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2015-16 Innovation Grant Winners

Foundation for Learning Awards $22,769 to LHS and VHHS Teachers in Annual Innovation Grants Program

The District 128 Foundation for Learning continued its mission of enhancing learning in District 128 by awarding Innovation Grants totaling $22,769 to Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School teachers on Jan. 14. The 2015-16 grant winners were announced and celebrated at a luncheon held at the District 128 Administration Office. This year's grants brought the amount of grants awarded by the foundation since 2008 to $146,759.

Founded in 2007, the mission of the Foundation is to enhance and enrich the instructional program in District 128 by obtaining resources through community partnerships.

Foundation for Learning 2015-2016 Innovation Grant Winners:

M.I.T and Northwestern University Inquiry Design Labs – Purchase innovative and open ended experiments written directly from the lab benches of MIT. Additionally, Northwestern University has become involved in this partnership to develop high school curricula for the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
VHHS-Mark Prosise; Awarded $1,987.97

Gamification of Algebra Readiness/Supplemental Intervention – This online product gamifies and scaffolds the skills required for success in Algebra I. This product will be used to prepare struggling learners for Algebra I or as an intervention for those struggling with Algebra I. Students use a webbased game to visualize algebra before adding the language and symbols of algebra.
VHHS-Matt McCarty; Awarded $2,000.00

Smart Kapp for Collaborative Brainstorming – Allows students to digitally take notes on a flip chart and have those ideas digitally uploaded to Google Drive for student collaboration using their Chromebooks.
LHS-John Taylor; Awarded $1,960.00

Emriver EM2 Geomodel – To purchase an innovative device that allows students to simulate river processes with remarkable accuracy. This elite system used by river scientists, educational professionals and researchers will allow students to manipulate a variety of contributing factors as they explore the principles of river behavior, subtle channel morphology and sediment transport processes.
VHHS-Kedric Greenawalt; Awarded $2,000.00

My Mind Can Move You – Electrical interface equipment that will provide multiple classroom activities, including allowing students to see and feel brain and muscle activity.
LHS - b; Awarded $1,819.93

NGSS Inquiry Protein Labs – This request for inquiry-based explorations of proteins allows Biology students to discover information, identify patterns and cognitively wrestle with the implications of their findings. Students will be engaged in high level content as this method of hands-on exploration not only greatly increases the rigor of the material, but also brings content to an actual hands-on lab.
VHHS-Mark Prosise; Awarded $2,000.00

Sampling Snow Kit: Investigating the Flow of Energy Through Data Analysis – This lab investigation will look at the insulation and reflective properties of snow through the purchase of materials to build a classroom set of snow sampling kits. The kits will allow the students to abandon the prescriptive path, generate novel ideas, analyze their own authentic data and make connections to the current energy unit.
VHHS-Sarah Stoub; Awarded $357.00

Storyboard Hardware and Software – Special education and other students will work together to develop and edit Wildcat Production video segments using Storyboard Creator and Large Format Touchscreen displays. This will enable them to develop better organizational life skills and grow more social-emotional connections.
LHS-Robert Adams, Dan Treptow; Awarded $1,978.96

LittleBit Circuit Building to Model Bacterial Operons in Synthetic Biology – This project is meant to visually create a model of a molecular system called an operon. Bacterial operons are a fundamental concept that all of synthetic biology ideas build on. Using simple circuit sets, students will learn the basic concepts of how operons work using inquiry and model building.
VHHS-Chris Wolf; Awarded $1,096.00

Connecting Chemistry to the World Around Us Through Earth Science – This project will give chemistry students the opportunity to see how Chemistry and Earth Science are connected and that information learned in subjects can be applied to real life situations such as air pollution, weathering of rocks, acid rain, and pollution of our waterways and soil.
LHS-Sherri Rukes; Awarded $2,000.00

Healthy Collaboration – Encourage student participation in the design of an updated learning environment, including tables for collaboration, healthy seating options with storage and exercise balls to support the new curriculum.
VHHS-John Pagani, Brooke Gabris; Awarded $2,000.00

Magnetic Water Molecule Kits for Honors Chemistry – Purchase water kits that have pieces that are well-designed to mimic the shape and function of polar water molecules including extra ionic and molecular pieces to help model the way water interacts in different chemical environments.
LHS-Peter Dawson, Margaret Nicholson; Awarded $1,165.73

Modeling Through Magnets and Whiteboarding in Chemistry – Through the use of magnets and whiteboards, students will be able to demonstrate a higher level of understanding and metacognition concerning the behavior of atoms at the molecular level.
VHHS-Sarah Stoub, Shannon Etnyre, Brandon Watters; Awarded $403.64

Thermal Cycler for Polymerase Chain Reaction – Purchase of a single piece of lab hardware called a Thermal Cycler which is capable of the advanced technique known as Polymerase Chain Reaction. Conducting PCR is the only way in which students can explore labs that analyze real DNA.
VHHS-Mark Prosise; Awarded $2,000.00

The grant winners were joined at the presentation by members of the Foundation for Learning board of trustees, the Foundation Auxiliary Committee, the D128 administration, and the grant review committee. Pictured at the presentation are: (front row) Mark Prosise (VHHS), Sherri Rukes (LHS), John Taylor (LHS), Margaret Nicholson (LHS), Sarah Stoub (VHHS), Jenifer Christensen (Grant Review Committee), Renae Renihan (Auxiliary Committee), Lynda Ward (Grant Review Committee), (back row) Prentiss Lea (Superintendent), Ani Mattson (Foundation Trustee), Kris Blaser (Foundation Trustee), Matt McCarty (VHHS), John Pagani (VHHS), Peter Dawson (LHS), Kedric Greenawalt (VHHS), Robert Adams (LHS), Daniel Treptow (LHS), Chris Wolf (VHHS), Scott Overbeck (Foundation Trustee), Kaarn Luce (Auxiliary Committee), Ronnie Edwards (Auxiliary Committee), Rita Fischer (Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction). Grant winners not pictured:  Brooke Gabris (VHHS), Shannon Etnyre (VHHS), Brandon Watters (VHHS), David Kreutz (LHS)