Adopt A+ Grants

Adopt A+ GrantsYour support of the Virginia Beach Education Foundation (VBEF) helps fund innovative and creative learning programs for Virginia Beach students. See how teachers’ grant projects educate, engage and inspire children by reviewing the grant booklets, articles and videos posted on this page. To discuss how you or your organization can support new opportunities for students and staff, contact VBEF coordinator Debbie Hughes at 263-1337 or

School + Community Super Grants

Virginia Beach Juvenile Detention Center and American Heart Association
Fit into the Zone
To improve physical education, students will utilize the Heart Zones System, a fitness technology and data-driven program that tracks heart rate, exercise target zones, total exercise and steps/miles biked in order to engage and motivate today’s digital students to pursue safe and healthy active lifestyles. One outcome of the program is for students to utilize the Expresso Interactive Upright Indoor Bike’s fitness data to integrate math concepts such as graphing and comparing in the form of a blended classroom composed of health and physical education, mathematics and the online data resources and interactive roads provided by both Expresso and Heart Zones.

Parkway Elementary School and Twin Canals Community Center
Learning Is a Playground
The Lu Interactive Playground will place students in supervised situations where social emotional skills are constantly being used during game play both in the health and physical education setting during the school year and during the summer with the community partnership. Students will learn to share and take turns, resolve disagreements appropriately, use positive communication skills with peers, learn self-regulations and social emotional skills through specific Lu Playground games and apps, develop teamwork skills and develop impulse control. Providing an opportunity for supervised recreation during the summer months will also help reduce the summer slide students experience with social-emotional skills.

Schoolwide Grants – Spring


Astro Futures Lab: Launching Students into Computer Science
Fara Faust
Underwriter: Youth Services Club of Virginia Beach
A school club for first through fifth grades will provide students with opportunities to embrace the new Virginia Standards of Learning for Computer Science and get a head start on their futures. Students will be introduced to computer programming and other tech-related areas such as electronics and green-screen storytelling while enjoying real-life experiences by using programmable robots, programmable electronic kits and a green screen for video making.

Physical Education & Technology
Brittany Bunting
Underwriter: Optima Health
Students will use Chromebooks and optical heart rate monitors to track, assess, set goals and maintain their individual levels of fitness. This physical education and technology program will promote innovative learning by providing opportunities for personalized goal setting, student self-assessment and creative opportunities related to individual, paired and group activities.

The Educators Learning Lab
Jennifer Nardelli
Underwriter: RRMM Architects
The Educators Learning Lab, which integrates an early childhood classroom and a professional development lab, will help Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTfT) students train for a career in education and model effective teaching practices. The remainder of the space will serve as a working lab for current and future educators in which professional learning opportunities may take place.

Leveraging Learning with iPads
Olivia Coronato
Underwriter: HII Technical Solutions Division
Computational thinking is algorithmic, complicated, authentic and problem-solving at its best, and technological literacy is an important 21st century skill. Through the use of iPads, BrainPads and drones, students will connect what they are learning to the five Cs: communication, collaboration, citizenship, creativity and critical thinking. Some of the tasks students will participate in through this project include simulating weather, coding instruments and analyzing data.

Full STEAM Ahead!
Mary Sutterluety
Underwriter: HII Technical Solutions Division
Field trips are an engaging learning experience. Traditionally, they are connected to a standard or unit of study, usually confined to one class. The enrichment journeys through this grant will focus on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) topics and locations, which tend to be authentic and cross-curricular. Through these field trips, students will see how what they are learning in their classes translates to the real world.

Mindful Kid Kits
Kim Bielmann
Underwriter: MassMutual Commonwealth
Teachers across grade levels and services will complete professional learning through the international organization Mindful Schools. This training helps teachers establish a personal mindfulness practice and then provides them with a curriculum and lifetime support network. The cohort will not only teach their students the skills of mindfulness, but also assist other teachers with developing a practice and guiding their students.

Garden Guardians Makin’ Sustainable Attainable
Kim Bielmann
Underwriter: Checkered Flag Motor Company
Landstown Elementary School has worked to create outdoor learning spaces that are sustainable in nature and provide multiple opportunities for students to explore, experiment and practice gardening skills while observing the cycle of life. This space contains a vegetable garden with a greenhouse, a shed with a living roof, a pollinator garden with honeybees and a fruit orchard.

