Alumni Leave Your Mark

The District 128 Foundation for Learning’s newly established Alumni Leave Your Mark program gives parents, friends or family of Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School graduates the opportunity to make a donation to the Foundation for Learning in honor of a special graduate. Click here for details.

14 Innovation Grants Awarded to D128 Teachers

Pictured at the Dec. 20 Innovation Grant Presentation are (front row) D128 Supertintendent Prentiss Lea, Shannon Etnyre (Science, VHHS), Sherri Rukes (Science, LHS), Sarah Stoub (Science, VHHS), Kara Bosman(Social Studies, LHS), Elissa Gong (Science, VHHS), Jonathan Kim (Social Sudies, LHS), Alyssa Clarke(Science, VHHS ), Teresa Elmore (Computer Science, LHS), Foundation Chairperson Jenny Eitel, Foundation Trustee and Projects Chair Mary Ann Eiserman, Foundation Trustee Anand Setty, (back row) Brandon Watters(Science, VHHS), Pete Dawson (Science, LHS), Mark Buesing (Science, LHS), Kim Holder (Science, LHS), Andrew Thomson (CTE, LHS), Josh Ravenscraft (Science, VHHS), Adam Lueken (Computer Scinece, VHHS), Foundation Trustee Joel Reyes. Not pictured: Suzanne Torrence (Science, LHS), Mike Bush (Science, LHS), Jeremy Little (Fine Arts, VHHS), Dana Green (Fine Arts, VHHS).

The District 128 Foundation for Learning continued its mission of enhancing learning in Community High School District 128 by awarding 14 Innovation Grants totaling $18,771.11 to Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School teachers on Dec. 20. The 2017-18 grant winners were announced and celebrated at a luncheon held at the District 128 Administration Office. This year's grants brought the number of grants awarded by the Foundation since 2008 to 127 and the total dollars funded to $187,781.20.  View the presentation

Founded in 2007, the Foundation for Learning was established to enhance and enrich the instructional program in District 128 by obtaining resources through community partnerships.

2017-18 Innovation Grants Descriptions and Winners:

Building Simple Motors from Household Items
Students construct electric motors to increase their awareness of how physics concepts are applied in real-world devices.  This also helps them understand how engineering involves design, construction, and problem-solving. 
Pete Dawson, Mark Buesing, Suzanne Torrence, LHS, $632.90

Balloons in Space
Students will design, build, and launch weather balloons that will carry scientific instruments.  They will interface with the FAA, learn to use weather forecasting software, and analyze the data once the balloons are recovered.   
Mark Buesing, Kim Holder, LHS, $1,940.00

“Mud Power”: Using Bacteria as Batteries
Students connect anode and cathode wires to a circuit board to collect electrical power from soil and explore the potential for bacteria to be used as energy sources for technology in the future. 
Elissa Gong, VHHS, $1,920.00

Capturing Science in Motion
Students will use a multispeed DSLR camera to observe scientific events that occur too rapidly to see in real time.  Also, they will be able to create videos and still frame motion maps.   
Mike Bush, Sherri Rukes, LHS, $1,615.00

Building a Drone Quad-Copter
Students learn about the components of a quadcopter and how to build one.  After registering the copter with the FAA, students will learn about safe flying and how to make repairs designing 3D printed parts.   
Andrew Thomson, LHS $1,950.00

Micro:bit Kits for Beginning Computer Science Classes
Micro:bits connect to a chrome book or computer and allow students to see the results of the code they are writing.  This provides an interactive way to introduce beginning students to computer learning.  
Teresa Elmore, Adam Lueken, LHS/VHHS, $1,000.00

Immersive Learning Platforms from Breakout EDU
Breakout EDU Kits will be used to bring excitement into the science classrooms by creating unique and engaging lessons in gamified learning.  These kits are adaptable to all students at all levels.
Alyssa Clarke, VHHS, $1,259.21

Investigations of Adiabatic and Isothermal Processes
This project helps students understand the complex relationship in a thermodynamic cycle through hands-on experimentation of adiabatic and isothermal processes while collecting data through thermal interface.   
Joshua Ravenscraft, VHHS, $1,775.00

AP WE Service Learning Computer Programming
Students will use Android devices for testing purposes and for showcasing final projects.  The Android apps will be used to investigate and solve real-world problems especially in the global initiatives of improving education and healthcare.   
Adam Lueken, Teresa Elmore, VHHS/LHS, $2,000.00

Looking at the World Through UV
The purchase of a special camera plus the needed modifications to capture UV images will give students a better understanding of the role UV light plays in their lives (tanning, plastic eyewear, bruises).
Sherri Rukes, Mike Bush, LHS, $1,350.00

