Grant Recipients

Inviting teachers to lead innovations results in high impact projects that fuel student engagement.  With the support of the Fishers community, HSSF is proud to be able to support approximately 85% of proposals submitted by faculty and staff!  Please meet our 2016 teacher leaders and their projects!

Kelly Hogan, Robyn Stout, Jami Wiegan (DES) for Sphero- yeah!
Student Impact: 400
Sphero is a robotic ball that introduces various apps and coding to students. Students can program the device through a wide range of motions such as tilting, rolling, and turning at various speeds and angles. Spheros are a collaborative way for students to authentically investigate the HSE 21 initiative and apply S.T.E.A.M. (Science. Technology. Engineering. Art. Mathematics) concepts. Students, kindergarten through fourth grade, will have learn through a hands-on 21st century experience.

Erin Duros and Danielle Thompson (FCE) for 3rd Teacher
Student Impact: 110 kindergarten students annually
Third teacher is an expansion of an outdoor learning environment. Erin and Danielle believe that all children are capable, competent, and curious. It is their mission to empower our learners, through investigation, inquiry and play, to believe that all things are possible. Borrowing from the Reggio Emilia approach, this program asserts that the environment plays a vital role in the development of the child. By constructing intentional learning spaces, we are providing choice and engaging the students in our curriculum. In line with HSE21, the outdoor classroom will allow for meaningful learning opportunities for our students through: classroom engagement, healthy living, problem solving and cause and effect, student-led inquiry, multi-sensory approaches, and social play.

Will Hurst (HRE) for Climbing to Success
Student Impact: 750+ annually
Climbing to Success allows students the unique opportunity to reinforce learning activities in all curricular areas while navigating a traversing wall. The magnetic traversing wall would span an area of forty feet in one of HRE’s cafeteria hallways. This is a high traffic area that all HRE students walks by every single day. Students would be able to place, remove and arrange magnets while climbing for a truly interactive experience. Teachers could set routes, play games and lead cross-curricular activities while having their students traverse the wall. This project also allows for physical movement breaks and helps build fine and gross motor skills. In alignment with HSE21, HRE is attempting to provide our students with non-traditional learning activities in non-traditional learning spaces.

Sara Cherry (LRE) for Classroom to Learning Lab
Student Impact: 24-30 annually
In support of HSE21, this project is designed to transform traditional classroom space into a learning laboratory. The reconfigured space will pilot flexible seating to allow students to collaborate more easily in small groups yet quickly pull seating together for large group discussions and research. This new style of classroom will also free up more space around the room for maker-space areas and to lay out and design projects. A learning lab environment with various choices of seating will allow students to take more ownership of their learning, students will explore the seating options and determine what environment allows them to learn and work more effectively both individually and collaboratively.

Joni Curia (LRE) for Intensive Assistance for Struggling Readers
Student Impact: Approximately 24 students annually
Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention Kit expands on the benchmarking kits provided to all elementary schools by the Foundation and will enable third grade classroom teachers at LRE to provide structured, systematic reading/writing remediation for struggling readers. These are students scoring 30% or lower on NWEA – Reading. These students may also be at risk for failing IREAD and/or ISTEP – Language Arts. We do not currently have a methodical, skill based reading remediation program that supports student growth in phonics, fluency, comprehension, and writing all in one. The LLI Kit provides the logical “next step” to the Benchmark Assessment Kit previously mentioned. Once a child is determined to be at risk for failure in reading, the teacher can initiate a plan of remediation geared specifically to that child’s needs.

Lori Silbert (LRE) for Let’s Go Osmo, Let’s Go!
Student Impact: 750 annually
Spring 2016 is a fantastic time for elementary teachers to promote the learning that HSE21 focuses on. With the 1:1 iPad rollout coming in Fall 2016, we can become cheerleaders for critical thinking, creative problem-solving and working together to find solutions while using technology. We do not want instruction to be just about using devices. However, because the iPad is going to be a part of our students’ lives, this project will blend effective instruction with communication and technology skills. Osmo is a product that allows the iPad to become interactive with physical items in the real world. Using this learning tool will excite and inspire students to explore, collaborate and learn in a 21st century mode. Osmo works with the iPad camera. The five learning activities can be used in general education classrooms, FAP (Functional Academic Placement), ENL (English as a Native Language), resource room, art class and the library media center with individuals or for small group learning. These activities are “learner-led” so student direct their own learning.