STREAM School Garden
Heather Follante
Underwriter: MassMutual Commonwealth
The STREAM Garden is an accessible, schoolwide garden to prepare students to combat the many pressing and escalating environmental challenges they will soon inherit such as climate change, the end of cheap energy, loss of biodiversity and the depletion of resources. The integration of Virginia Beach City Public Schools curriculum across disciplines through this project will help tie subjects together in a way that makes sense to students and will make instruction more effective for teachers.

Raised Garden Bed for Students with Disabilities
Sidney Kinser
Underwriter: S.B. Ballard Construction Company
The raised garden bed will allow the integration of students with special needs and their non-disabled peers to work collaboratively together to design, build and sustain a garden that is accessible to all students. Students will work together to create a runway over the grass for students in wheelchairs to access the garden, design garden tools for students with mobility deficits and collaborate with local gardening organizations.

P³: A Pencil, a Promise and a Passion
Kristi Patton
Underwriter: HBA Architecture & Interior Design
Grade 12 students will read the book, The Promise of a Pencil, as they work toward completing their Passion Project, which requires students to assess problematic issues occurring both globally and locally, research areas of interest and personally make a positive impact toward solutions. Students will receive support to discover their own passion through guided field trips to give an authentic perspective on possible solutions.

Raise an Oyster…Save a Bay!
Melinda Pezzella
Underwriter: Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union
The Chesapeake Bay now has excess nutrients and sediments that lead to poor water health. With this project, students will raise live oysters for seven months and then transplant them onto a reef in the local waterway. Throughout the year, students will measure the oysters’ growth, test water quality and remove unwanted species. This authentic learning experience allows students to understand ecosystems while also restoring environmental quality.

Can You Rigamajig It?
Tania Vadala
Underwriter: Beach Windows & Siding
Rigamajigs are hands-on, large-scale building kits that contain wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts and rope. With this project, third grade students will become engineers as they are given tasks to create products to solve real-world problems. Combined with their unit on simple machines, students will have the opportunity to utilize these machines firsthand within their creation and discover how they make work easier.

Innovative Learning Grants


STEM Stations
Julie Finucan
Underwriter: PACE Collaborative P.C.
Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) stations, which include building brick challenges and create-a-chain reaction and fairy tale problem-solving activities, help first grade students be successful inside and outside the classroom by allowing them to explore how and why things work while peaking curiosity about the world around them. By promoting an innovative mindset while increasing critical thinking and real-world problem-solving skills, students are engaged in a hands-on approach to learning to work collaboratively with their peers.

Let Your Imagination Soar
Krisha Loftus and Amy Ricks
Time spent with long-flying time drones with cameras will encourage students’ imaginations to soar as they capture aerial footage and collect data for school projects. Additionally, students will develop fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination to improve many other skills such as reading, writing, balance, sense of direction and spatial problem-solving. Students’ familiarity with drones will prepare them to fill the future industry needs in the workplace.

Physical Education & Technology
Brittany Bunting
Underwriter: Optima Health
Students will use Chromebooks and optical heart rate monitors to track, assess and maintain their individual levels of fitness as well as to set goals. This physical education and technology program will promote innovative learning by providing opportunities for personalized goal setting, student self-assessment and creative opportunities related to individual, paired and group activities.

"Core" Goals for Physical Education
Kelly Bradley
With the assistance of manipulatives such as Terra Core trainers, students in health and physical education classes will design and implement individualized fitness programs while developing important self-assessment, communication and collaborative skills. This grant program will ensure that educational experiences are personalized to students’ interests, abilities and needs to create a learning environment for educational goals to increase.

Oh, the Places You Will Go! Virtual Reality – Connecting Content and Writing
Angelia Ragland and Pat Norfleet
This virtual reality project will create experiences that can provide a unique pathway of learning to help students clearly communicate their learning and engage in the writing process, which is supported by personal experiences, interactions and emotions. This project will provide students with an immersive experience to tap into their emotions and build knowledge about a topic.

Mini-Makers on the Go
Kaitlin Jensen and Amy Rille
Underwriter: RRMM Architects
Students will develop maker mindsets by using computer science and building materials—Keva Brain Builder Junior sets, Beebot mats and Goobi Magnetic Construction kits—to encourage innovation, collaboration and communication. The Makerspace movement prepares students for success in the real world by building problem-solving skills and teaching them to persevere in the face of adversity. By acquiring maker mindsets in elementary school, students will be able to utilize globally-competitive skills throughout their lives.

