Spring 2007 Classroom Grant judging is completed!
to ten lucky winners.
are the grant applications of our five runner-up winners. Each
runner-up will receive Tool
Factory Software and a Digital
Camera Guide for Educators.
here to see the applications from the grand prize winners!
Diane Erdmann, Richfield Intermediate School
LESSON TITLE: GARDEN
TECHONOLOGY AND SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY
Richfield Intermediate School (RIS-grades 3,4,5) will begin its
third year of developing the RIS Community Courtyard Garden in
the fall of 2007. Formerly a courtyard of 1/3 cement, 2/3 grass,
and one pine tree, our courtyard began its transformation after
my third grade class read a book about a butterfly garden, and
decided they wanted to create a butterfly of their own. That garden
project is now well on its way to becoming a living lab garden
and community gathering space for the entire school. Our Courtyard
Garden, which deliberately reflects the life science curriculum
and science standards for our third graders, is meant to be used
as a living model of and lab for the three main biomes of Minnesota:
prairie, woodland, and wetland/pond, along with a specific butterfly
garden and an annual garden where students can do experimental
plantings. My students originally wanted a space where plants
and animals could live together and where people would
feel good when they were sad or mad. We are very close to
meeting all of these goals now. The original classroom project
has turned into a whole community project blooming in the middle
of our brick building, contributed to and used by many. We have
one more physical space left to create.
In September 2007, our students and staff will be working together
to create the last biomeour wetland/pond garden. Up to this
point, all documentation and reporting of formal garden development
and use has been done by staff. Now, Id like to give students
greater responsibility for documenting the development process,
especially the pond creation project, and getting the word out
to our larger community. Students also began scientific observations
of plant and animal phenologies in the garden during the last
school year, but now wed like to give our students responsibility
and opportunities for full scientific observations and inquiries
related to the garden.
Using tools from the Olympus grant our students will be able
to visually document and share with our community what is happening
in our growing garden (the pond/wetland creation in particular),
as well as document the scientific inquiry projects they will
be conducting that are related to the garden.
To document the Pond Project students will:
1. Use the DIGITAL CAMERAS to photograph before, and after pictures
of the pond/wetland garden.
2. Use the DIGITAL CAMERAS to photograph actual work on the pond
as Ponds For Kids workers excavate, and as classrooms
and staff complete work shifts for various steps in the construction
process. Some photos will be birds-eye view from our
classroom windows. Some will be ground level, with emphasis on
documenting wide-angle and close up perspectives.
3. interview Ponds For Kids planners and others involved
in pond development, take photos of the interviewees with the
DIGITAL CAMERAS. write up the interviews, and use TOOL FACTORY
WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING to polish and produce news reports about
the pond building project.
4. use the MULTI-MEDIA LAB to create buttons and web page about
the pond creation for our garden website.
5. use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP to create posters about pond life
and expected plants and animals that might cohabitate in our finished
6. continue to document phenology changes in the pond through
the fall, winter and spring seasons using the DIGITAL CAMERAS,
and posting those changes on our TOOL FACTORY HOME PAGE WEBSITE.
7. use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP with the DIGITAL CAMERAS to make
a banner that will be posted on the garden development wall of
the sequential, seasonal growth of the pond through the seasons
of the year.
8. use MULTI_MEDIA LAB to create a movie of the pond development
process for showing at community sessions such as Richfield School
Board and PTO.
Students will also use DIGITAL CAMERAS and TOOL FACTORY SOFTWARE
to learn and improve Scientific Observation and Inquiry Skills
primarily within the school garden. These activities will meet
various life science, weather, language arts, math, social studies,
and mapping standards.
1. use DIGITAL CAMERAS to record macro and micro observations
of arthropod structures and life cycles, plant structures and
life cycles, and biome interdependencies in the school garden.
2. use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING to add captions and
labels to observation photos and file in observation notebooks.
3. examine DIGITAL CAMERA photos with whole-class using LCD projector
to point out details of structure, generate questions about observations,
model looking for observational patterns. Also use TOOL FACTORY
with LCD projector to record and graph data from whole class inquiry
4. use TOOL FACTORY to graph and analyze observation and inquiry
data for individual or group inquiry projects, and TOOL FACTORY
WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING to record data analysis.
