February Beaverton’s Choice Grants Awarded

February Beaverton’s Choice Grants Awarded

With thanks to our generous donors, including the Dave Gettling Technology Fund, The Spirit of New Seasons Market Awards, and the BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program, the Beaverton Education Foundation was able to award $5,124 funding 6 projects this cycle. BEF has awarded 76 Beaverton’s Choice Grants and other awards so far this academic year totaling $82,848. BEF Beaverton’s Choice Grants are awarded monthly.


Bringing Outdoor School Home

School: Meadow Park Middle School
Recipient: Susan Duncan
Award: $1,000

Funding provided through the BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program

Each year some of our 6th grade students are unable to  attend Outdoor School at one of the Northwest Regional Education Service Districts Outdoor School field sites. We will bring Outdoor School home. We can provide tree cookie name tags, transform the library into a home for a visiting bird of prey, make s’mores in the school’s cafeteria, watch the geese with binoculars, test water quality in buckets, and build community with simulations. This year, we will work more closely with our local environmental educators at Tualatin Hills Nature Park and Portland Audubon and bring birds of prey from the Portland Audubon to the school library, as well as, take students to the Nature Park to investigate the relationships between humans, plants, vertebrates and invertebrates in our local ecoregion. We hope students become ambassadors for the natural systems in their school neighborhood just as those who attend other Outdoor Schools.


Graphic Novels Inspire Readers

School: Springville K-8
Recipient: Sarah Manuel
Award: $348

My classroom library is at the heart of my literacy instruction. For middle school readers who struggle to connect with text, graphic novels can provide those moments of epiphany that show them that they can connect with books, that there are books out there that speak to them,  and that they are, in fact, readers. My goal with this project is to build a robust collection of graphic novels to help the struggling readers in my classroom find and develop confidence and success as readers.


Growing K-5 Engineers Through Robotics

School: McKay Elementary School
Recipient: Jason Hohnbaum
Award: $1,000

Funding provided through the BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program

This project will create three collaborative robotics stations in the McKay makerspace. Students will learn practical 21st century STEM concepts of design engineering, construction principles, and basic programming through the use of Lego robotics, light sensing programmable Ozobots, and a Sphero Spark gyro/spherical bot. Students in K-5th grades will take a pre-assessment of conceptual engineering knowledge before beginning to cycle through the robotic makerspace stations. They will then complete engineering and programming tasks which align with grade level Next Generation Science Standards, one for each of the three robotic stations. Students will document their findings. K-2 students will demonstrate their growth using a video “vlog” in their SeeSaw digital portfolio. Grades 3-5 will use a Google survey to describe their discoveries.


Horticulture Expansion: Urban Farming and CSA Boxes

School: Merlo Station Community School
Recipient: Ryan Hossner
Award: $1,000

Funding provided through the BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program

For the past two years, I have helped to organize a student-run greenhouse and horticulture program at Merlo Station Community School during the spring. This project has traditionally culminated in a plant sale, and has helped us to raise ~$200 each year. We have, in the past, applied these funds toward compost bins, and our first water cisterns. This year, we plan to expand the program to be more permaculture and food-based, with the goal of sending our CEYP families home for summer vacation with a CSA box filled with student-grown, student-curated vegetables. Funds will  be used to purchase perennially reusable materials (lumber, soil, stakes, wheelbarrows) to make this expansion possible.


Sphero Chariot Races

School: Beaver Acres
Recipient: Ryan Hoxie
Award: $800

Funding provided through the BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program

With a focus on helping elementary school students understand engineering design principals, I wanted to create a project that would allow students to take their design from concept to trial. Sphero Chariot Races is that project. Students will design chariots out of cardboard, tape, pencils, or whatever materials they think will work. These chariots must be attached to a Sphero robot that will carry the chariot around an arena. The chariots will be pitted against one another much like in Roman times to see which chariot will survive. This project will capture elements of engineering design, history, collaboration and teamwork, all the while allowing for healthy competition that will boost engagement from even the least attentive student.


The Genius Hour

School: Rock Creek Elementary
Recipient: Sherry Krueger
Award: $976

Funding provided through the BEF Building STEAM 4 All Program

Rock Creek Elementary believes the best way to invent the future we want for our children is through developing those inventors today. That’s why we’re putting together a space that is filled with creative materials students will use to bring their ideas to life. During their “Genius Hour,” they will be participating in project design and construction that will not only strengthen their STEM knowledge, but will also strengthen their ability to collaborate and problem-solve.