The Bright Minds Foundation Announces 2015 Staff and Teacher Grant Awardees

 

 

Bright Minds has awarded $25,324 to several Howard County Public School Teachers and Staff during the month of December 2014, which will be used to implement innovative classroom projects during 2015.

The grant program was created to fulfill the need of teachers who developed exciting and creative projects to enhance learning and often tried to pay for them out of pocket.  The program is singularly representative of one of the mission of the Foundation, which is to bring private money to support education in Howard County in ways the budget may not always provide.   As we grow and develop partnerships with businesses and other organizations in the county, we have been able to increase our funding year by year to ensure that we can support student enrichment activities in many areas of interest.

Staff and teachers competed for grants ranging from $500 - $2000 to implement projects in a number of categories, such as Health and Wellness Awareness; Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurship Literacy; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Information and Communications Technology Literacy and Global and Civic Awareness; a Fine Arts category was also added this grant year.  Additionally, to be selected, proposed projects had to show how they supported the school’s 2018 Strategic Vision, Fulfilling the Promise of Preparation, as well as showing that they met the principles of the Foundation:  equity and equality, education innovation and skills for a lifetime.  Funding for the program was provided by community partners and supporters, as shown below.

In the Financial Literacy category, an award of $2000 was made to Dr. Maddy Halbach of the ARL for the second year of her program Investing in Your Future which is intended to attract middle school students, who might otherwise not have this vision for themselves, to consider a future career in finance. Also, Amanda Shearer was awarded $1773 to fund Mugs and Muffins at Oakland Mills High, with the intent of teaching students money management and business skills.  Funding for both grants has been provided by the Capital One Bank.

Under the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) category, and funded by grants from the Maryland State Business Roundtable and Northrop Grumman were:

·         $2000 to David Decker of Atholton HS to create Gates of the Past to create and illustrate historical scenes using a 3D printer;

·         $$1906 to Dr. Alexandra Harryman of the Homewood Center to purchase gel electphoresis equipment that allows students to become competent in the application of theory and practice in biotechnology;

·         $1000 to Maria Ferraro and Cherilyn Brown to purchase equipment so that students can conduct biological investigations in STEM Inquiry Labs;

·         $1065 to Sarah Pappalardo of Dunloggin MS to continue the Sea Perch Workshop, which is an underwater robotics program.

In the Health and Wellness category, we are excited to announce that we were able to award five projects that will bring enhanced health initiatives to students, using funds awarded to us by the Horizon Foundation specifically for the purpose of enhancing fitness activities throughout the schools:

·         At Patuxent Valley MS, Megan Chrobak will apply her $2000 grant towards Fitness and Nutrition Initiatives in after school programming that is available to every student, as transportation is provided;

·         Kathy Eckley of Swansfield ES will purchase Bike Helmets with the $2000 grant so that students can safely take part in sports activities sponsored by the school;

·         A grant of $1958 will be used by Janice Goodwin of Forest Ridge Elementary to purchase 10 DeskCycle Desk Exercise Bike Pedal Exercisers, which will be rotated among various parts of the school to allow students to exercise throughout the day;

·         Emily Grieser of Homewood Center will also receive $1042 towards the purchase of DeskCycle equipment to set up the Classroom Activity Zone in her classroom, to allow students to remain active while participating in classroom instruction.

·         A grant of $2000 was awarded to Michael Senisi of the Office of Health and Physical Education and will be used to inspect and repair 50 bicycles that will then go out to various schools to be used in fitness activities.

The Bright Minds Board was pleased to include a new category in this cycle, Fine Arts, in which the following projects and applicants were selected to receive funding:

·         Steven Fleming of Oakland Mills HS will receive $1000 to implement a Playwriting project to allow an artist to work with students and help them create plays to submit to the Young Playwrights Festival;

·         Andrew Spang of Folly Quarter MS will use this grant of $2000 for Play It Forward, which will allow students to interact with composers  to interpret intent and meaning of the music they play;

·         James Woomert of Atholton HS will use his grant of $2000 in the Orchestra Commission Project which will allow students to collaborate in the composition of a new musical project.

Finally, in the category of Global and Civic Awareness, Bright Minds is proud to collaborate with Leadership Howard County to award a grant of $1625 to David Riddler of Clarksville MS to implement a Flipped Classroom Model for Middle School Social Studies.  This project will test theories about how best to engage all students in a rigorous learning community by creating new content to be used in the process.  The Leadership Premier Class of 2014 donated funds to Bright Minds which were combined with donations from another Leadership Howard County organization, known as the Leadership Charitable Fund and this project was chosen to receive the funds as the one that most embodies the values and goals of the Leadership Howard County organization.