The Educators Learning Lab
Jennifer Nardelli and Ana Cingel
Underwriter: RRMM Architects
The Educators Learning Lab, which integrates an early childhood classroom and a professional development lab, will help Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTfT) students train for a career in education and model effective teaching practices. The addition of a professional learning library and access to the latest technology will allow for research on current educational practices and will help students and teachers alike to find the best teaching strategies to promote personalized learning.

VTfT STEM Olympics
Jennifer Nardelli
Underwriter: Quality Stone Concepts
High school students, in partnership with Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTfT), will lead elementary students to engage in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning activities and field experiences, as well as social and emotional learning opportunities. Aspiring teachers will pair with elementary students to impart globally competitive STEM skills, and VTfT students will design STEM lessons for various levels centered around collaboration, student centered learning and experiential learning opportunities.

Understanding Electricity in a SNAP!
Beth Smith and Kristina DeMoss
Reading about science is not as fun, memorable or engaging as doing science. Mastering complex concepts having to do with resistors, capacitors, transistors, motors, integrated circuits, switches, series circuits, parallel circuits, batteries, relays and transformers are not intuitive until you begin building with them. Snap Circuit Kits will allow students to build hundreds of experiments so they get meaningful hands-on experience with electricity.

Makey Me an Engaged Learner
Beth Smith
Imagine creating a game controller to play a Standards of Learning (SOL) review game that you created with your team using the programming language Scratch. This dream is possible with Makey Makey, an electronic invention tool that allows students to connect everyday objects to computer programs. Using a circuit board, alligator clips and a USB cable, this technology uses closed-loop electrical signals to interact with any program that accepts keyboard or mouse clicks.

Doodle All Day – Thinking in Three Dimensions
Beth Smith
Underwriter: Speight, Marshall & Francis P.C.
Using 3Doodler 3D Pen Sets, students will be able to illustrate 3D concepts in math, history, literature and science, which will provide them with a tangible means to explore complex ideas. When learning about 3D shapes, simple machines, force and motion, Greek or Roman architecture or the characters and settings of novels, students will be able to create meaningful, authentic and relevant structures that demonstrate understanding in three dimensions.

Sparking Learning with Micro:bits
Kristina DeMoss
Micro:bit Kits and boards, which are pocket-sized computers that students can code, customize and control, give students the opportunity to learn coding and computer science in engaging ways. Students will not only build models using these kits but also will learn and apply knowledge of coding. The addition of the Climate Bundle will allow students to utilize the models as weather stations/sensors to collect and analyze real-time weather and temperature data.

Action-Based Learning: Moving to Lear
Rebecca Teger and Chris Lille
Underwriter: Jersey Mike’s
An action-based learning lab is a research-based curriculum that supports the link of movement and physical activity to increased academic performance. It promotes the use of the whole brain while learning. It also contributes to social-emotional development. Through the use of the lab, students will participate in activities based on movements that have been noted to have an impact on brain development and to increase brain-body coordination.

More Blogging and Book Talking
Edgar Jumper
Underwriter: Dominion Energy
Students will develop an appreciation for reading and strengthen their communication, creativity and critical-thinking skills by giving presentations about books to their classroom peers in addition to writing blogs and creating Flipgrid videos. Students will also work collaboratively to create campaigns to encourage their peers throughout the school to not only read more, but also enjoy reading on a daily basis.

Suzanne Buhner and Edgar Jumper
Underwriter: Towne Insurance
Ready, Set, Potcast! is a student-crafted project designed by students who want to create podcasts to share what they learn about social studies and science. Using Chromebooks, noise-canceling headphones and condenser microphones, students will further develop their communication, collaboration and critical-thinking skills while developing podcasts on topics such as early Virginia, aspects of green gold (tobacco production), Civil War spies, relationships between Virginia Indians and newly-arrived Englishmen and reconstruction after the Revolutionary War.

