Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2018-2019

Submitted by: Leigh Anne Brewster Email: Grade Level: 6th-12th Subject: Project Lead the Way & Automat
Co-Applicant: Email: Grade level: Subject:

School: P.K. Yonge DRS Type: Public Grade Levels:K-12 County:Alachua

Approx. Enrollment: 1080 Number of teachers:1250

School Address:

1080 SW 11th Street
Gainesville, Florida 32601

Phone: 3523921554 Principal:Lynda Hayes Email:


Project Title: A STEM Tidal Wave
Project Dates: 12/1/2018-7/28/2019 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :Science- Technology- Engineering - Math

In the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) and For Inspiration of Science and Technology (FIRST) programs, students are challenged to use the engineering design process as they complete design challenge projects in automation & robotics, computer science, and design & modeling. This program’s growth and expanding influence directly serves the student population at P.K. Yonge of over 1,000 students and families at school-based events, as well as our local community, state, and international events we attend. Project Lead the Way and the FIRST curriculum both seek to encourage student participation in science, technology, engineering, and math programs as well as hope to generate interest in STEM careers. By providing microcontrollers, Sphero robotic sets, a small bank of iPads, VEX toolsets, VEX metal and hardware, 80/20, nuts/bolts, switches, electrical items, as well as “maker-style” design and modeling materials for students to complete both competitive and non-competitive design challenges, through both the STEM program and robotics club, we anticipate we will broaden, strengthen, and diversify our K-12 STEM program. In addition, we seek to work hand in hand with our high school robotics team to provide materials for year-round outreach efforts and their competitive robotics competition, which will be directly designed and led by Roaring Riptide team members, who are current middle and high school students. Through the team’s outreach, they seek to expand and diversify the STEM pipeline among underserved, underrepresented youth in the local surrounding county. Funding will help offset costs associated with the supplies needed to provide design and build activities as well as team participation in the AT Maker Movement, Maker Faire, and Assistive Technology Workshops.


How is your project innovative?   (25 points)
Our project seeks to mesh the students of both our Project Lead the Way Program and FIRST Robotics program to design, test, and disseminate innovations in the field of Assistive Technology to help people with disabilities, by using the skills we learn in our STEM programs. We were the first robotics team to have established a working relationship with, which is a group that provides more affordable alternatives in assistive technology for people with disabilities. Students who are currently in the FIRST program find meaning in the work they have completed over the last year on projects such as developing an internet of things door opener for a child who is wheelchair bound. These students helped to develop the code and design prototypes, which were ultimately used for the final product for this child. I would like to expand these efforts by offering additional pathways in the Project Lead the Way programs in middle and high school so that our students can develop and deploy code, as well as utilize design thinking skills to move this program forward.

How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points)
6-8. WHST.7 - Writing HS/ S/ T Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self -generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. Computer Science Teachers Association Standards 2-A-3-9 -Algorithms and Programming Decompose a problem into parts and create solutions for each part. 2-A-6-10 - Algorithms and Programming Use an iterative design process (e.g., define the problem, generate ideas, build, test, and improve solutions) to solve problems, both independently and collaboratively. 2-I- 7-19 - Impacts of Computing Explain how computer science fosters innovation and enhances nearly all careers and disciplines. Next Generation Science Standards NGSS.P6 - Science and Engineering Practices Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering) -- PLTW and the FIRST curriculum are both centered around activity-, project-, and problem-based instructional design that centers on hands-on, real-world activities, projects, and problems that help students understand how the knowledge and skills they develop in the classroom may be applied in everyday life. The APB approach scaffolds student learning through structured activities and projects that empower students to become independent in the classroom and help them build skill sets to apply to an open-ended design problems. This approach provides students with unique opportunities to work collaboratively, identify problems, apply what they know, persevere through challenges, find unique solutions, and lead their own learning.

