Austin Ed Fund, a champion of Austin ISD, has announced more than $120,000 in Innovation Grants to local teachers to support their most creative projects. Twenty-three AISD schools all over the city received grants for projects ranging from literacy programs to arts projects, social and emotional learning tools to cutting edge technology.
The 2019 Innovation Grant winners are as follows:
Allison Elementary: $9,510. STEAMSPACE: Keep Austin Coding. Throughout the year, students will lead and host robotics camps for other classmates. In the spring, students will compete in the First Lego League Robotics Competition.
Austin ISD Early Childhood Education Department: $3,327. Pre-K Structural Engineers. Allow teachers to set up dynamic block centers that let children plan, design and build creatively with hands-on materials.
Austin ISD Early Childhood Education Department: $4,774. Baby Doll Circle Time. All PK3 students in AISD will be provided the tools to implement this curriculum in both English and Spanish, enhancing the connection between caregivers and students and strengthening attachment through social play.
Austin High School: $1,350. Inclusion Innovation Project. Add sensory items and an inclusion awareness campaign to support high school students participating in Special Education.
Blazier Elementary: $1,741. Flexible Seating for Flexible Kindergarteners. Provide students with specialized seating needed to develop their collaborative skills and assist in keeping each child engaged.
Bowie High School: $3,348. Makerspace Mania. Create a STEAM makerspace to promote invention literacy and increase reading of nonfiction informational texts, create problem solvers and foster an inclusive community for all types of learners.
Brooke Elementary School: $5,000. Podcasting at Brooke. Help students cut down kids’ screen time and get them interested in something new.
Casey Elementary: $10,000. Outdoor Learning Lab. Allows for authentic student collaboration where students work together to create, build, experiment, analyze and discover learning.
Cunningham Elementary: $2,000. Coffee Shop Learning. Allow students to open a coffee business on campus, where they will learn about teamwork, entrepreneurship and TEK-based skills in math and ELA. Any profits made will be donated to nonprofits and charities in their community.
Dawson Elementary: $9,134. Music and Movement on the Playground. Enhance and enrich an early childhood playground with music, activity and exploration equipment that students can use during outside play and classroom activities.
Graham Elementary: $6,599. Dive into the Spring Lake. Connects reading fiction with themes of inquiry, nature and ecological understanding to guided authentic hands-on experiences in the field.
Kealing Middle School: $6,395. Code Remedies: MakeRx for Others. Advanced digital makers will design and create interactive exemplars of real-world phenomena for classes using kits, code and cardboard.
Lanier High School: $10,000. CineMath. Allow for innovative collaboration of mathematical and cinematic technology to expose students to an unforgettable hands-on STEAM learning expedition.
Maplewood Elementary:$8,000. One Size Does NOT Fit All. Serve many neuro-diverse students, including those on the autism spectrum, who’ll benefit from pet therapy, specialized equipment for nervous system regulation and environments designed for sensory sensitivities.
Martin Middle School: $710. The Family Portrait Project. Connect the photography program to a school-wide writing contest and address a need in the community to feel represented.
Mathews Elementary: $8,647. Creating a Positive Learning Culture through Sensory Breaks and Character Education. Provide a formal character education program to widen students’ apertures to see others and build positive relationships. Provides sensory kits and a sensory path in the hallway.
McBee Elementary: $10,000. Cross-Town Conversations. Create connections with diverse literature for 4th graders and connect cross-town pen pals at other AISD schools.
Reagan High School: $7,219. Equipping a Used CNC Mill with Modern Capability. Allow the engineering and auto-mechanic classes to fabricate custom metal parts.
Russell Lee Elementary School: $2,000. Wearing Improved Attention. Serve students with sensory integration or behavior issues by providing them with weighted vests, offering a deep touch pressure which has a calming effect on the central nervous system.
Russell Lee Elementary School: $854. Flexible Seating in the 21st Century Classroom. Facilitate better student learning and increase students’ attention span and critical thinking ability.
St. Elmo Elementary: $2,000. Music Minds of Millennial Technology Is the Future. Provide crucial devices for kids to further their knowledge of music and technology, GarageBand, Soundtrap, etc.
Summitt Elementary: $5,394. Blasting off into Kinder with Countdown. Implement a robust phoneme and phonics program across all kindergarten classes to set students up with the skills they need for reading.
Travis High School: $2,000. Summer Math Acceleration. Provide students with the means to reach calculus in high school. Calculus is required of students who pursue STEM degrees in college.
Teachers receiving a grant were notified during surprise celebration visits at their schools. Applications for the 2020 cycle will open in February 2020. For more information, visit www.austinedfund.org.