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January 2016 Grant Recipients

Andrea Robbins - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Snap Circuitry

Andrea Robbins - Hansen High School


Electrical circuitry is best mastered using equipment for hands-on learning experiences, but these tools can be dangerous and are costly. Snap Circuit kits will provide my two ninth-grade Physical Science classes with real-world applications of electrical technology by allowing students to create parallel and series circuits, experiment with transformers and resistance, switches, speakers, and much more. These kits contain equipment for over 500 experiments, are durable and reusable, and the Battery Eliminator will remove the need to replace batteries year after year.

Julie_Leanard - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Greenhouse Affect

Julie Leonard - Betty Kiefer Elementary School


Previously second grade students planted classroom gardens and flowers; however, they have only sprouted with stems and no fruit. North Idaho has a short growing season and few of our students come from homes where they have the opportunity to plant, tend, and care for plants. Greenhouse Affect would expedite the process and provide a real life experience for them to evaluate and document the process. Science standards state students should be able to “understand concepts and processes of evidence, models, and explanations”. Greenhouse Affect would provide a practical application of this standard by planting, observing the growing process, making adjustments with fertilizer, watering as needed, and documenting their findings.

Kristine Ablin-Stone - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Understanding & Using Gel Electrophoresis

Kristine Ablin-Stone - Borah High School


The inquiry-based activities biology students will be able to complete if the project is funded are: 1) Micropipetting Basics, where students learn to micropipette, an essential skill for collecting reliable data using gel electrophoresis; 2) Unlocking the Color of Candies, where they learn to use gel electrophoresis by determining what dyes are used to color skittles candy; 3) Whose DNA Was Left Behind, where they determine who left behind a single hair at a crime scene; 4) Why Do People Look Different, where they use DNA fingerprinting as evidence that a child receives half of their DNA from each parent; 5) In Search of My Father, where they discover the true identify of twin boys who were separated from their parents; and 6) Whose My Cousin where students determine which two animals are most closely related (raccoon, kangaroo, giant panda, or red panda), based on their DNA. The first five activities listed above are kits that will be purchased and I will develop the activity 6 using simulated DNA (different mixtures of dyes).

Kari Hammon - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Learning With Lucky

Teresa Brown - Basin Elementary School


Dogs are nonjudgmental, love to be read to and love to be cuddled with! The program I would like to implement at our school is called Learning with Lucky and allows students to adopt a stuffed Labrador puppy that will be their reading buddy. Learning with Lucky is a highly effective reading program designed to develop and encourage reading achievement in all young students. This is a wonderful program designed to enhance our reading curriculum by encouraging our first graders to read and work with their puppy.

Sally VanderVeen - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Writer's Cabin -- Writers in the Schools

Sally VanderVeen - West Canyon Elementary School


The Cabin's Writers in the Schools program is a really positive partnership between the Boise Writer's Cabin and local schools. The Cabin employs professional authors who are partnered with schools to enhance the curriculum and get kids excited about writing. The writers and the teachers work side by side to write customized lesson plans that help the kids with skills they need. This collaboration also serves as powerful professional development by giving teachers fresh ideas to teach standards where they may need some new inspiration from content area experts. The author from The Cabin would come to our school to plan the specialized writing unit with us, and then would be here each week for 12 weeks to teach the unit in each of our four fifth grade classrooms. Each student will walk away with final draft of their favorite piece of writing, and each classroom will receive a class set of books made up of each student's writing.

Robyn Stechelin - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Leveled Readers Book Boxes/Mentor Texts

Robyn Stechelin - Gooding Elementary School


I would like to build Leveled Readers book boxes in my 2nd grade classroom to further enhance reading skills and promote literacy in the classroom. I would also like to purchase mentor texts to help deepen understanding of comprehension strategies, i.e. character, setting, plot, problem and solution, and cause and effect. The idea of this project would be to build a classroom library full of engaging and at level books through purchasing leveled readers, mentor texts, and book sets that could be used daily within the class. I would also like to build book boxes with 5 to 7 guided reading books in a set so that the books can be utilized during the Intervention block with small reading groups.

Debra Watson - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Cal Poly Shirts

Debra Watson - East Canyon Elementary School


My elementary school is in the process of becoming and AVID elementary school. As part of that process, each classroom in the school has selected a college to highlight. The purpose is to help students be aware of all of the choices available to them when they are done with high school. My classroom has selected California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, California because that is where I received my degree. Every Wednesday is "College Wear Wednesday" where students and staff are encouraged to wear college shirts. My students don't have anything to wear on Wednesdays. We have a high population of low socio-economic families in our school and purchasing college apparel isn't high on the list of priorities. I have asked Cal Poly to give us some shirts that I could give to the students, but only received one adult t-shirt. I would love for my students to be able to have something to wear on "College Wear Wednesday" and thought I would give this a shot. I expect that my students will proudly wear these shirts each Wednesday and start to think that college is in their future.

Kevin Kramer - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Sustaining Mason Bee Populations

Kevin Kramer - Foothills School Of Arts and Sciences


Earlier this year, Garden City was designated as a "Bee City USA," the first in Idaho. The Chinden Gardeners Club was instrumental in securing the certification for the city. Recently, our class has been working with the Club's spokeswoman and gardener, Judy Snow, making plans for a project to grow and plant beneficial flowers important for pollinators, like the native solitary mason bees, in their Garden City plot. As a part of the project, the students will also be constructing mason bee houses to attract the beneficial insects to their own home gardens. In addition, they will use knowledge of botany learned this fall to sow seeds and raise plants for their own homes and the Garden City plot.

This project not only brings awareness to the students about the importance of beneficial insects as pollinators of native and ornamental plants and much of the food we eat, but also the importance of being stewards of the flora and fauna in our communities. The students' work will support the sustainability of bee populations by providing homes and increasing pollination opportunities for bees in the surrounding Boise area.