Mobile STEM System

Grant Applicant
Brooke Landis, Science Specialist
School Site
Sierra Expeditionary Learning School
Grant Category
Mathematics & Science
Grant Date
2020
Description (10 points)

I am seeking funding for a mobile STEM system that supports current instruction and expands learning opportunities.

The Next Generation Science Standards include an emphasis on engineering and hands on science investigations.  As science specialist I support teachers to include these in their own existing science instruction as well as teaching stand-alone units in classrooms to demonstrate these.

At Sierra Expeditionary Learning School we have no dedicated science lab or space.  I currently travel between rooms, sometimes daily, carrying various boxes and supplies and finding a corner of the room in which to store them. Space for science supplies in classrooms is very limited.

I am asking for:

1) A mobile STEM cart to allow for more materials and better organization during lessons.

2) Additional science and engineering materials that would expand our current curricular offerings.

3) Additional supplies that would enable us to switch this cart to a maker space for teachers when it is not in use for science instruction.

 

Benefits of Program (10 points)

All kindergarten through 8th grade students at SELS will benefit.  As science specialist I push into  most rooms at some point in the year and at other times the maker cart would be available to all teachers who requested it.  In particular it will help those kids who learn better while active and making things with their hands.  Many times I have seen certain students blossom while we are doing hands on science and engineering that at other times have more difficulty in school.

Success of Program (10 points)

The new Next Generation Science Standards call for science investigations and engineering challenges that use many hands-on materials. Storing, organizing and presenting these can take much time and space.  We have no dedicated science lab or room so are somewhat limited by what can fit in already full classrooms.

A mobile cart will allow me to organize and offer more materials easily. They will be in one spot in the room and will stay organized.  Presenting materials to kids in a way that they can easily find them and then put them away properly helps save time and helps kids to honor the materials. Teacher prep time will be saved because I will not have to carry numerous bins back and forth and rearrange them in each classroom every day.

Currently I teach the following case studies, which use numerous hands on materials: chemistry, electric circuits, force and motion (ice, ramps, marble rolls, flying things, rockets), plant investigations, a maker space, and light investigations. With supplemental materials and more space some of these can be expanded and enriched.  I teach force and motion physical science concepts to Kindergarten and our blended 2nd/3rd grade classes. Our ramps are used both during classes and at recess and are high interest to students.  Additional ramp material from Kodo Kids and a standing pegboard will help me offer more opportunities for ramps use.  Having more ramps available at recess allows kids more time exploring in an open-ended way as well. Adding magnets will help me expand physical science offerings to the 2nd/3rd graders as well. I teach energy and electrical circuits to our 4th an 5th graders.  Many of the supplies I get by cutting apart and stripping my own used Christmas lights, which is time consuming to say the least.  Supplies for making paper circuits will help me continue this great case study sustainably and use safer materials.

A maker cart will mean materials that are otherwise hard to gather, coordinate and store will all be in one place so that teachers can use it easily for engineering challenges, short term projects or for class projects they are already undertaking.  The cart would be used as a maker space cart when not being used for specific science lessons. Additional bins and supplies would allow it to be switched out into this maker station. It will be stored and available in our multipurpose room when not being used for science.

Success is more students having richer hands-on science learning presented in a more engaging way. Kindergarteners will have a richer ramps curriculum, 2nd and 3rd graders will continue to play with ramps outside to enhance more directed physical science learning in the classroom, and they will expand their understanding of forces with magnets as well.  4thand 5th graders will have more opportunities to build and understand circuits (and teachers will not spend hours stripping old Christmas lights!)  All grades will have expanded opportunities to use the engineering design process when building at the maker station and teachers will be able to quickly access materials.

 

Implementation (10 points)

As soon as funding became available I would order the STEM cart, start stocking it with materials and buy additional supporting materials for the ramps curriculum.  It would be used starting this September and continuing throughout this school year and in years to come.

Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

This grant will fund supplies and materials that will be shared with many grade levels and in science and engineering instruction throughout the school.

Sustainability
It will be sustainable and we will not need additional funding from Excellence in Education. The mobile STEM cart and its switchable tubs will provide a system which will help support current STEM learning and create more engineering opportunities. Certain items will enhance and become a permanent part of our science curriculum. Other consumable materials will need to be reordered but those will be funded through school programs and we will be stocking it with recycled no-cost materials as well.
Amount Funded
$2290.00
Individual Budget Items(s)
$622 - Jonti-Craft STEAM cart and extra set of bins from Worthington Direct
$210 - Kodo Kids Rubber ramp set
$299 - Kodo Kids Swiss ramp stands
$109 - Kodo Kids Discovery ramp caddy
$259 - Kodo Kids Outdoor ramps set with sandbags
$95 - pegboard room divider for marble runs
$125 - Makedo tool set for cardboard creations
$14 - EUDAX Labs Junior Science Magnet Set
$12 - cow magnets, 4 large
$16 - Ring magnets, 40
$9 - Neodymium ring magnet
$16 - Conductive copper tape, 6 pack
$12 - Light Emitting Diode Assortment Kit, 310
$10 - Coin cell batteries CR2032 3v, 50 pack
$13 - EUDAX mini motors kit
$125 - Chibitronics Classroom Pack of 90 LED Stickers
$23 - Colored Masking Tape, 12
$23 - Colored duct tape, 12
$60 - 4 Low temp glue guns
$15 - Glue sticks, 5 lbs
$56 - 4 Fiskars Crafts Duck Edition Scissors
$25 - 3 Cardboard cutters (serrated non stick -not sharp)
$9 - Roll of adhesive Velcro
$54 - Steel Forged Tool Kit for Children
$55 - Pacon Assorted Wood Pieces and Shapes, 18 Pounds
$17 - Balsa wood economy bag
$28 - Pegboard bins
Shipping
$250.00
$190.00
Other funding sources

I have applied to our school’s Parent Teacher Crew but was not funded in our latest grant cycle.  Our principal said we might be able to use Measure A science funding but that is currently all earmark for instructional time.

Notes

Kodo kids makes high quality, durable, developmentally appropriate materials for early childhood educators, including museums, libraries and classrooms.  We are currently using their ramps materials in the classroom and at recess.  They are high interest and high use by kids so we would like to expand the number and types we offer.

Jonti-Craft makes durable materials that are made for schools.  This particular cart has much capacity but is not too big to fit into a classroom.  It is made of natural materials and is neutral color so is not overwhelming and too distracting.  I priced out the cart on numerous sites (including amazon with no shipping cost) and Worthington seemed to be the cheapest.

Some of the wood and tools we might be able to buy from Mountain Hardware though I have not priced that out as of yet.

I looked at numerous ready-made maker “kits” and maker sites and found that by ordering items separately we could spend less money and better meet our needs by getting only what we would use.  I am sure our needs will change and shift over time but with a start we will be able to fund consumables and new ideas with our own program money.