5. use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP to develop Inquiry Website (linked
to classroom website) where observation and inquiry experimental
processes and results can be posted, shared, and commented on.
6. use TOOL FACTORY DATA BASE to create a growing public data
base of observations and inquiries regarding the RIS Courtyard
Garden, that can be referred to and added to every year.
7. determine standard biological changes (events such as crab
apple flowers, tulips blooming, appearance of first monarch butterfly,
first hard frost, etc.) that occur within the RIS Courtyard Garden
and use TOOL FACTORY DATA BASE to begin a permanent phenology
record of the date each event occurs in order to create a memory
base of biological history for the garden for reference
and comparison by future student scientists.
8. Use DIGITAL CAMERAS, TOOL FACTORY DATA BASE, and TOOL FACTORY
WORKSHOP to create wall sized phenology poster (with spaces for
annual data to be entered) to be placed semi-permanently on school
hall wall near garden so that community in building can see phenology
Students will also use the TOOL FACTORY TOOLS to create reference
materials from their studies that will benefit classrooms throughout
our school. Students will:
1. use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP and DIGITAL CAMERA photos to create
and label whole-class composite collage posters of ecosystem/biomes
found in our school garden and at other field trip destinations
or local parks.
2. use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP and DIGITAL CAMERAS to create scientific
field guides (with photos and commentary) about our school garden
and neighboring park.
3. use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING and DIGITAL CAMERAS
to create illustrated classroom Activity Guides for use by any
classroom in the garden spaces, with potential to store on CD
or DVD for media checkout by staff.
Students will also these tools for related cross-curricular projects
and assessments. Students will:
1. use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING to process and publish
observational responses or reflections in the form of poetry,
narrative, biography of an animal/plant stories, sequencing narratives,
nonfiction informational guides, and anthropomorphic stories.
2. use the TOOL FACTORY MULTI-MEDIA LAB for animal classification,
food chain and food web lessons activities.
3. use TOOL FACTORY MULTI_MEDIA LAB to create culminating Animal
Adaptation Magazine project with interactive buttons for habitat,
life cycle, and adaptations.
4. use a combination of TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP TOOLS and DIGITAL
CAMERA IMAGES to assess student knowledge through thinking maps,
graphics, and games about animal classification, food chains/webs,
producer/consumer/decomposer, plant and animal adaptations, and
I would also like to assign the Weather Tracker as
one of my weekly student jobs. I have had a student meteorologist
read the daily weather forecast from the newspaper each day, but
a weekly Weather Tracker Team would be even better!
1. use TOOL FACTORY MULTI MEDIA LAB to record weekly weather data
(as collected from school garden Weather Station), track data,
create weather maps with forecasts, show actual weather results,
and report to class daily. We will add a weather data button to
Benefits of this Garden Technology Project for our students would
1. experience and understanding of experimentation, scientific
inquiry, and scientific process.
2. a beginning understanding of scientific community.
3. a sense of responsibility for the whole school community and
4. the power of real teamwork and cooperation.
5. knowledge of project process from beginning to end.
6. the power of multi-media in communication.
7. critical thinking
8. public presentation skills
9. understanding of climate cycles and climate change
10. appreciation of our natural world and what may be needed to
3 Memory Cards, 2G each $70 (total $210)
2 Battery chargers and batteries ($100)
Banners/Posters materials for school walls ($190)
"This was probably
one of the best "biome" type projects that was submitted. "
Adina Popa, Potowmack Elementary
LESSON TITLE: Multicultural
Potowmack Elementary school is a multicultural elementary school
located 25 miles west of Washington DC. Students in our school
speak 25 different languages in their homes, and come from countries
on five different continents. Every year, we hold a multicultural
festival in our gym to celebrate the different cultures of our
students. At the festival,participating students are each responsible
for maintaining a table where they display items to teach other
students about their culture. This year, we would like to hold
a film festival as part of our multicultural day celebrations,
featuring short films made by our students using Olympus cameras.
Movie making is an exciting and successful project-based approach
in education. As part of this movie making project, students will
be placed in grade-level or multiage small, collaborative groups
based on their cultural backgrounds. Students will be challenged
and asked to take their learning to a higher level by creating
(1) videos of finished products, (2) plays/role plays, (3) historical
reenactments, (4) video podcasts, and (5) documentaries. In addition,
students will create their own soundtracks, using Sibelius, a
music composition and instrumental playback software.