Congratulations to our 2015 awardees!  We look forward to visiting your classrooms to see the projects in action!

We are also planning a formal awards presentation at the Board of Education meeting scheduled for Thursday February 26, 2015.

 

 

The Bright Minds Foundation's 2014 Staff and Teacher Grant Awardees

Bright Minds has awarded $14,775 to several Howard County Public School Teachers and Staff during the month of December 2013, which will be used to implement innovative classroom projects during 2014.

The grant program was created to fulfill the need of teachers who developed innovative projects to enhance learning and often tried to pay for them out of pocket.  The program is entirely within the mission of the Foundation, which is to bring private money to support education in Howard County in ways the budget may not always provide.

Staff and teachers competed for grants ranging from $500 - $2000 to implement projects in a number of 21st Century Competency categories, such as Heath and Wellness Awareness; Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurship Literacy; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Information and Communications Technology Literacy and Global and Civic Awareness.  Additionally, to be selected, proposed projects had to show as well that they met the principles of the Foundation:  equity and equality, education innovation and skills for a lifetime.  Funding for the program was provided by community partners and supporters, as shown below.

An award of $2000 was made to Dr. Maddy Halbach of the ARL under the category of Financial Literacy for her program Investing in Your Future which is intended to attract middle school students, who might otherwise not have this vision for themselves, to consider a future career in finance.  Funding for this grant has been provided by the Capital One Bank.

Under the STEM category, and funded by a grant from Northrop Grumman, were  teachers Jennifer Forgnoni of Atholton HS, who received $2000 for her project entitled Examining Earth’s Natural Resources, and  Nancy Smith of Centennial HS who received $878 for her project Renewing Energy Resources. Both programs will purchase supplies and equipment that will allow students to do real world testing in order to gain better understanding of the complex issues involved.

The remaining projects will be funded from the proceeds of a grant awarded to Bright Minds by the Community Foundation of Howard County earlier this year specifically for this purpose.  Under the category of Information and Communications Technology Literacy, $2000 will go to teacher Carly Norris so that her kindergarten class at Deep Run Elementary can participate in the IPad Mini Kindergarten Classroom Lab, which will incorporate IPads in the classroom.  This program is designed to ensure that each student has the same opportunity to learn regardless of their level of access to technology at home.

Three projects will bring enhanced health initiatives to students, under  the Health and Wellness Awareness category:  Ross Chakrian of Waverly Elementary will receive $2000 to purchase heart monitors under his Heart to Heart Monitoring Program, which will allow students the opportunity to measure their heart rates at various times.  Principal Michelle Leader at Waterloo Elementary will receive $1800 for Try It Fridays, a program designed to present new foods to children to widen their experience of nutritional foods every month.  AT the Homewood Center, Suzanne McMurtray will have $2000 for PHIT, Putting Health in Today, a program intended to incorporate vigorous cardiovascular activity into students’ daily routine, including lessons in nutrition and hydration.

Finally, the remaining awarded projects are in the category of Global and Civic Awareness.  A grant of $2000 will go to Patricia Branner-Pierce, a specialist in the Black Student Achievement Program, to purchase keyboard equipment for the Piano for Youth Summer Music Theory and Math Camp, to be used to teach students who are part of the after school centers who wish to learn to play the piano.  Bonnie Branch Middle School Teacher Dawn Wrenn will receive $500 for Black Saga, a program that strengthens students’ awareness and knowledge about the African American experience through various media and activities.

Congratulations to our 2014 awardees!  We look forward to visiting your classrooms!

 

Grant History

2012/2013 Staff and Teachers Competency Grant Awards

 Bright Minds announces the awardees for the 2012 Staff and Teacher's Grants Program

Congratulations to the following staff members on being selected this year for the projects shown below! 

 Bright Minds wishes you the best and looks forward to visiting your classrooms to see your projects in action!

 

  2012/2013 Grant Recipients

      Awardee/Amount                 School                                                       Program                        

      Ann Bailey                              Wilde Lake HS                                         First Robotics
      $2000
 
      Christopher Fox                     Atholton HS                                             First Robotics
      $2000
 
      Tim Grafton and
      Nancy Cohen                         Mayfield Woods MS                              SMART technologies
      $1975
 
     Rachelle Large*                     Patuxent Valley MS                               iProbe Weather Investigation
     $1256
 
      Wendy McNeill                       Wilde Lake MS                                      NOOK Pilot
      Haley Carroll
      Emily Warner                                                                                
     $1998
 
     Carrie Trudden                        Clarksville ES                                       Mimio Teach
     $2000
 
*Also designated to receive the Dr. Sydney L. Cousin Legacy Award