Oxidation-Reduction Potential Sensors for AP Chemistry
Students will be able to collect qualitative data during a redox titration.  Also, the ORP sensors can be used in all chemistry classes to identify oxidizing or reducing agents before and after a reaction.
Sarah Stoub, VHHS, $1,164.00

Connected Creativity - VHHS Symphony Orchestra Collaboration with the Avalon String Quartet
For the VHHS Symphony Orchestra, the Avalon String Quartet from NIU will demonstrate performance practices during the Classical Period.  This will give students the tools to break down Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass into manageable, musical moments.   
Dana Green, Jeremy Little, VHHS, $600.00

Who is Your Chemical Alter Ego?
Students will make connections between themselves and the periodic table to better understand how chemistry relates to their personal characteristics.  Students will then design a mask and make a video to represent their personal qualities and show how these qualities are mirrored by their elemental alter ego.  
Shannon Etnyre, Brandon Watters, Sarah Stoub, VHHS, $645.00

Expanding, Enhancing, and Enriching the Student Experience in Psychology
Students will be able to discover more about themselves by interacting with psychology professionals, as well as applying concepts and working on experiments that prove how psychology is shaping and informing the understanding of human behavior and thought.  
Kara Bosman, Jonathan Kim, LHS, $920.00

Thanks to our sponsors and supporters and guests of The BIG Event

that was held Nov. 10 at Mickey Finn's



Foundation for Learning Awards $22,250 in Innovation Grants to D128 Teachers


The District 128 Foundation for Learning continued its mission of enhancing learning in Community High School District 128 by awarding 17 Innovation Grants totaling $22,250.97 to Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School teachers on Dec. 22, 2016. The 2016-17 grant winners were announced and celebrated at a luncheon held at the District 128 Administration Office. This year's grants brought the number of grants awarded by the foundation since 2008 to 113 and the total dollars funded to $169,010.


The grant winners were joined at the presentation by members of the Foundation for Learning Board of Trustees, the D128 Administration, and the Grant Review Committee. Pictured at the presentation are: (front row) Foundation Chairperson Jenny Eitel, Kim Jansen, Simone Oslage, Elissa Gong, Rebeca Garcia, Tammie Black, Maggie Nicholson, Ashley Bell, Amanda Carroll, Sherri Rukes, Mike Bush, Mary Clark, Mark Prosise, Foundation Trustee Scott Overbeck, Foundation Trustee Anand Setty, (back row) Superintendent Prentiss Lea, Monica Tolva, Jennifer Goettsche, Karen Kym, Chris Wolf, Teresa Elmore, Brandon Watters, Jane Wenzel, Pete Dawson, Mike Cook, Jason Rush, Joshua Ravenscraft, Foundation Trustee Aaron Hebbeln. Recipients not pictured: Matthew Karnstedt, Katti Bachar, Shannon Etnyre, Jay Walgren


Founded in 2007, the Foundation for Learning was established to enhance and enrich the instructional program in District 128 by obtaining resources through community partnerships.


This year’s winning Innovation Grants are:


Bioluminescent Jellyfish Proteins Purified Through Polyacrylamide Gel Electrophoresis — This laboratory program gathers glowing bacteria and purifies the bioluminescent proteins using Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.  This process is similar to the production of human insulin in the biopharmaceutical industry. Elissa Gong (VHHS); Awarded $1,757


iPad Recording Kits — Electronic Music and Guitar students will be able to compose and portably record their own original compositions and music. The ability to record, play back, listen, and self-critique will aid them in the creative process. Matthew Karnstedt (LHS); Awarded $1,250


Makerspace in the Library Media Center — In using a Makerspace, students will be able to explore their own interests and experiment to solve problems relevant to those STEAM interests in science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. A Makerspace will offer all students the chance to get out of their chairs, read, think, solve and create.  Monica Tolva (VHHS); Awarded $1,850


Measuring Radiation in the Palm of Your Hand — Using a small inexpensive detector that can be plugged into a smartphone or tablet, students will be able to measure the radioactivity of various natural and artificial sources.  They will also be able to investigate the ability of different materials to shield various forms of radiation. Mike Bush, Sherri Rukes (LHS); Awarded $2,000


Student Designed and Coded Circuit Boards in Physics — Using Arduino boards, programmable circuit interfaces, students will manipulate, design, and learn computer coding, similar to an introductory engineering/physics course. The students will learn how to build and program an Arduino circuit board and its components using a C++ based computer language. Joshua Ravenscraft (VHHS); Awarded $1,900


Buddy Reading — Students enrolled in the Instructional Literacy Course will read and implement literacy skills with first graders at Gages Lake School.  Our students will have the opportunity to apply reading strategies learned in the Literacy course with lower level readers. Kim Jansen, Simone Oslage (LHS); Awarded $720