Brad Lowell (FCI) for Taking Engineering and Coding to New Heights
Student Impact: 110+ annually
Imagine taking coding to the skies! Coding and programming has become a needed skill for our students. 5th grade science students will be able to use their IPad and the free app, Tickle, to program their drones to fly simulated missions. Maybe they are coding their drone to rescue a stranded Martian miner or they are engineering an attachable device to pick up and deliver medical aid to victims of a hurricane! With the on-board camera they can even gather snapshot evidence along the way in their search for new species! The applications are endless. Coding is an important skill of the future that cannot be found in a text. Pairing Ipads with apps and codable devices provides students with a fun way to gain needed 21st century skills. The learning is really disguised within the fun!

Brad Lowell (FCI) for Ozobots
Student Impact: 110+ annually
Thanks to a generous gift from FCI parent, students at FCI will embrace the future by becoming a maker of technology, not just a user. In the 21st century, computer science is often where child’s play meets learning and skill building. Our students will be able to connect directly with their own powers of creation and problem solving.

Adam Jahn (FCI) for PBL Aerial Drone
Student Impact: 120 directly, but 1000’s of kids will use the grasslands as part of cross country course
What started as a classroom challenge has evolved into a project that would enhance learning through HSE21’s PBL (Project Based Learning) initiative. FCI students wanted to re-vitalize the grassland ecosystem that sits between HSE High School and Fall Creek Intermediate. Initial surveys revealed we have 12-acre plot that has a ½ mile cross country course loop weaving through it. Drone technology has and will expand students’ ability to use aerial geospatial telemetry and data to construct models of the grasslands. Technology helps invigorate students and prepares them for the 21st Century. Along with the academic standards covered with technology, drones motivate learners to excel through the creative disciplines of the arts. Students not only learn, but retain knowledge when they are motivated and have a personal involvement in its process.

Laura LaCross (RSI) for Integrating Programming and Coding
Student Impact: 140
Engaging students in coding and programming can be a challenge. By using creative play and imagination with mini robots, block programming can be easily introduced into existing curriculum of all subjects. After becoming familiar with block programming, students can then be encouraged to advance into more complex programming. Though undeniably STEM, this project fully embraces HSE21 and engaged learning by not leaving the robots lonely in the science room. For example, students in social studies can program the robots to act out battles or conduct simulations. In math, students can use robots to plot x and y coordinates on a plan. Integration is the key and the ideas are endless.

Kimberly Pelton (RSI) for SERTOMA Hearing Support
As HSE Schools transition to digital content, students are utilizing fewer and fewer textbooks and relying largely on devices. It is critical that our ASL interpreters have access to the same devices as our hearing impaired students. First, interpreters often require access to curriculum in advance to adequately communicate with students, especially if the content is dense or complicated or contain lots of metaphorical language (like poems or songs). Second, during classes, deaf students who are skilled users of interpreters, ask to pause while they write or process content, and then pick up the interpreting again. If the interpreter has the content available, s/he can wait and be effective in filling in the gaps when the student is ready to proceed. Last, iPads contribute logistically to interpreting. If an interpreter lacks a device, they must share the screen with the student, in essence standing behind the student to look over the student’s shoulder. However, to be seen by the student for instruction, the ASL interpreter must stand in front of the student. Dual devices resolve this issue.

Kristen Distler (FCJH) for Makerspace
Student Impact: 750 annually
MakerSpaces will be created in the Media Center which would increase the availability of STEM education to all FCJH students. Makerspaces are DIY areas where students can gather, create, and learn together. The spaces focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as creative learning for everyone involved. Spaces include but are not limited to woodworking, robotics, electrical engineering, and coding. This project is a unique opportunity to allow students to be creators of information, not just consumers. It allows students to build critical thinking and problem solving skills while collaborating with others. These skills prepare our students for college or career choices after high school. This project also supports HSE 21 and 21st century skills by promoting inquiry based learning in an innovative environment.

Rachel Hiatt (FCJH) for Vernier LabQuest
Student Impact: 40+ students annually
Thanks to a generous gift from an FCJH parent, students in both grade levels will have access to an assortment of data collection and analysis tools including motion detector, pH sensor, voltage probe, temperature probe, light sensors, force sensor, pressure sensor, and magnetic field sensor. The lab starter kit can is a pilot to be used as a single station or demonstration piece with the hope of expanding hands on experiments in the future.

