The Missoula Education Foundation is very pleased to award the following grants in 2018-2019:
Lewis Nelson, Sentinel High School – Replace 50-year old Mouthpieces with New Ones – Students at Sentinel High School were playing on gear that was original to the school, from 1957. With not enough money in the regular budget to replace the old equipment, and a trip to Carnegie Hall looming, the Missoula Education Foundation funded nearly $4,000 in new equipment. The band is now able to play on the new equipment with confidence in their sound. These mouthpieces will last for years to come, and will have a lasting impact on student excitement and engagement in the musical curriculum at Sentinel High School.
Shirley Lindburg, All Schools – Building Bridges with Books! – Missoula has recently been identified as a refugee resettlement community, and in the last year and a half, MSPS has enrolled over 30 refugee youths. More are incoming every month. The children that arrive in Missoula’s classrooms from unimaginable circumstances abroad face the challenge of learning English in order to thrive in school, and build relationships with their peers, teachers, tutors, and others. Missoula Education Foundation is funding dual-language books to help accomplish this. Dual language books help support literacy development, and promote success in learning and in life.
Jesse Dochnahl, Big Sky High School – Band Music by Underrepresented Composers – The purpose of the Music by Underrepresented Musicians project is to acquire, study, practice, and perform music that is composed by historically marginalized artists, including women and people of color. Teacher Jesse Dochnahl asks, “Imagine how it feels to be a young music student in a band class that never performs music written by someone that looks like you?” In order to better represent the diversity of current and future music students, this project introduces students to composers that intersect with their own identities, and approaches music from a variety of inclusive perspectives and human experiences.
Leslie Snoke, C.S. Porter Middle School Technology in Art: Embracing the Future – In order to fully implement the shift from primarily creating to connecting and responding in the newly adopted Visual arts curriculum, the foundation provided a new set of tablets for students to practice and apply skills. This classroom resource will allow students to create digital portfolios where they record and document learning, as well as readily access contemporary and historical visual art collections online in museums, galleries and artist websites. Students can travel the globe virtually and discover a dynamic and interactive world of visual art that encourages participation and production of online content rather than merely consuming information through passive observation.
Kammy K. Meyers, C.S. Porter Middle School – School-wide Literacy Framework – “Our school will adopt a school-wide literacy framework for the school-year of 2018-2019. All students will be engaged in a literacy framework that involves three main components: Modeled teacher Read-Aloud with a focus on comprehension strategies, Student-choice Independent Reading or Small-Group Book Clubs, and Word Work with a focus on vocabulary and Greek and Latin roots.” The goal for this project is not only to increase reading achievement, but also to foster a community of life-long readers. Ms. Meyers hopes to ignite a passion for reading in everyone involved, including staff, students, and community stake-holders.
Alexandria Uerling, Cold Springs Elementary School – Increasing Attitudes and Perceptions of Scientists – Studies have shown reading literature about scientists, visiting scientists, and hands-on learning are beneficial in increasing perceptions. Education advocate Donna Farland’s (2006) research suggests exposing students to non-fiction literature about scientists positively increases students perceptions of scientists and science. This project will provide a collection of vetted non-fiction literature about scientists to expose students to positive and diverse views of who scientists are and the work they do.
Debbie Hendricks, Hellgate High School Julius Caesar–Military Genius – The Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman has a special exhibit from Florence, Italy on Julius Caesar titled “Military Genius and Mighty Machines.” Included in this exhibit are recreated artwork and frescoes, recreated models to scale, and over 50 interactive machines. Students will see/touch/interact with the life, culture and engineering genius of the Roman Empire, 2000 years ago. This is a way to bring Italy and the past to Montana students.
Linsey Myers, Lewis and Clark Elementary – Lewis & Clark Mountain Mastery Team – Educators at Lewis and Clark have been developing a rock climbing team to help students succeed in school by learning leadership skills. Student who would benefit from building confidence, learning a new skill, learning to work through challenges, participating on a team, being encouraged to be a leader, learning to take risks will benefit from the rock wall. Student will also have 1:1 positive attention from adults and will develop life success strategies through the practice of rock climbing. Practicing these skills on the rock wall helps students generalize the same skills to the classroom, and to life. Students are gaining pride, confidence, and a sense of belonging at school.
Tanya Johnson, Lowell Elementary – Bringing Science to Life – These are lab materials to bring the NGSS standards to life. Students will be focusing on the solar system, on matter and elements. The materials will be used so students can be scientists in the classroom, observing for themselves various phenomenons as we experiment and observe. Through inquiry based instruction, students will be able conduct hands on experiences that help them understand the content: this is learning “beyond the textbook” where students will be able to apply learning to actual experiments and materials.
Kimberly Olson, Paxson Elementary – Next Generation Science Through the Seasons – Foundation funds will supply 5th graders with the necessary equipment and scientific know-how to conduct multiple trials of fun experiments, and expand NGSS classroom experiences to include year-long monitoring projects in the outdoors.
Daniel Lande, Sentinel High School – Unleashing Creativity with Laser Cutting and Engraving – A laser cutter/engraver is a key component in the fabrication lab or makerspace. In fact, to achieve MIT’s Fab Lab designation, it is a required tool. The number of things that can be created using a laser cutter is limited only by one’s imagination. Being able to have one accessible to our STEM programs would untether student potential and allow them to unleash their inner maker, artist, and designer.
Lori Ann Lynch and Jay Anderson, Washington Middle School – Winter Ecology This program is designed to help students understand the challenges that winter presents to plants, animals, and human communities. Through this outdoor, hands-on educational curriculum, students will engage in STEM related activities such as how water cycles through Earth’s systems, what the snowpack patterns for the Missoula area are, and the long-term climate patterns for our region. With the use of snowshoes, students will be able to access where snowpack levels are more prominent and can be measured accurately.
Joanne Boyles, Wilard High School – Breakout EDU kit – Students will use logic and reasoning skills to solve subject based clues provided as part of the Breakout EDU classroom kit. This kind of activity reinforces the practical applications of lessons and subject matter, and draws students in to the relevancy of classroom learning. Purchasing extra platform access licenses will allow this project to run for 5 years in Joanne Boyles’ classroom, benefitting many students over the course of years.