How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points)
With the increasing need to focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in today’s schools, P.K. Yonge’s Project Lead the Way Program and FIRST robotics program, led by FIRST Robotics Competition Team, Roaring Riptide 4118, is designing and leading creative and sustainable approaches for introducing and supporting STEM activities that encourage and engage underserved, underrepresented youth to explore STEM-related academic courses and careers locally, nationally, and internationally. Added in 2011, the addition of the FIRST Robotics program was the first major step in developing the engineering strand of a STEM-focused pathway at P.K. Yonge. Since the introduction of FIRST Robotics to the P.K. Yonge campus, 2 high-school engineering courses have been added to the high school and 3 gateway to engineering middle school course offerings have been added. In 2018, 5 new elementary and middle school STEM pathways were opened through the formation of new FIRST teams. These younger students have been supported in programming their own, LEGO-based robots and entering both competitive and non-competitive competitions. Looking at the wider and more sustainable impact of the STEM course enrollments at our school, we have verified that these enrollments have risen significantly at P.K. Yonge between 2011-12 (510) and 2017-18 (1070); and technology and engineering enrollments went from 11 to 93 over a 5-year period. While all of these successes cannot be solely attributed to the addition of FIRST Robotics and PLTW programs, the energy, excitement, and exposure to STEM that FIRST and PLTW provides cannot be discounted. It is this energy and excitement for STEM that the Roaring Riptide is intent on expanding these programs. Our vision is to expand our efforts in computer science, 3-D design and modeling, and additional STEM course pathway offerings at our school. We have already began the development of a clear, organized brochure that explains these programs for guidance counselors, students, and families to notify them of these course offerings. We would love to have access to the materials needed to provide the best experience possible to these students upon entering these courses, and we are currently applying for many STEM grants to make this a reality.

How will technology be utilized?  (20 points)
The teacher facilitating this K-12 STEM pathway program development is working closely with many departments of the school, including instructional technology, networking, technology integration, curriculum development, and members of other departments such as engineering, physics, math, and visual arts to ensure its success and sustainability. The technology purchased with the funding from TERRA would be used directly with students in programming courses, EV3 Mindstorms coding development, assistive technology projects such as switch adaptations, sketching and 3-D printing small assistive technology projects, such as a indicator switch, or even sketching and development of design projects and specific needs to meet design challenges.

What evidence will you collect to show student gain?   (10 points)
Teacher Inquiry plays an important role in the research mission of our school, P.K. Yonge DRS. It also plays a critical role in our school’s improvement. Our teachers engage in classroom-based research projects throughout the year and share findings and new questions in a culminating round-table event, in addition to presentations at conferences, poster sessions, and informally at the UF College of Education events. Teacher inquiry topics grow out of questions of practice from within the classroom and range from reading to technology to non-traditional AP students. P.K. Yonge faculty engage in their own formalized inquiry research projects throughout the year or collaborate with inquirer colleagues to hone wonderings/questions, analyze data, and describe findings. The evidence that we collect to show student gain, as a regular part of our work, are student work and other artifacts associated with our teaching. We talk with students and observe students to understand how and what students are learning. We keep students’ work, with identifiers removed, before we share work with others. Students’ work is a valuable way for us to illustrate the results of a particular project, grant, or teaching practice. The specific evidence that will be collected for this program will encompass 1) STEM, FIRST, and PLTW program growth and development of course offerings and 2) student enrollments in the FIRST and PLTW programs, 3) student questionnaires about their experience in having access to the technology tools needed for them to learn coding, 3-D design, and engineering, and 4) providing the brochure or handout created as a result of this program’s offerings that will be provided to stakeholders.

How will participants share your project results with the community?  (15 points)
Participants will share our project results: -At school events that promote club and course offerings -Community events where our PLTW and FIRST programs are demonstrating their STEM skills to community stakeholders -University of Florida College of Education’s Symposium -State, regional, and national conference presentations and/or poster sessions -Social Media (@pltwpky) Twitter


Service/ Item Description Cost
Education Pack - Sphero SPRK+® x 12 1199
10 iPads w/Apple Care 4500
Circuit Playground Express - AdaFruit 250
Neopixel to work with Micro.bit 78
Total Cost of Project 6027
If matching funds identified list source: n/a
Donated Goods/Services:n/a n/a

I, Leigh Anne Brewster, certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from Lynda Hayes,the Principal of P.K. Yonge DRS and any other individuals required by my school district.