SWEP Science Festivals

Grant Applicant

Melissa Mohler

Grant Date

2019

School Site

Grant Category

Description (10 points)

Over the last nine years, SWEP has developed and hosted STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & math)  styled Science Festival and Family Science Nights at many of Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s elementary and middle school sites.  The Science Festival and Family Science Nights have become a highlighted event for students, teachers, and parents each year; bringing high quality, messy and engaging science exploration to the school sites, while engaging family and science minded volunteers.  For the past 3 years, Excellence in Ed’s support of $2,000 per year has been instrumental in helping SWEP to purchase supplies and equipment. This funding support is instrumental in helping SWEP to engage students in creative, scientific thinking and has had a tremendous enriching impact on each student’s experience. SWEP would again like to request annual support from the Excellent in Education Foundation, that will allow us to continue to engage over 2,000 TTUSD students in hands-on science education programs that correlate with Next Generation Science and Common Core Educational Standards.

Amount Funded

$6000.00

Budget Item(s)

$2000 - Annual support towards SWEP Science Festival Assemblies & Family Science Nights
Benefits of Program (10 points)

The Science Festival & Family Science Night programs will continue to :

  • engage K-6 students in hands-on scientific explorations

  • develop students’ ability to utilize the scientific process as well as engineering and design processes.

  • introduce students to scientific content from the core disciplines of science

  • increase students’ scientific literacy

  • integrate technology, engineering, math and art

  • NGSS cross curricular alignment

  • science, environmental and community connections when possible

  • connect students and their families to the scientific community and introduce them to STEAM career pathways

  • assist TTUSD teachers in engaging students with fun, hands-on, messy science

  • support TTUSD teaching staff and students to "front loading" scientific inquiry and experimentation

  • creates an avenue from the community into the Family Science Night to hold educational booths without disrupting normal school day activities

  • allows teachers to engage students in messy, creative science fun without all the cost and time to plan, set-up and clean up

Success of Program (10 points)

For over nine years SWEP has had an increase in interest and a demand for this programming outside the school district. SWEP has also continuously surveyed administrators and teachers to make sure what we are bringing to the school sites aligns to support school sites, teachers and administration. The goal of the Science Festival and Family Science night programs is to engage students in hands-on exploration of STEAM fields, while emphasizing the development of scientific, and engineering & design processes. Designed to look and feel like a science fair, the Science Festival introduces students to the format of a traditional science fair while also introducing them to important scientific NGSS content and language.  The "Family Science Night" program is a fun, interactive, and educational evening for families, which compliments the school-day Science Festival. These two programs are designed to increase the visibility of STEAM fields in everyday life, and increase the confidence of children and their families regarding what science is and how to engage in scientific thinking while including important environmental connections when and if possible.  In addition, SWEP has a goal to provide these enriching educational programs on-site to TTUSD schools, so there is no additional planning, preparation, set-up, clean-up, travel time or expense on the part of the administrators and teaching staff. Our success has been measured by the sheer delight and excitement from the students when we arrive to set up, by the amount of parent volunteers that contribute, also by the gratitude shown by school sites and administration as well as the desire to keep us coming back.

Implementation (10 points)

SWEP is requesting $2,000 annually from the Excellence in Education Foundation to support the Science Festival and Family Science Night programs. This funding will allow SWEP to purchase vital supplies to enhance our overall programming. We currently receive funding from individual school sites that cover SWEP’s staff hours for planning and delivery, but our capacity to purchase science equipment is very limited.  Annual support from Excellence in Education would allow us to update and upgrade our scientific supplies and equipment, as well as develop a mobile STEAM lab to be show cased at each of our Family Science Night events. The mobile STEAM lab would include maker-spaces that allow students to think, design and build using their creativity and problem solving skills to explore science, technology engineering, art and math. Excellence in Ed banner displayed at Science Fair Assemblies & Family Science Nights would naturally be included. SWEP has found previous Excellence in Ed support for our Science Festival invaluable, please see attached sheet for reporting information. 

SWEP  would implement $2,000 per year on enhancing our programming.

Sustainability
Yes, this programming was established over 10 years ago, and SWEP has been partnering with the TTUSD for nearly 25 years now. SWEP is a sustainable partner in promoting stewardship and in science and environmental education.
Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

N/A

But SWEP does reach all students at the following TTUSD school sites and grade levels:

Participating TTUSD schools:

  • KBE - all students K-4 (2 day Science Festival with a Family Science Night)

  • TLE - all students K-4 (2 day Science Festival with a Family Science Night)

  • GES - all students K-5 (2 day Science Festival with a Family Science Night)

  • TES - all students K-5 (2 day Science Science Festival with a Family Science Night)

  • NTS - all students grades 5 & 6 (1 day Science Festival Assembly)

Other funding sources

This funding will allow SWEP to purchase vital supplies to enhance our overall programming. We currently receive funding from individual school sites that cover SWEP’s staff hours for planning and delivery, but our capacity to purchase science equipment is very limited.  Annual support from Excellence in Education would allow us to update and upgrade our scientific supplies and equipment, as well as develop a mobile STEAM lab to be show cased at each of our Family Science Night events.

At our last request Excellence in Ed granted us $6,000.00 for 3 years.

Notes

Please let us know if you need anything further. We are grateful for all that Excellence in Ed does to make our educational efforts excellent!