To prepare for Multicultural Day, students will bring artifacts
from home that are unique to their culture. They will write scripts
for short films, featuring these different artifacts. They will
use Sibelius to create music that is typical of their culture
to accompnay their video. Then, students will use digital still
cameras to create digitally animated movies (including claymation)
about their culture. Their animations will then be enhanced with
the Tool Factory Multimedia Lab V. Students will be given the
opportunity to use their original pictures on the storyboard,
or manipulate these pictures with Fresco, as they may want to
add details that are not available immediately.
Participants in Multicultural Day will also have the opportunity
to use the digital cameras to take pictures related to their culture,
aside from the film production. They will use Fresco and their
digital pictures to create posters about their cultures. These
posters will be displayed at Multicultural Day. Students will
also use Tool Factory to create banners and invitations advertising
Multicultural Day. We will use Home Page to display information
about Multicultural Day on our school web site.
Our students (directors) will culminate their 2006-2007 film careers
at Potowmack Elementary with a film premiere at the end of multicultural
day. In a theatre setting, each group will showcase their films
at a celebration attended by the rest of the school. At the end
of Multicultural Day, students will receive copies of their films.
This project based learning approach is highly supported by the
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) which states that
children learn best when they are working on "meaningful
projects," and when they can share their ideas and projects
with others as they take control of their own learning.
Our goals for the students as they work on video technology projects
are: (1) personal and social responsibility, (2) planning, critical
thinking, reasoning, and creativity, (3) strong communications
skills, (4) cross-cultural understanding, (5) visualizing and
decision-making, (6) knowing how and when to use technology and
choosing the most appropriate tool for the task.
SIBELIUS 4 + The Keystation 49e for music to accompany animated
films - $299
Viking SD cards for picture storage - $54.99 each x 3 = $164.97
Colored paper for invitations - $35
Julia Winter, Thomasville City Schools Scholars Academy
LESSON TITLE: The
Art of Mathematics
The grant award will be used with students in sixth grade mathematics
and ninth grade geometry classes. Students often question the
relevance of mathematical concepts. This grant will allow students
to see that there is a direct link between mathematics and architecture
and that making this link can be done with artistic expression
The Lapham-Patterson house in Thomasville, Georgia, was built
in 1885 and was considered a very modern home for
its time. Mr. Lapham, as a survivor of the Chicago fire, built
this house with 45 doors in it, 24 of which are exterior doors.
Each room in the house is a unique geometric shape: there are
no right angles in this house, no symmetry in its basic design,
and the wood floor patterns reflect the asymmetry of the entire
room. The exterior of the house is made up of a large variety
of decorative siding patterns. The original walkway designs and
gardens reflect the asymmetry of the house. This building provides
a geometry-rich environment and endless possibilities for creative
During prior classroom instruction, we will discuss the role
of mathematics in architecture and the history of the Lapham-Patterson
House. Student will present a proposal for their project which
includes (but is not limited to)
- geometric concepts to be captured by the DIGITAL
-media for the artistic expression of the concept(s). Students
will select their project and use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP to implement
their plan. Projects may include graphic representations such
as posters, booklets, slide shows, or collages.
After classroom discussion, students will go on a field excursion
to the Lapham-Patterson house, armed with DIGITAL CAMERAS and
imagination. Students may need more than one trip to acquire all
their data, so it is anticipated that we will take two field trips.
The school has a computer lab, so class time can be designated
exclusively in the lab for this project. The historic building
is within walking distance of the school.
Final projects must have a written explanation of the media they
have selected and the geometric concepts expressed. Students will
utilize TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING to create the text
for their work. The written portion of the project incorporates
a cross-curricular aspect: work will be peer-reviewed and critiqued
These projects will be displayed in the school and showcased
at the city school board office. The local television station
also produces features school activities; this project would be
a great community-interest story.
The Art of Mathematics project is an excellent way for students
to relate geometry to real-world applications and for them to
have an opportunity to explore the creative and fun ways math
is included in graphic arts projects.
