Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2018-2019

Submitted by: Matthew Baker Email: Grade Level: 9-12 Subject: Journalism/English, Art, A/V T
Co-Applicant:Jennifer Blanchette Email: jennifer.blanchette@yourcharloGrade level: 11-12 Subject: Art

School: The Academy Type: Public Grade Levels:9-12 County:Charlotte

Approx. Enrollment: 0 Number of teachers:15

School Address:

18300 Cochran Blvd
PORT CHARLOTTE, Florida 33952

Phone: 941-255-7545 Principal:Jack Ham Email:


Project Title: Digital Design in Motion
Project Dates: 01/04/2019-none - per Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :To encourage creativity in digital/graphic arts- to encourage student participation through innovative, immersive computer design paired with physical movement component - to continue to build an innovative technology-based educational environment that can serve as a -

The Academy is Charlotte County's only alternative high school for at-risk students who seen a noted lack of success at traditional schools. To both help build an innovative, technology based A/V lab, and the help foster the creative vision of students (and increase their enthusiasm and participation levels), the school looks to add a motion-capture technology element to its digital and Journalism/digital arts curriculum.


How is your project innovative?   (25 points)
To increase the number of electives, motivate students, and serve as an introductory course in electronic media, The Academy (Charlotte County's only alternative, Title 1 school for at-risk students) is slowly building a media lab that is growing mainly due to fundraising efforts from the school staff and faculty, and community foundations and grant awards. The Journalism program is adding electronic media to its resume, and now looks to increase student involvement by partnering with the school’s small art program. Students have begun using 3D computer design to augment the daily news broadcast, learning to create and animate graphics, titles, and even custom-designed computer-generated image (CGI) characters for short presentations. The program would like to create the county’s best school-based graphics lab by adding an entry-level motion capture suit which will allow students to save time by creating animations much as actors on major Hollywood productions do. An entry-level “mo cap” suit (manufactured by Rokoko) which caters to this need has been developed at a historically low price point, and offers an educational discount for schools and educators. While other schools in the district are blessed with far greater numbers and resources, none so far have employed the use of motion capture technology into their media arts instruction.

How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points)
The addition of the material will help streamline the creative process, save time, and allow for direct student input into the CGI-elements used in the school news broadcast. It will serve as a good instructional tool for the more technical aspects of the digital design process, and offer students a glimpse at a type of technical expertise they have glimpsed at work in some of their favorite films. It will add value to student creative input, differentiate the classroom instruction by encouraging a different skill set and physical motion in what is otherwise a fairly static enterprise, and increase student buy-in toward the goal of creating the most professional, technically proficient student news broadcast the school has ever created. By requiring students to develop a rationale for various choices in their digital content development and the technical aspects of the projects involved, the addition of the material would help meet the learning goals included in standards VA.912.C.1.6, VA.912.S.1.7, and VA.912.C.2.8.

How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points)
Historically, the student population of The Academy is made up of at-risk students who, for myriad reasons, have suffered from a lack of success at other more traditional schools. As a result, these students have become fairly disaffected and unenthused about their educational path; often, a sustained effort is required on behalf of the teacher to foster the kind of excitement that is necessary to retain student interest in the classroom materials. The addition of curriculum made possible by the addition of this hardware/software package would increase student interest massively, as it’s widely referenced in pop culture materials; it would provide a creative outlet at a school in desperate need of options for elective classes; it would provide another avenue for the art classes to their studies in the areas of digital design and animation; it would incorporate physical movement into lessons and encourage motion into a long block period schedule; it would provide the opportunity for prolonged group engagement and help develop problem-solving skills in a small group environment, as well as add to the school’s audio/video lab and media arts program, which can act almost as a recruitment device to bring in and retain students in need of alternative assessments and learning environments.

How will technology be utilized?  (20 points)
The addition of the motion capture technology will be immediately added to the graphic design phase of the curriculum, and students will begin using the equipment to augment their classroom assignments, news broadcasts, and digital art design projects. In addition, the school's art classes can utilize the material during their Photoshop/digital art design units, and create actual computer-generate animations which literally walk and talk. Using available digital design tools like Poser, Blender, and ZBrush, Journalism/Media Arts and Art classes alike can begin working on creating digital characters that they can bring to life through actual physical motion in the lab.

What evidence will you collect to show student gain?   (10 points)
The success and impact of the media lab creation can be tracked over time by student elective registrations, student success in courses which utilize the technology, and by both informal feedback (attained through student/teacher interaction, parent/teacher contact, open house, etc) and more formal means (annual student/parent satisfaction surveys). Perhaps the most key evidence for student gains will be the (expected) increase in student involvement. The classroom excitement created just by researching the material and its use in the creation of movies, games, and digital media was a nearly tangible thing; incorporating the technology into actual classroom instruction might serve as curriculum "jet fuel."

How will participants share your project results with the community?  (15 points)
The results of the incorporation of the material into the classroom will primarily be shared with the community through the modes of digital communication; the school uses YouTube as a dissemination device for its school news broadcasts, and this weekly class project would be the perfect host for showcasing this new aspect of instruction and the student-created products it allows. The additions to the media/arts programs could also be featured in the schools quarterly newsletter, which is distributed to all school families, district officials, and community partners. The development of the media lab has already garnered praise among community groups; the addition of this technology, which has at its heart a very visual, "wow"-kind of appeal, would only help cement the school's place as a destination for determined, interested media arts students.


Service/ Item Description Cost
Rokoko $2395.00
shipping (worldwide, flat rate) $50.00
Western Digital 4TB external hard drive (for student project storage) $129.99
Total Cost of Project $2574.99
If matching funds identified list source: Journalism fundraising/ int. account/Deep Creek El (-$500.00)
Donated Goods/Services:PC capable of running software, program license (d

I, Matthew Baker, certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from Jack Ham,the Principal of The Academy and any other individuals required by my school district.