaders.

How will technology be utilized?  (20 points)
I am requesting funding for a HP Sprout and 3D capture Stage and a Lulzbot Taz 5 3D printer. The HP Spout is a fully integrated desktop 3D scanning computer, which along with the HP Capture Stage will allow students to scan, capture, edit and send 3D captures to be printed on the Lulzbot Taz 5 3D printer. The Lulzbot Taz 5 3D printer is an open source 3D printer what is user-friendly and works with a variety of open source programs. The HP Sprout is the ultimate innovative STEAM Machine. This will allow students to scan documents and objects in two dimensions – student work can be scanned and saved to create student portfolios, students can capture the process of lab experiments and add annotations for lab reports, students can gather and capture artifacts from the neighborhood, community, school or during field trips (such as leaves, rocks, found objects etc.) and scan these objects to be shared and used in reports, projects and other creative activities and students will be able to scan objects in three dimensions using the touch mat or the capture stage which will allow students to then manipulate the object and then 3D print it. The HP Sprout also has the capability for students to make stop-motion movies. Students can scan small items (Lego mini figures for example) and create background scenes and use these characters to create mini lessons where students can explain complex science concepts in student-friendly terms. Students will be able to collaborate with science classes in the district and beyond using the Sprout’s collaboration capability. Students will be able to share demonstrations, lessons, mentor students, and show projects to one another outside of our classroom walls. The Sprout’s MyRoom collaboration tool allows collaborators to simultaneously participate, annotate and manipulate objects in a shared space in real-time. Rowlett Middle Academy is a public charter school focusing on leadership, arts and communication. Through my science lessons, I incorporate the arts through song, dance, music and arts. I would like infuse more technology and digital arts into my lessons. The HP Sprout and 3D printer will provide me the opportunity to increase student’s exposure to advancements in technology an engineering while teaching my students how these tools are used in the workplace.

What evidence will you collect to show student gain?   (10 points)
I plan on creating a pre- and post-survey for students to complete rating the learning environment. Since I will loop with my 6th graders, I will survey my 6th grade students to rate their overall feeling of my current classroom environment including current technology, learning environment, engagement level and feeling of safety. I plan on chronicling my journey on my current webpage, and have my students blog about what they are learning in class and how the introduction to technology has affected their learning over the course of the year. In addition to learning gains, I hope to decrease behavior problems, tardies and absences from class and increase student engagement and participation.

How will participants share your project results with the community?  (15 points)
I want to create a place that is not only inviting to students but also to faculty and staff. I already have an open-door policy where colleagues can stop by and see what my students are doing. My open-door policy will continue and I will document the progress and development of my learning space online on my class webpage. The student blogging portion of this project will require students to journal their learning which will increase student writing in Science and will help show students the connection between science and English Language Arts. In addition to chronicling my experience with this innovative space, I plan on starting a STEAM Club where students can use Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics to design and create, tinker, make and invent. This STEAM club will allow students to stay after school and use the technology to create 3D models, stop-motion movies, manipulate models – it’s really only limited to the students’ imagination. I have already presented several professional development sessions on integrating technology – specifically using Discovery Education for increased student engagement, engaging strategies and as a professional learning community. I also hosted sessions on integrating STEAM lessons into all classes. I would like to host additional professional development sessions on either integrating technology or STEAM in the classroom specifically how to incorporate 3D printing into all core subjects. I would like to host a student-led STEAM night – a family friendly night where students could showcase their learning and creations brought forth from the implementation of this new technology. Students would host a RMA Maker Faire where they would share their 2D and 3D scanned objects, their stop-motion videos and other artifacts created using the HP Sprout and 3D printer with their families and the community.


Service/ Item Description Cost
HP Sprout 1799
Lulzbot Taz 5 3D printer 1650
Total Cost of Project 3449
If matching funds identified list source: MEF Grant 500
Donated Goods/Services:

I, Rebekka Stasny, certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from Jamara Clark,the Principal of Rowlett Middle Academy and any other individuals required by my school district.