3 Olympus Digital Camera Starter Kits
(case, batteries with charger, table top tripod) @ $40.00 $120.00
1 box HP Office Paper @$ 38.00 $ 38.00
1 HP Office Paper 11x17 $ 20.00 $ 20.00
4 Black Ink Cartridges @$ 20.00 $ 80.00
4 Color Ink Cartridges @$ 22.00 $ 88.00
Entry Fees for Lapham-Patterson house
75 students @ $2.00 each plus 8 adults @ $3.50 $178.00
(Thomasville City Schools will pay for any expenses exceeding
Paul Holwegner, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School
CSI Middle School- Where the Evidence is The True Witness
Students are often taught skills such as the scientific method,
scientific research, critical thinking, making observations, analyzing
facts, and drawing conclusions, in isolation and do not know how
to apply them to real life. Studying forensic science allows students
to practice these skills and see theories put into practice by
using circumstances which model real life events.
Therefore, I am creating and will be teaching a middle school
enrichment course called CSI Middle School. The course is mainly
based on the popular CSI series. In the course students will be
trained to investigate crimes and collect evidence. They will
study police procedures for gathering and analyzing different
types of evidence like ballistics, blood type, dna fingerprints,
shoeprints, hair/fiber, tool marks, forensic anthropology, arson,
etc. During this time, the students also participate in a variety
of hands-on science experiments such as making plaster casts of
shoe prints, analyzing blood spatter patterns, studying fingerprints,
and analyzing handwriting samples.
Next, the students take part in a variety of mock crimes. The
crimes involve many different types of evidence. Some of the crimes
will be Who Stole the Cookies, Who kidnapped
the mascot? Who Murdered Mr. M? along with many
Students will work together to uncover the facts surrounding the
crimes. As detectives, they will view the scene and gather a variety
of physical evidence. They will document their findings on the
Students will then go back to the crime lab and process the evidence.
They will use what they know about the crime and the suspect to
begin to eliminate possible suspects. After all the evidence has
been processed, students will perform a mock trial to charge the
suspect. Students will play the attorney or the experts and will
explain why the suspect is the criminal using the evidence and
My students will use the DIGITAL CAMERAS to accurately document
our crime scene before gathering the evidence. These pictures
will be used to revisit the crime scene as well as being used
as supporting evidence in the mock trial.
Students will use TOOL FACTORY WORD PROCESSOR to write their investigative
reports. They will document what they see or saw at the crime
scene and what their thoughts are about the crime. The WORD PROCESSOR
program would also be used to write opening and closing remarks,
as well as other components for the mock trial.
When learning about crime scene investigations students will
document their findings using the DIGITAL CAMERAS and the TOOL
FACTORY DATABASE to develop a DATABASE for organizing their data.
They will put pictures of the data that they learn about into
this DATABASE and access it when trying to solve the mock crimes.
Students will also use the TOOLFACTORY SPREADSHEET to keep track
of information about our suspects as it comes in from interviews,
including topics such as motive, alibi, suspicious behaviors,
etc. The TOOL FACTORY SPREADSHEET would also be a great tool for
recording results from our different surveys and activities such
as a fingerprint survey noting the number of students with the
three different types of fingerprint patterns: loops, whorls,
The TOOL FACTORY PAINTER will be used to prepare photographs of
evidence to be used in our mock trial.
CSI: Who Killed Henry Ward? Lab Activity $299.00
Color Ink for Printer $100.00
WARDS Embedded Ballistics Set, Embedded Bullets $59.45
WARDS Embedded Ballistics Sets, Embedded Shell Casings $39.95
Rob Schneider, School Without Walls
Building the Ideal Community
What better way to bring students to understand the development
of their country and reflect on its ethnic diversity--its significance
as well as the importance of respecting others and accepting their
differences--than to have them create their own communities? As
a Humanities teacher at School Without Walls, an Expeditionary
Learning school in Rochester New York, I am constantly looking
for new ways to engage my students. I believe that, for my students,
the project of building their ideal community will be an exciting
educational experience that will encourage them not only to apply
knowledge acquired in the classroom but also to reflect on their
environment and their own role in society.
Next year my seventh grade students will learn about the history
of this country prior to the Civil War. In order for each student
to understand how this country was formed I am going to ask each
of them to create his/her ideal community. Students will work
in groups of three on these projects.
Each group will choose a name for their community, create customs,
and assign roles to twenty-five citizens, including a community
hero. Students in their respective groups will develop a constitution
and a code of conduct, select laws and forms of punishment, compose
a national anthem, and design a flag. Each group will also create
their own community center, organize a workshop on cultural sensitivity,
design an anti-hate prevention program, and produce a commercial
aimed at preventing future acts of genocide.