Investigation of Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration Using Specially Engineered Algae Beads — Project allows students to use engineered algae beads in a colorimetric assay to study both photosynthesis and cellular respiration in an inquiry investigation.  Students also study the effects of light intensity, light color, temperature and other organisms on these processes. Mark Prosise, Mary Clark (VHHS); Awarded $500


Microcentrifuge Device for Cutting-edge DNA Labs — Microcentrifuge allows  for the extraction and processing of real DNA samples in a host of high school laboratory exercises. Students will be engaged by genetically modified organism (GMO) food labs, phenylthiocarbamide (PTC) gene testing, and plant genomic investigations - all requiring use of a microcentrifuge. Mark Prosise (VHHS); Awarded $1,800


Dynamic Hands-on Modeling to Engage and Captivate Life’s Most Critical Process — Students manipulate hands-on protein prototypes they have sequenced and designed themselves using 3-D tools, which demonstrates why the protein folds. Once students understand this, they will then be presented with what happens when something causes the folding to go wrong, which is the cause for many genetic diseases. Chris Wolf (VHHS); Awarded $1,050


Breakout EDU — Breakout EDU creates ultra-engaging learning games for people of all ages.  Breakouts teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting students with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve. Teresa Elmore (LHS); Awarded $763


Chemistry Engineering & Design Challenge — This design project will allow students to apply chemistry concepts to solve a real-world problem.  In this project, students will research, plan and develop the best pool deck possible based on a series of criteria, including testing the endurance of various materials, building their prototype and testing the impact that heat has on the materials.  Shannon Etnyre, Brandon Watters (VHHS); Awarded $1,200


Sensory Innovation Grant — The tools will create a more enhanced sensory experience for students who exhibit Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) characteristics including sensory processing difficulties.  These tools include ball chairs for sensory integration and balance, Skypanels to reduce visual hypersensitivity, and oils and diffuser to increase relaxation and calmness. Rebeca Garcia, Jane Wenzel (VHHS); Awarded $867.22


Chemistry Molecular Model Kits — Chemistry molecular model kits teach students about chemical bonding, structure and function. These models help illustrate bond angles, hybridization, and intermolecular forces. Having a physical model that students build, manipulate and analyze will help make the abstract aspect of chemistry more concrete and tangible. Maggie Nicholson, Katti Bachar, Karen Kym, Sherri Rukes, Pete Dawson, Ashley Bell (LHS); Awarded $1,908.75


Classroom Without Walls; Expanding the Classroom Experience — This project will provide global connections and opportunities to experience collaboration real-time and opportunities for content and skills learned in class to be applied beyond the classroom walls.  Students will realize and appreciate the global relevancy of the course by interacting with individuals beyond the classroom. Amanda Carroll (VHHS); Awarded $535


Let There Be Lightboard!; The Next Evolution of Flipped Lessons — The lightboard is a glass writing surface that allows the teacher to face the camera and write naturally as if they are facing a traditional whiteboard.  Software inverts the written image so that the writing reads normally when recorded.  The result is a video that has the teacher facing the students while writing their illuminated presentation notes. Sherri Rukes, Mike Bush, Mike Cook (LHS); Awarded $2,000


A) Calculating Speed Is No Trap B) The Speed of Chunk C) Doppler Effect Physics — A set of radar speed guns allow physics students to measure speed in a unique and technologically advanced method. The radar guns will be used in an introduction to kinematics, measuring speed of catapult launched projectiles and the Doppler Effect’s relevance to everyday life.  Jason Rush, Joshua Ravenscraft, Mary Clark, Jay Walgren (VHHS); Awarded $1,200

Transforming Language Learning for 21st Century Students — This training will give international language teachers the tools to create an engaging classroom for language learners and measures progress on a curriculum redesign in line with the American Council in the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) World Readiness Standards. The new curriculum and assessments will give students the ability and confidence to navigate in the target language outside of the classroom with increased skills. Jennifer Goettsche, Tammie Black (LHS & VHHS); Awarded $950


Grant Highlight:

Storyboard Hardware and Software
The addition of storyboard hardware and software allows special education and other students to work together to develop and edit Wildcat Production video segments using Storyboard Creator and Large Format Touchscreen displays. This enables the students to develop better organizational life skills and grow more social-emotional connections.
The grant was awarded to Libertyville High School Special Services Teacher Aide Robert Adams and Wildcat Production Advisor Daniel Treptow in the amount of $1,978.96.
"I have heard nothing but positive feedback from the students who have tried out the new software," said Treptow. He noted that it has proven to be easy to use and much quicker than hand-drawing a video idea frame by frame.

  Students, along with Adams and Treptow, are pictured collaborating on a project using the new technology funded through the Innovation Grant.


Annual Appeal

Click here to learn what the District 128 Foundation for Learning is doing to support Libertyville and Vernon Hills High Schools and how you can help enhance and enrich student learning in District 128.


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