There were many strategies and tools that I wanted to bring back after attending NCAAT and after my internship this summer. Some of these things included writing more grants to provide opportunities and resources for my students, incorporating the design thinking process with my STEM lessons, and creating more project based learning opportunities in my classroom, as well as other classrooms that I work with. I also wanted to make sure to bring more STEM careers and businesses to my students, whether this includes students going to these businesses, Skyping with some of these careers, or having guests come and speak with my students. It is the beginning of the school year, and I plan to make sure to include all of these into my classroom this year at some point. However, I thought it would be good to start with writing grants so I could go ahead and start to obtain some money and resources so I could bring more of these opportunities to my students
I started writing grants this summer before school officially started. I wrote a Donors Choose project in which I asked for several STEM books to use to connect science and math standards to my STEM lesson. One generous donor donated this in a few days. I received the books before the school year started, and I have already been incorporating several of the books into my classes. The students love it and I love that I can bring more literacy to STEM. I also wrote a few other grants. I wrote one grant hoping to receive flexible seating in my STEM room. Unfortunately, I did not receive this grant. I also wrote a grant to bring Ozobots to my STEM classroom so I could continue to build on the students’ knowledge of robotics and continue to engage and interest students in science and math. I am waiting to hear back on this grant.
One of my favorite grants I wrote included bringing “Level Up Village” to two classrooms. This company links up classrooms across the globe to have students work on a common STEM project. One of the 2nd grade classes will work on listening to 4-5 different folktales and engineer solutions to different problems posed in the stories. The other 2nd grade classroom will learn about music, culture of their own, and other cultures and music across the globe and create different types of instruments. Both of these classes would share their products with the other classes over the web through Google Hangouts, Skyping, or Blogging. We are still waiting to hear back from this grant and we are hopeful that we will receive this grant.
Once I started the process of writing grants, I realized it was not much different than writing a paper for graduate class, and it is an easy way to obtain the resources I want for my students. Although I become a little disappointed when I work so hard to write a grant and do not receive it, I also realize that it is part of the process. I may have to be let down a few times before actually receiving some of the grants I write. I found the session on grant writing helpful at NCAAT, and actually received several great tips, as well as several grants I plan to apply for. I will continue to write grants throughout the year. For my next grant, I plan to write a grant to provide my students with field trip opportunities to different businesses around us so students can become interested in different careers within our community.