Nick Tschuor (FCJH), Kelli Collins (HIJH), Kris Gaza (FJH), Brad Bill (RJH) for Spheros & Coding
Student Impact: 400+ annually
A collaboration of all four Jr High Technology Education programs, this effort will purchase a classroom Sphero kits to facilitate authentic classroom demonstrations, and discussions; all key aspects to the HSE Technology Education curriculum and the HSE21 initiative. This will enhance the creative and differentiated instruction and performance-based student learning in all of our Technology classrooms by integrating robotics and programming into our curriculum.

Bob Rice and Greg McCord (HIJ) for Crazy Traits
Student Impact: 250 annually
The Crazy Trait kits introduces hands on activities and inquiry based labs into topics such as genetics, inheritance, adaptation, natural selection, and probability. Students will incorporate 21st century web based technologies and application of previous knowledge to solve open ended and critical thinking questions. The modular approach of layered learning boosts understanding of key concepts through science and engineering investigations. The project will also be able to incorporate web based digital learning tools in partnership with HSE21. Students will be interacting with the Crazy Traits Creatures believing it’s a fun game but in actuality they will be investigating complex scientific ideas. The mixture of learning and fun will increase their retention of the material and aide in mastery of the content.

Jill Mochler (HIJH) for Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Robotics
Student Impact: At first, 100; eventually all 5th graders at HIJH
PLTW is the nation’s leading provider of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education programs. Students will use the project-based learning approach to study, build, test and program robots to solve a real world problem. During the first year of implementation, approximately one hundred 5th graders will participate in the curriculum. Once staff is trained, the goal is for all 5th graders at Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate and Junior High to participate.

Liz Paternoster (FHS) for We the People
Number of students this is expected to impact: 25
Though HSSF doesn’t typically fund student club and/or team travel, a generous grant from Church Church Hittle & Antrim supports the very successful We the People team which promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students. The relevant content and the simulated congressional hearing make teaching and learning exciting for both students and teachers. The National finals take place in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill. The twenty-five participating students will get the opportunity to testify in actual Congressional hearing rooms. In addition, they will get tours of museums, historical monuments, and other sites from local historians. This trip will bring all of their civic studies to life!

Janet Chandler (HSEHS) for Civics Education
Student Impact: 40-45
Though HSSF doesn’t typically fund student club and/or team travel, a generous grant from Church Church Hittle & Antrim supports the very successful We the People, HSE Mock Trial Team and the Law & Government Academy. These activities provide students with an in-depth study of the U.S. Constitution and its application to today as well as paying homage to its past; courtroom experience and hone critical thinking skills; and valuable work experience in addition to networking opportunities.

Phil Lederach (Central Office) for CybeRoyals and Code Red
Student Impact: 20+
Hamilton Southeastern High School and Fishers High School offer a course designed to use student expertise to support the implementation of technology called Computer Tech Support. These students, who are nicknamed “Code Red” at FHS and “CybeRoyals” at HSHS, have done an outstanding job with very little formal training. Our plan for the coming year is to use the summer to pilot more extensive training to these students. In order to meet this objective, HSE has partnered with Ivy Tech. In the summer of 2016, we hope to have at least 20 HSE students participate in training to earn the Comptia A+ certificate and three hours of college credit. Comptia A+ is an industry-recognized certificate, one that is in high demand in the business world—and by schools. These students will train this summer and then provide technology support to students and teachers at the high schools–and perhaps at other HSE schools.

Laura Rinderknecht (CO) for Excellence for ALL: Sustainability
Student Impact: 21,144 (potential)
Building off of a pilot grant received from the HSSF foundation in 2014 (Excellence for ALL), this grant is hoping to expand the work and bring it full scale to the district in order to address the “achievement gap” currently found in HSE. This would benefit all 21,144 students, but have a significant impact on the 5,175 students of color in HSE. Funding from this grant will build capacity in the form of internal trainers to lead the Dismantling the Strongholds of Racism two-day workshop. The train-the-trainer model would allow us to lead our own workshops, instead of having to rely on outside consultants and the ongoing costs associated with outside trainers.

Take a peek at our spring 2015 grant recipients