In addition to creating their community, students will keep a
daily journal about its development. They will also write reflections
on what it means to be a citizen, what constitutes freedom of
speech, what the importance of diversity is, and what makes a
community multicultural. Finally, they will reflect on the benefits
of living in their specific community.
Students will take part in a number of engaging activities such
as a panel discussion with Holocaust survivors, a dialogue with
residents of Rochester who were involved in the 1964 Race Riots,
and a visit to youth community centers in the city.
Fieldwork will include a visit to the Mohawk Reservation in Akwesasne
New York, where students will spend two nights and three days
on the reservation. Students will be matched up with a youth their
age, they will stay in their home, attend Akwesasne Freedom School,
meet with and interview people living on the reservation, and
partake in a Mohawk feast. Fieldwork will also include one day
outings to select neighborhoods in Rochester where students will
meet with and interview members of the community, visit local
businesses and community centers, and research the history of
For their end projects students will have the option of either
building a life-size long house with an Oneida Native American
artist, creating a five-panel mural with a local artist, designing
a website or writing a childrens book about their community,
filming and editing a documentary about their entire experience,
or constructing a scale model of their community.
Students will design flyers and invitations for Exhibition Night
that will be distributed to their families and friends, as well
as other members of the community. During Exhibition Night, which
will take place in March, the end projects will be placed on display,
and students will be responsible for presenting them to the public.
With the OLYMPUS GRANT I will:
1. have students film community interviews using the video function
on the DIGITAL CAMERAS
2. have students create files using TOOL FACTORY to store all
the pictures taken during the expedition
3. in conjunction with the Media Technology teacher at School
Without Walls, have students use TOOL FACTORY HOME PAGE to design
community websites that family, friends, peers, and other members
of the community will view from their homes on the internet
4. in conjunction with the seventh grade English teacher, have
all of the students complete their written assignments using TOOL
FACTORY WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING
5. have students take pictures of the people they interact with
and interview during the expedition using the DIGITAL CAMERAS
6. have students film their discussion with members of the community
who were involved in Rochester Race Riots using the video function
on the DIGITAL CAMERAS
7. have students film their discussion with Holocaust survivors
using the video function on the DIGITAL CAMERAS
8. have students take photos with the DIGITAL CAMERAS of the
fieldwork trips to neighborhoods in Rochester
9. have students use the video function on the DIGITAL CAMERAS
to film their genocide prevention commercials
10. have students design flyers and invitations using TOOL FACTORY
11. in conjunction with a local artist, have students create
a draft of the five-panel mural using WHOLE CLASS FRESCO
12. in conjunction with the Art teacher, have students use MULTIMEDIA
LAB V to create a photo montage of members of their communities
13. have students write, edit, and store their community laws,
constitution, flag, national anthem, code of conduct, and written
reflections using TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING
14. in conjunction with the Media Technology teacher, have students
make a DVD of their entire expedition.
15. in conjunction with the seventh grade Math teacher, have
students keep track of their community budgets using TOOL FACTORY
16. in conjunction with the Math, English, and Science teachers,
have students prepare their presentations for Exhibition Night
using MULTIMEDIA LAB V
17. have students take photos of the five-panel mural using the
18. in conjunction with the local artist, have students design
a greeting card composed of images of the five-panel mural taken
with the DIGITAL CAMERAS using TOOLFACTORY WORKSHOP
19. have students use the DIGITAL CAMERAS to film and take photos
of the fieldwork conducted on the Mohawk reservation
20. in conjunction with the seventh grade English teacher, have
students who will design the childrens books use TOOL FACTORY
WORKSHOP and WHOLE CLASS FRESCO to complete their end project
21. in conjunction with the Media Technology teacher, have students
who will film the community documentaries use the video function
on the DIGITAL CAMERAS to complete their end project
22. have students who will build a scale model of their community
use TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP and WHOLE CLASS FRESCO to complete their
All-in-One Printer/Copier/Scanner $300.00
Digital Camera Cases 3@ $15.00 - $45.00
Memory Cards 3@ $30.00 - $90.00
Cardstock Paper 2@ $15.00 - $30.00
Battery Charger $35.00
the applications of the 5 grand prize winners.