Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2021-2022

Submitted by: Erin Rice Email: Grade Level: K-6 Subject: Science, STEM
Co-Applicant: Email: Grade level: Subject:

School: Tropical Elementary School Type: Public Grade Levels:K-6 County:Brevard

Approx. Enrollment: 641 Number of teachers:47

School Address:

885 South Courtenay Parkway
Merritt Island, Florida 32952

Phone: 321-454-1080 Principal:Dr. Neleffra Marshall Email:


Project Title: Improving Communication and Team work with Screen-Free Technology
Project Dates: January 2022-May 2022 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :STEM- Communication- Team work - Engineering Design Process

I am proposing the purchase of two different items: Ozobots and Turing Tumblers for our Gifted Program to enhance communication, team work, and the Engineering Design Process. It is all highly technical materials that teach evolving skills of coding, but the catch is that students will not be in front of a screen to gain these skills. Furthermore, they will be working with partners to solve problems, work together and cooperate to reach a common goal.


How is your project innovative?   (25 points)
My project is innovative because my goal is to use screen-free technology-based items to build relationships and improve communication among students. Although I greatly appreciate the impact of laptops and tablets in a classroom setting to conduct research and create projects, they are primarily designed for a student’s use independently. I am seeking funds to purchase a variety of screen-free and hands-on products for students to explore, build, and modify as they work together. I am looking to unify students by improving their problem-solving skills and communication skills which are important traits our future leaders must possess. I want to do this by using Turing Tumble and Ozobots to have students cooperatively work through lessons together. My thoughts about implementing these lessons and keeping them screen-free is so that students need to make eye contact, encourage each other, and be more focused on each challenge with their teammate.

How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points)
These items will fit perfectly into my Gifted curriculum because they can be used in different manners with different grade levels. For example, Ozobots can be used to teach basic coding skills to my students in second, third, and fourth grade. I plan to have them work cooperatively to work through the coding problems before moving on to the next one. Communication and team-work will be crucial to their success. Whereas my fifth and sixth graders may use the Ozobots to apply their coding skills and develop a timeline of Mars Missions, which will support our current theme. They are also researching other topics in class and I am wanting to see how they might apply the Ozobots to demonstrate and tie together some of these topics. I am requesting to purchase four more Ozobots with my Terra Grant funds. I currently have only one Ozobot in my classroom and see so much value in having more, so I recently wrote a local grant to gain three more. I am requesting four more through this Terra Grant to have an army of eight in total. The Turing Tumble Kits are a revolutionary game where players build mechanical computers powered by marbles to solve logic puzzles. It is an informal and fun introduction to how computers work. Turing Tumble blurs the line between coding and building machinery. The best part will be encouraging students to work together to complete the lesson or challenge and rely on each other to create viable solutions before moving on to the next one. Students will be engaged and interacting positively. We will be practicing how to give encouragement and compliments to each other during this time, too. Unlike other coding games for kids, Turing Tumble eschews electronic shortcuts and instead drills deep into the mathematical roots of computer processing. Standards addressed through these kits are: • G.K12.3.3.1a Cooperative Research - Know: Participate in a cooperative group to solve problems and/or complete a research project. • G.K12.7.2.2b Metaphorical Promotion - Understand: Illustrate a new concept using two or more related ideas innovatively. • G.K12.3.1.1d Cooperative Research - Accomplish: Integrate a variety of appropriate components uncovered from cooperative research within a field of study. • G.K12.5.3.2c Communication - Perform: Solidify group cohesion toward an assigned task using both verbal and non-verbal skills.

How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points)
I firmly believe the items I am requesting will encourage long lasting change in my classroom because all these items will be used for years to come. Not only that, the impact of team-work required by students to work toward a common goal is a skill all students can benefit from as they graduate into our future leaders. All of the materials requested require the use of the Engineering Design Process which highlights a constant need for students to solve a problem by continually adjusting and tweaking their project until their desired outcome is reached. I am excited to encourage students and have them apply the Engineering Design Process as we encounter obstacles over the course of the year. These materials should provide some productive struggle and challenges that require a variety of strategies for students to communicate, decide upon and implement. STEM careers are going to be more prevalent in the future. I want to expose students to many topics that can impact their career paths. We need more innovators and out-of-the-box thinking. Kids learn best when they use their senses to explore concepts. Turing Tumble is a cool product that lets kids see and feel how computers work. The logic isn’t hidden inside a computer chip – it’s all right there in front of them. It builds logic and critical thinking skills, fundamental coding concepts, and grounds their understanding of computers. I believe the biggest impact will be seen by my students developing improved communication, willingness to work cooperatively and ability to problem-solve when an obstacle presents itself. They need to be confident in making suggestions and executing them, they will learn more from their mistakes and I am excited for the trial and errors that will ensue with these materials in our classroom.

How will technology be utilized?  (20 points)
Technology will be used in a variety of ways; but my main goal is NO SCREEN TIME and TEAM WORK. None of the requested items require the use of a tablet or laptop, but still develop 21st Century skill of as coding. The highlight is face-to-face time with peers is required to troubleshoot and improve interpersonal skills, while meeting the challenge the Ozobots and Turing Tumblers provide. Due to the pandemic and increase in screen-time in the educational setting, students have not been encouraged to partner up, have real conversations and hands-on experiences that promote trial and error. I wish to increase screen free technology in my classroom.

What evidence will you collect to show student gain?   (10 points)
I am a firm believer in using rubrics to help students work towards high achievement. With each project, I will include a rubric that allows students to work towards mastery. I will also create a pre-test and post-test to illustrate their learning gains with any content specific vocabulary and concepts introduced in the lessons. We will also use reflection at the end of our class to determine what our successes and failures were, while taking note of what to improve for the next class session.

How will participants share your project results with the community?  (15 points)
I plan to share student success with their families through photos I can e-mail home. I also plan to have an exhibit where students can share the project results and invite staff members to come and learn from students. Hopefully we can invite parents onto campus during conference night or record the student sharing their experiences, I plan to share with families either way. One final option is to have a virtual format where students are sharing in the classroom while their parents can virtually join from a device at home or work. It is so important for parents to see student positive accomplishments


Service/ Item Description Cost
7 x Ozobots 1225
Educator Bundle Turing Tumble Station Bundle 328
Total Cost of Project 1553
Total Requested from TERRA $1053.00
If matching funds identified list source: Bright Ideas Grant through Brevard Public Schools 500
Donated Goods/Services:

I, Erin Rice, certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from Dr. Neleffra Marshall,the Principal of Tropical Elementary School and any other individuals required by my school district.