Recent Grants

Kathryn Behan
Thompson Middle School
“Gods and Heroes”

To conclude their study of ancient Egypt, visual art, carbon dating, and heroes and protagonists, eighth graders visited the RISD Museum to view its ancient Egyptian galleries and experience its “Gods and Heroes” guided tour. After the visit, students worked in groups to write reflections and create a visual display related to the theme of their group.

Kathryn Behan
Thompson Middle School
“Neolithic Revolution”

Students created board games that explored concepts relevant to the Neolithic Revolution. They mastered the use of timelines and chronology in the Common Era and Before Common Era, and used their knowledge of the Neolithic Revolution to explain how production shapes human interaction and historically analyze the context of inequality and why it exists.

Anthony Borgueta
Thompson Middle School
“Animal Research Project”

Students related their ecosystems unit to a specific animal by creating websites that featured their animal’s biosketch, habitat, population, competition, adaptations, food chain and food web. The project culminated in a trip to Southwick Zoo, where students conducted an on-site behavioral study of their animal and evaluated their animal’s enclosure.

Bethany Borgueta
Rogers High School
“Empowering Biology With Biotechnology”

Students learned micro pipetting and gel electrophoresis techniques while engaging in a case study to test a fictional family for sickle cell disease. They learned about genetic inheritance, genes and disease, genotype to phenotype, protein structure and function, natural selection, molecular diagnostics and biotechnology. Students were evaluated by formative assessment of pre-laboratory questions and laboratory practices and summative assessment of post-laboratory questions after DNA visualization and questions using Punnett squares and pedigree analysis.

Colleen Crotteau
Pell Elementary School
“Around the World With the Gingerbread Man”

English language learners explored multicultural versions of “The Gingerbread Man” and compared literary elements such as characters, setting and ending. They also created a class book retelling the story to share and reenact with props. The project culminated with students decorating their own gingerbread man cookies. These activities helped the students develop and increase their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills.

Candace Lewia
Thompson Middle School
“Lego Robotics”

Lego robotics kits incorporate computer science, engineering design, physical science and coding into lessons that can be molded to meet diverse needs. Students engaged in hands-on/minds-on activities that required critical thinking and problem-solving skills as they worked collaboratively to complete the lessons.

Katherine Ringdahl
Rogers High School
“Museum of Science”

Students learn best by doing, and in that spirit this grant supported a day at the Museum of Science in Boston, one of the world’s largest science centers and New England’s most attended cultural institution. Many students had never been to Boston, visited a world-class museum or even been on a field trip.

Taylor Rock
Thompson Middle School
“A Broader Perspective: Adaptations and Ecosystems With Project Chick”

Students were introduced to the biology and ecology of chickens, birds in general and the cultural history of Casey Farm. In the classroom, they tracked the development of chickens from embryo to hatched chick and learned about the role of chickens in colonial America, how farms represent a change in natural ecosystems, and how they work as a mini ecosystem unto themselves. Students toured the 18th-century Casey Farm and explored Narragansett Bay’s ecology at the farm’s shoreline. They expanded their understanding to consider the complex nature of ecosystems and how human factors can affect the ecosystems in which we live.

Lee Russell
Thompson Middle School
“The Benefits of Flexible Seating”

Not all students thrive in classrooms with traditional seating. A flexible classroom is a learning environment that gives students the opportunity to choose the seating arrangements and options that best meet their needs. Flexible seating allows students to collaborate more easily with one another in a way that traditional seating does not permit. There are many other benefits to this arrangement, including an improvement to the physical health of students.

Aaron Sherman
Pell Elementary School
“Pell School Gardens”

In collaboration with Aquidneck Community Table, 400 students worked with master gardeners to understand plant life cycles; learn about food sustainability; grow, harvest, sample and share their own foods; contribute to their community through food donations and community beautification; understand how insects and other pollinators ensure strong crops; taste a variety of new foods; and learn about healthy food choices.

Melissa Turner
Thompson Middle School
“Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Rot … or Bust”

In this year-long unit, fifth graders learned that Rhode Island’s landfill is filling up quickly, and that unless we do something to reduce the amount of trash we are sending each year, the state will have nowhere to house its trash. They explored how reusing, reducing, recycling and rotting will decrease the amount of trash and positively impact our community and environment. Students visited the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation to gain a better understanding of just how much “trash” makes its way to the landfill each year.

Suzanne Wyatt
Pell Elementary School
“Enhancing Word Work in the Reader’s Workshop”

Phonics instruction, also referred to as “word work” or “word study,” is a critical component of literacy instruction. Through this project, second graders had the opportunity to explore phonics using research-based materials and activities to enhance the district reading program, “Into Reading.” These engaging activities supported a variety of learning modalities and included jumbo stamps, magnetic letters and words, letter building blocks, and plastic tiles to build words and sentences. Students learned phonics in small teacher-led groups as well as independent center groups.