Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2021 - 2022

Submitted by: Leigh Anne Brewster Email: Grade Level: 9th - 12th Subject: STEM
Co-Applicant: Email: Grade level: Subject:

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

Approx. Enrollment: 1300 Number of teachers:50

School Address:

1200 6th Street
Gainesville, Florida 32601-7845

Phone: 3522949100 Principal:Carrie Geiger Email:

Facebook: FRCRiptide4118
Twitter: @FRCRiptide4118 @pltwpky

Project Title: Pathways in STEM - Equity and Equality through #FIRSTwithAT Solutions
Project Dates: November 2021-June 2022 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :Robotics- Engineering Design Process- Engineering Mindset - Assistive Technology

The 9th-12th grade robotics program is based out of PK Yonge Developmental Research School in Gainesville, Florida. The ultimate goal of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Program is to offer all interested youth the opportunity to work alongside college and industry mentors to design and build a competitive robot that will complete a specific task or set of tasks, based on a given challenge issued each January. On this year-round team, students work in a “small business atmosphere”, developing teamwork and leadership skills, as they coordinate, communicate, and collaborate with external stakeholders. The team hosts workshops and events such as toy adapt-a-thons, Magic Wheelchair builds, STEM outreach, 3D design in assistive technology. Students are also responsible for generating marketing and business leads, and writing grants to secure sponsors and donors. Leading as well as participating in workshops such as electrical and mechanical engineering, programming and software, imagery, business, and computer-aided design, students choose a variety of pathways tailored to their specific interests.. Through our robotics program’s efforts (since 2011) alumni of Roaring Riptide have been inspired to pursue careers in STEM fields such as computer programming, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering,systems engineering, as well as biomedical engineering. Our proposal seeks to request funding for items that the team needs for their during and after-school workshops. With the purchase of soldering stations, soldering practice kits, heat guns, solder and solder tools, we could practice our soldering skills so that toys and other AT items can be more reliable, produced faster, and made reliably. Additionally, funding would provide our team with extended opportunities to dive deeper into skill sets such as CNC machining and integrated manufacturing.


How is your project innovative?   (25 points)
Following the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering design process, students apply critical thinking, collaboration, and strong communication skills in every aspect of their team. From workshops where they design and build their competition robot to creating devices for people with disabilities through the team's Assistive Technology (AT) initiative (#FIRSTwithAT), students learn the importance of an end-user focused design process, iterating their designs to create unique devices that fit the individual needs of each person. Through this iterative design process, students have learned the value of creating specific, affordable, open-source, replicable, and free-of-charge solutions in the hopes of improving the quality of life for people with disabilities. Since 2015, we have adapted, hacked, and/or created over 500+ AT devices. A few of the most notable ones are a spoon and fork stabilizing support, a walker tray that holds coffee and cereal for veterans, a low-tech AT solution to sort Legos, braille beads for communication, and a switch-adapted guitar strummer. To keep our program afloat and ensure others have the same opportunities, we work within our school and the local community to host STEM workshops, toy adapt-a-thons, as well as mentor other robotics teams and other clubs at our school to design and create devices, which will ultimately reach even more people.

How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points)
Digital Electronics (DE) is one of the four PLTW engineering courses offered at our school, in our engineering pathways program. The pathways program is open to all students in 9th-12th grades. Currently, every student in our high-school robotics program is enrolled in at least one of the engineering pathways courses. Focusing specifically on the curriculum in the DE course, students work within both teams and as individuals to curate design briefs, create computer-aided models and simulations, prototype and test circuits, collect and analyze data, and improve upon documentation and technical writing skills. Throughout this process, students are expected to improve their engineering mindset, or a way of thinking, which includes the ability to solve problems within the design process, while being open to teammates' ideas, ensuring that all people feel safe sharing their ideas. Empathy, encouragement, kindness, and consideration are all heavily used in our program to promote this way of thinking. Standards: Domain 1 - Engineering Mindset - Successful engineers exhibit specific personal and professional characteristics that lend themselves to the creative, collaborative, and solution-driven nature of the profession. Objectives, Knowledge & Skills - Demonstrate independent thinking and self-direction in pursuit of accomplishing a goal.Demonstrate flexibility and adaptability to change.Adapt to varied roles, job responsibilities, schedules, and contexts. Domain 2 - Design Process - An engineering design process is an iterative, systematic approach to problem solving. Objectives, Knowledge & Skills - Outline how iterative processes inform engineering decisions, improve solutions, and inspire new ideas. Collect, analyze, and interpret information relevant to the problem or opportunity at hand to support engineering decisions. Choose and develop models to represent design alternatives and scenarios in order to generate data to inform decision making, test alternatives, and demonstrate solutions.Explain that there are often multiple viable solutions and no obvious best solution. Tradeoffs must be considered and evaluated consistently throughout an engineering design process. Domain 3 - Engineering Tools and Technology - The practice of engineering requires the application of mathematical principles and common engineering tools, techniques, and technologies. Objectives, Knowledge & Skills - Construct physical objects using hand tools and shop tools.Identify, test, and implement possible solutions to a problem using a computer. Select and apply the appropriate components, tools, and technology when creating or characterizing a design. Domain 10 - Communication - Professional practice is guided by professional ethics and standards and requires effective communication and collaboration.Communicate effectively with an audience based on audience characteristics. Follow acceptable formats for technical writing and professional presentations. *Note: All objectives, knowledge and skills listed are from the Digital Electronics PLTW Engineering Curriculum.

