Bay Village classroom grants awarded
There is no shortage of problems facing our upcoming generations, and the approach to learning is becoming more and more problem-based for Bay Village Schools students.
The Bay Village Education Foundation has awarded classroom grants totaling more than $18,000 that encourage development of skills to help students learn to solve problems of all kinds, whether the solutions address the environment, humans or robots. Another $2,000 in grants was provided by Bay Village Kiwanis in partnership with the Foundation.
“We were thrilled with the quality of grant applications we received,” said Ellie Bricmont, vice president and grants chair of the Bay Village Education Foundation. “We require a significant level of research and detail from our grant applicants. As usual, our teachers were impressive in their planning and creativity. They will provide our students experiences that make learning interesting and fun.”
Technology is now a key tool to solve problems, and the seventh-grade teaching team of Colleen DiLallo, Theresa Flamos, Elizabeth Gehran, Bill Goepfert, Kristi Stannert and Lauren Stanislaw were awarded $520 for four, programmable Sphero SPRK+ Robotic balls. Students will program the spheres to change colors, navigate floor routes, flash lights and more to meet challenges.
Normandy Elementary Spanish teacher Kelsey Wermer and district technology coordinator Brian Reynolds were awarded $4,000 for a classroom Google Expedition set that allows students to experience 3-D virtual tours of Spanish-speaking locals and much more.
Bay High science teacher Michael Clifford was awarded $1,000 to have students participate in the FIRST Robotics competition. Bay High technology instructor Ron Rutt will purchase 3-D printers with his $1,200 award from Bay Village Kiwanis, allowing his students to fabricate models for testing and evaluation from their CAD design projects.
Solving problems using physical materials remains exceptionally important, and Bay High science teacher Sam Assad and intervention specialist Kristyn Webber received $840 for environmental water/soil testing backpack kits. Students will capture and record testing data and present their findings.
Third-grade teacher Martha Fisher will use her $315 grant for materials that let students apply math and science skills to engineering problems.
Bay Middle School intervention specialist Lauren Hill will use the $280 grant awarded by Kiwanis for Magna-Tiles, which will help students understand math concepts like area, perimeter and volume in a more tactile way.
Normandy Elementary’s new learning space, The Hive, will be enhanced with many more Legos, robotic spheres and robot-like machine kits provided by a grant awarded to Principal Dan Sebring and Grade 1 teacher Laura Godfray for $2,650.
Bay Middle School students will also find ways to “break out” of their classroom and other situations, using clues to discover how to open locks, boxes and other barriers thanks to a $750 grant awarded to Grade 6 teacher Amanda McLin.
The arts are addressed through a number of grants, such as a visit by a guest composer/conductor to Bay High through a grant for $500 by choir director Devon Gess. Bay High visual arts students will also benefit with new display boards for their creations thanks to a grant of $2,025 requested by art teachers Tom Schemrich, Cherie Bauer and Greg Hildebrandt.
Normandy music teacher James Kotora received $400 for books to be used in music class, integrating reading with music. Students and community members alike will also be encouraged to read with the Little Free Library erected on Normandy Elementary grounds thanks to a grant of $550 submitted by kindergarten teacher Beth Shiry and art teacher Jama Jennings.
Bay Middle School students will get the latest school news from fellow students who are using video production tools from a $300 grant submitted by educational aide Brandon Jones. And special needs students at Bay Middle School will learn about different cultures each month, including experiencing various cuisines, made possible by a $500 grant submitted by intervention specialist Colin Lackey.
Bay Middle School intervention specialist Colleen DiLallo will address her students’ needs for wiggling with special seats that allow fidgeting with a $625 grant from Bay Village Kiwanis. Sixth-grade teacher Amanda McLin will also offer flexible seating to her science students with a $1,200 grant so they can sit, stand and lounge in different positions as they ponder those science puzzles.
Finally, Bay High students will find an intimate performance stage and portable sound system in the school’s newly refurbished courtyard, where music, speakers, readings, etc. will continue the “Relax, Refresh, Recharge” theme of the new space.
Director of Communications for the Bay Village City School District