Dey Elementary School
Make, Measure and Accelerate! Using Motion Sensors and Circuit Kits to Code
Tim Bakner and Edgar Jumper
Underwriter: Dominion Energy
Through the use of Cubelets, Bloxels, Kindle Fires and various additional mediums, students will work in a collaborative environment to foster their creativity, critical thinking, citizenship and communication skills. These materials will enhance the performance tasks in curriculum by providing opportunities for students to use digital tools. Students will bridge their perceived gaps between literacy and STEAM as they complete authentic real-world tasks, becoming innovators of the future.

STEM – Students Building RAMAN Spectrometers to Test Chemical Spills in Water
Cecilia Ciceraro
Underwriter: Sheila & Steve Magula
Students will design and produce a RAMAN Spectrometer to analyze the main compound in their chosen community’s contaminated waterway. Students will be responsible for every aspect of this project, which will encompass the entire school year. Students will be assessed for their final product and for their ability to work in a group setting as well as staying on task.

Art on the Mini Golf Course
Melinda Liebau
Underwriter: Beacon Harbor Wealth Advisors
This grant supports an interdisciplinary unit that involves students from three classes: Geometry, Art 10 and Design Tech. Students will learn from each other about their disciplines as they incorporate math and art into the creation of a five-hole mini golf course to advance the appreciation of artwork while playing the game.

Flying High with STEM
Barbara Griffin
Underwriter: Kimley-Horn
Students of Boys in Motion, an after-school program implemented to target groups with academic gaps in reading, math and science as well as social/emotional competencies, will attend an iFLY STEM lab, using hands-on, full-body learning experiences that convert the classroom theory to real-world applications. This STEM activity is designed to strengthen students’ understanding of STEM and how it is used every day in the world.

Young Epidemiologists
Laura Purvis and Michelle Pfeifer
Using the skills and methods of epidemiologists, students will collect and analyze data as it relates to absenteeism reported as illnesses due to symptoms indicative of bacterial and viral infections. This work will be completed with support from community members, including an infectious disease specialist. Students will collaborate to develop an action plan to minimize student absenteeism caused by preventable illness with the intent to improve student achievement within the school population.

Vocabulary edVenture
Betsy Morris
Underwriter: The Breeden Company
The Vocab Lab will support the universally acknowledged fact that vocabulary has a direct correlation to literacy. Using kinesthetic activities, games, competitions and innovative and engaging adaptive digital tools, teachers will create a program of instruction and assessment that allows them to provide individualized lessons to students. Students’ ability, growth and performance will be tracked via Membean, an online vocabulary study, to enhance their learning.

Uke Can Do It! The Road to Success through Ukulele in the Classroom
John Fritz
The ukulele is an ideal instrument for beginners and for learning to play music from all over the world. It helps children to work cooperatively, think creatively, develop literacy skills and mathematical pattern recognition as well as gain a deeper understanding of other cultures. Playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory and motor cortices.

Stepping into STEM Robotics
Nicole Cabral and Terri Troia
Underwriter: GET Solutions Inc.
Using Lego WeDo sets, fifth grade students will combine math and science in new and exciting ways to prepare for STEM Robotics. Choosing a problem to solve, they will develop and use models that allow them to focus on their prior experiences to solve new problems. Once they have completed their investigations, they will be critical thinkers and analyze and interpret the data they find.

Coding with Kinders
Nicole Cabral
Using Lego Education’s trainset, students will learn through their love of play, the new Computer Coding Standards for K-12 and the 21st century Early Learning framework. Students will design trains and accessories in a variety of different ways and include coding bricks to program the train to stop, change direction and honk its horn. Chromebooks will allow students to access additional activities that incorporate music and math, educational journeys and character development.

Break-Out of the Ordinary
Nicole Cabral
Breakout EDU is an immersive learning game platform that brings the challenges of an escape room to the classroom. One feature of the platform is the use of Breakout Boxes, locked boxes that require students to think critically to unlock them. Available in physical and electronic formats, Breakout Boxes will incorporate clues and activities related to SOLs that will encourage students to learn in various ways that meet their own preferred learning styles.

Global Learning in Kindergarten
Jacqui McGuire-Day
This project will connect one kindergarten class in Virginia Beach to students in another country. Students will listen to folk tales, stories and myths from different cultures and explore how they can engineer solutions to rescue storybook characters. They will share and compare their design challenges with their global partner class through a series of video exchanges and learn about each other’s lives and cultures in the process.

