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October 2017 Grant Recipients

Bret Heller - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Supplemental Novels for VMS

Bret Heller - Victory Middle School, Meridian


Victory Middle School opened last fall of 2016. Our English Language Arts department uses a completely different textbook than all the other middle schools, due to the textbook currently being used around the district no longer being published at a scale to supply a brand new school. This led to our teachers working to completely re-write and align the curriculum to meet the state standards and align with the new textbook resource. We have a need for 10 different novels to be purchased, and 3 classroom sets of 35 per novel. The novels that have been adopted are outstanding, and really help to drive student interest, which leads to better readers, and in turn through the classroom writing assignments, better writers.

Mindy Parker - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Maker Space Supporting Multiple Intelligences

Mindy Parker - Hunter Elementary, Meridian


As a teacher, my job is to teach students the skills to enter an ever-changing world. The professions that we are preparing them for may not even exist today. It is more important than ever to give them opportunities to THINK, BUILD, CREATE, and PROBLEM SOLVE. Technology can help with some skills, but nothing takes the place of hands on building, project based learning, strategic game playing, and the interactions and communication skills that come with these. I will be further developing a ‘Maker Space’ in my classroom. This will be an area that students can find activities to enhance and encourage motivated learning in all of these areas.

Becky Coulter - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Pedaling Our Way to Health

Becky Coulter - Eagle Middle School, Eagle


During this school year over 1,000 students will use our weight room as part of their physical education experience. Students learn to safely and purposefully participate in both strength training and aerobic conditioning. Aerobic training paired with strength training has been shown to be the most effective method of improving overall fitness. Adding two spin bikes to the weight room will provide improved opportunities to increase cardiovascular strength and endurance, especially during the winter months when weather limits our options. Active, healthy citizens build and maintain strong, vibrant communities. I expect that by adding two bikes we will maintain if not improve the fitness level of our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students who use the weight room by providing a more well rounded exercise experience. I hope that those same young people will encourage their families and friends to take part in healthy activities thereby improving the health of the community as a whole.

Brian Whitney - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Seeing is Believing! Using Wind Tunnel Investigations to Bring STEM and Language Arts Lessons Alive!

Brian Whitney - Hidden Springs Elementary School, Boise


Imagine a third grade student building a lego model using the engineering design process and then testing the forces and motion (3rd grade physical science standard) applied to and acting upon this model using a wind tunnel! After testing their model students would analyze data, revise designs, and create both technical and creative writing samples inspired by their investigations. This is just one example of many illustrating how a wind tunnel in our school’s STEM Lab will be used to help students better understand a wide variety of science, engineering, and mathematic standards! Students will better understand content and curriculum objectives after being able to manipulate models and apply the engineering design process to authentic curriculum related tasks. The wind tunnel will provide rich opportunities for data collection and analysis and technical and creative writing.

Lorie Hess - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Pre-Vocational Life Skills Tasks

Lorie Hess - Mountain View High School, Meridian


This project is to purchase a pack of Pre-Vocational Life Skills Tasks for my class. The tasks hands-on, specifically for use in Special Education classes. The task pack that I wish to acquire for my class (Pre-Vocational Assortment D) has 15 different hands-on tasks that simulate a specific task that the students will most likely need to be able to work at a job. There is an emphasis on packaging and assembling in this task set and there is even a mock-up of a standard wall light switch that can be assembled. The outcome of this project is that students will develop skills that will help them become more independent in their life and become more employable in their future, which is the main goal of my class itself.

Ken Hosier - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Colliding Cars: Observing Momentum and Force with a Dynamics Track and Car System

Ken Hosier - The Ambrose School, Meridian


In physics, we spend a majority of the first semester studying kinematics, including concepts such as vectors, force, uniform circular motion, and momentum. Many of these concepts can be applied to our experiences every day, including driving. My physics students are between the ages of 16-18, so the freedom of driving is something they especially connect with. For this project/series of labs, the students would apply multiple mathematical principles and scientific laws to car collisions. I currently have 8 Dynamics Car and Track systems and 8 Vernier interfaces. However, a key component for performing this lab is the motion detector. The motion detector is used to measure position, velocity, and acceleration of moving objects. This will allow students to observe and test a variety of scenarios related to collisions and cars. The next step will be to take this information and calculate force and momentum. Upon completion of their data compilation, students would then use this data to make recommendations on how to maximize impulse and minimize momentum and impact force.

Erica Ferland - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Back to Basics

Erica Ferland - Treasure Valley Leadership Academy, Nampa


We are a brand new school and are looking to build our science lab in order to conduct real science experiments. My goal for these funds are to buy the basics: goggles, scales, beakers, graduated cylinders, hot plates, heat pads, stirring rods, pipettes, etc. I want my students to feel like they are real scientists by conducted labs which answer their own open-inquiry questions. At our new school, Treasure Valley Leadership Academy, we work in partnership with Summit Learning to focus on the cognitive skills students need and not just memorizing subject specific information. If we did our jobs correctly, all of our students will be proficient at all the cognitive skills which apply to all the topics they will ever learn in school. A few of them include, presenting multi-media orally, creating hypotheses, processing data, creating claims and counter claims, and using relevant and reliable resources, to name a few.

Rebecca Thayer - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Family Fun Micron Math Night!

Rebecca Thayer - Melba Elementary School, Melba


Our school district has had a setback in the area of math and we need to get our students excited about math again! Micron is supplying us with math games and teachers are volunteering to run games in their rooms. We want to make this a memorable night! We will be serving a spaghetti dinner in our cafeteria. After students enjoy a meal with their family, we will be sending students and their families around with a "math passport." If they get it stamped that they participated in at least 3 math games, then they would be able to submit their name in a raffle. We will be purchasing math games for our raffle. We are hoping to raffle off four games per grade level, and keep one of each game at for our school indoor recess time.