How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points)
Our robotics program has had to adapt to the changing times to ensure our sustainability and continue to encourage new students to join in. For example, throughout the pandemic, we hosted our workshops through Zoom and provided hands-on materials through doorstep drop-off. Families signed waivers so that students could continue their work in DE - which directly leads to their success in the robotics program - as both tie into students ability to apply the design process to real-world problems and solutions. Within the last year, our program started and now the older students mentor the newest robotics team in our school. Our hope is to inspire the next wave of STEM leaders, who will ultimately lead, develop, and sustain our high-school program. Within the local, state, and international community, our robotics program is known for their work in assistive technology. Just within the last three years, we’ve partnered with local schools, the local hospitals, and even nonprofits such as ATMakers and Makers Making Change. We’ve also opened an additional workshop day every week at our school, where anyone can come to learn about assistive technology and solve design challenges with us!

How will technology be utilized?  (20 points)
Within our program, students have access to 3D printing software, 3D printers, and a laser cutter in our classroom. However, we continue to be somewhat limited by the inaccessibility of custom solution tools, such as CNC machines, soldering stations, and other materials used to create the customized solutions for our AT outreach program. It is our expectation that the purchase of these tools will allow for our DE program students, robotics program students, and for even more students at our school to put their hands-on the same equipment we are learning about to really experience the design process, in a real-life problem/solution format. With CNC machining, we will develop items from materials that 3D printers and our laser cutter cannot process - such as metal. With additional solder stations, we can teach and share our love for helping others with even more members of our school community. Our business plan and sustainability plan also includes the importance of connection through online video conferencing with stakeholders, and other robotics programs from across the nation - such as FRC Team 64013: Degrees of Freedom, in Chandler, Arizona.

What evidence will you collect to show student gain?   (10 points)
The evidence that will be collected to show student gain will include the following: -Samples of student work completed from the purchase of these additional materials through links to Google Folders, GrabCAD share files, and other photos of their work in all aspects of the program relevant to the grant request. -Student Feedback collected through Google Forms which will provide specific feedback (student names removed) - feedback to include the following - students experience from utilizing items provided from the grant, ways in which the grant has provided engaging and innovative content, in which students feel empowered to continue in the robotics program -links to students’ CAD/CAM files for assistive technology solutions, specifically related to the aspects in which the grant award was provided -photos from workshops that the students host for others that aren’t currently able to experience these offerings, due to limited technology/equipment access -Before/After course enrollment numbers in the Digital Electronics (DE) class Fall 2021 to Fall 2022 (or within the engineering pathways program from 2021 - 2022.) -Video recordings of students demonstrating what they’ve learned or sharing what they’ve learned with the provision of the equipment funded from the grant.

How will participants share your project results with the community?  (15 points)
Within our school community, we will continue to share our work with our principal and school director. Our principal shares photos and captures from our engineering pathways classes through the school’s Weekly Wave newsletter. We will also invite administrators into our classroom so they can see student’s progress, and help us to continue to build a sustainable and progressive program. We will be sharing our project results within the local community in a number of ways, the first of which will be through our program’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The instructor of the program will also be sharing students’ creations and progress through LinkedIn. In addition to social media, we have already engaged with the local college - University of Florida. Students from UF will be coming to our school to participate in our student-led workshops and robot demos, as well as mentoring students in our program. Professors from UF have also agreed to come visit our class in-person to learn more about DE, the robotics program, and our STEM outreach. We also hope to show off accomplishments at the regional robotics competition in March 2022. Using CAD and CAM software on a CNC machine will mean that students will have access to equipment that can machine even more tailored robots for challenges.


Service/ Item Description Cost
Solder Stations and Soldering Supplies 500
CNC Machine 2500
Total Cost of Project 3000
Total Requested from TERRA 3000
If matching funds identified list source:
Donated Goods/Services:

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 Carrie Geiger,the Principal of PK Yonge DRS and any other individuals required by my school district.