The EVO-lution of Coding
Jacqui McGuire-Day and LeAnn Cornell-Burdick
Underwriter: Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union
Ozobots EVOs are small programmable robots that students control by creating code. Lessons will be tailored for students in grades K-5 to provide them with more opportunities for critical and creative thinking and problem solving. Learning to code also helps students learn about the digital world and prepares them for the jobs of the future.

Creation Station—Finding Our Place in an Innovative Space
Sandra Whitney and Dana Hand
Underwriter: Waller Todd & Sadler, a Woolpert Company
The Creation Station will provide a space for intrinsically engaging learning experiences in engineering design and STEAM-based projects. Working with easily accessible materials, students will take risks, experiment and design within a framework for rigorous, authentic learning activities that are intentionally integrated into the curriculum. The Creation Station will foster communication along with critical and creative thinking, problem-solving and other globally competitive skills.

Doing Things Differently
Kim Winingear
Underwriter: Lifetouch
Breakout EDU is an innovative approach to teaching students any objective and applying learning in a unique way. It is similar to an escape room, only students have to unlock locks on a box to see what is inside instead of trying to get out of a room. To succeed, students must collaborate with each other and use problem-solving and critical-thinking skills to solve a clue related to current classroom instruction.

Transform the Learning Environment with VR Headsets
Meri Riddick and Jennifer Leary
Students enrolled in the help desk independent study course will develop a virtual reality (VR) program, offering 3D and 360º experiences that will transform the learning environment for students and staff. The VR environment bridges the gap between classroom walls and authentic experiences. Students will work to make this technology (with its limitless resources) available to their peers through classrooms and the makerspace.

Trades and Grades—Integrative Fun (TGIF)
Scott Sonier
This project is geared toward engaging students who are not college bound, but instead may be headed to a skilled trade in the public or private sector after graduation. It will focus on hands-on activities including planning, creating, trouble-shooting and using tools and instruments on projects they initiate and those associated with technology education. This will also help extend the capabilities of current resources in an innovative environment while integrating core course contents.

Hummingbird Robotics: iDesign, iCreate, iCode, iBuild Robots
Elizabeth Labiak and Nicole Glaser
Underwriter: PACE Collaborative P.C.
The Hummingbird Robotics Kit combines science, technology, computer programming and coding along with engineering, art and math. It allows students to create, invent and design their own robots using a hummingbird kit, Chromebook and craft supplies. Whether students work individually or as a team, students will engage in authentic learning through interactions for students to connect, collaborate, create and learn.

Full STEAM Ahead
Jamie Young and Christina Troxell
Underwriter: WPL
This project will provide students with hands-on experience in piloting and coding for drones so they can develop the knowledge and skill sets necessary to use this technology in the future. Drones can be used to tackle a variety of learning goals as well as help younger students develop motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Older students can mentor younger students as they work together to accomplish tasks and computer science competencies.

Gifted STEM in the Wild: The EcoBus
Jared Fritzinger and Dianna McDowell
Underwriter: Quality Stone Concepts
The EcoBus is a student-designed STEM and sustainability classroom housed inside a decommissioned Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) bus. The focus of the EcoBus is to provide student-designed and student-led sustainability teaching that supports elementary science objectives in grades 2-5. The bus itself will also serve as a model of the VBCPS focus on the three-pillar model of sustainability by incorporating solar panels, re-purposed materials and an engine design that allows the bus to run on recycled vegetable oil.

The Stories of Our Umbrellas
Leigh Drake and Sarah Allard
Underwriter: RRMM Architects
Through this engaging project, gifted visual arts and fifth grade Virginia studies classes will learn about the importance of integrated art through the study of Virginia and the region. Students will develop personal art through vivid paintings created on umbrellas to reflect memories and stories of students’ own inspirations from places they have visited.

Buzzing with Excitement for Bee-Bots!
Susan Ruhl and Melinda O’Reilly
Underwriter: Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union
Bee-Bots are bright yellow bumblebee-looking robots that can be easily programmed using directional arrow buttons and give students the opportunity to engage in thinking logically and algorithmically to complete a variety of tasks. With Bee-Bots, students work collaboratively to program their robots with command sequences, making tasks more creative and complex as students hone their computational thinking and communication skills, engaging in dynamic learning scenarios that mimic real-world issues.

Global Compassion, Collaboration and Computational Thinking through LUV
Lauren Pate and Dianne Saal
Underwriter: Cherry Bekaert
Fifth graders will problem-solve energy issues in collaboration with global partners using the Level Up Village Global Inventors program. The student partners will collaborate via video conferencing to innovate solutions together to engineer solutions to real-world issues and collaboratively design and build solar-powered flashlights.

Little Free Library Literacy Warriors
Meghan Schweers and Stephanie Gill
This community project between middle and elementary students will allow students to practice their persuasion skills by choosing rich, engaging and age-appropriate books and convincing their peers to put them in the Little Free Library. Elementary students benefit from this project by gaining access to new high-interest books during the school year and during breaks. Middle schoolers will continue to foster a love of reading, as well.

Innovations in Growing Food
Kim Jones
Underwriter: The Breeden Company
The demand for organic produce is growing. The Innovations in Growing Food project will give students the opportunity to grow food in hydroponic, aquaponic and aeroponic systems. Food grown in regular soil will serve as a control. The plants will be tested for growth, yield, instance of disease and type as well as quantity of pests. These experiments will run concurrently with an IB (International Baccalaureate) Design unit that tasks students with solving a global problem related to overpopulation.

Path for Sensory Success
Amanda McCauley and Kathleen Tolar
Underwriter: Kiwanis Club of Norfolk Foundation
The Original Sensory Path comes with enough elements to stretch across 80–100 feet and is designed to fit in a typical hallway. It is designed to change a student’s body position as he/she completes the course by focusing on academic visuals while moving his/her body in a specific order. Through the implementation of the sensory path, all students will be able to learn self-regulating techniques to gain control of their emotions, calm down and refocus on learning.

"Dash"ing Up the "STEM"s of Success
Mercedes Rivera
Underwriter: Kiwanis Club of Norfolk Foundation
Dash robots and Snap Circuit Kits will be added to the school’s STEM lab to promote 21st century learning skills such as coding. The robots and kits will also be utilized to integrate the 5 Cs into inquiry- and problem-based lessons in the classroom. Students will have access during STEM lab times and for the after-school STEM and robotics club, expanding the culture of innovation in the school.

5th Grade Ukulele Ensemble
Herbert Tax
This project will develop a ukulele instructional unit for all fifth grade students as well as extracurricular ensembles. Music literacy skills that include rhythm reading, note reading, ensemble playing and critical thinking will be fostered along with social skills, including mentoring other students. Students will play both in solo and group settings with repertoire ranging from folk songs from various countries to arrangements of popular music and jazz.

Virtual Ventures
Jody Carroll and Leslie Allman
Students will utilize headsets, iPod touches and merge cubes to access various augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) experiences. These tools will enable students to deepen their understanding of the various units of study by allowing them to explore objects in three dimensions by immersing them in virtual reality experiences and by inspiring the creation of their own experiences. Exposing students to these technologies allows them to experience tools they may utilize in future careers.

Soft Start, Super Start!
Lisa Powers
With this project, students can jump-start their own brains for the academic day in a format of play or art while using classroom blocks and crayons. With some carefully chosen activities available, students can begin the day with clear minds and relaxed attitudes, creating an academic edge disguised in a low-key start. They can master and apply research and communication skills as they explore the play-work connection.

"Breakout" from the Mundane
Jody Carroll and Leslie Allman
Students will learn games that bring the escape room into the classroom. These activities will engage students in authentic problems through game scenarios. While unlocking differing kinds of locks on the Breakout Box, they will utilize collaboration, critical thinking, content knowledge and communication, and show good citizenship by working well with other students and allowing all members of the team to participate.

Leslie Allman and Jody Carroll
Underwriter: Waller Todd & Sadler, a Woolpert Company
An expansion of Princess Anne Elementary School’s STEM-oriented makerspace will include arts in engineering opportunities and technology related to visual arts and music. In addition to a drawing/sculpture station, students will have access to Specdrums, app-connected rings that turn colors into sounds, and Oculus, an all-in-one gaming system built for virtual reality. With these two items, curricular connections are endless. Students will be inspired to consider new career fields with the use of these tools.

Amanda Booth and Donna Chapa
Underwriter: GeoEnvironmental Resources
Gridlock will task students to see a viable solution to an overloaded power grid. They will be challenged to create a town that has a practical and energy-efficient layout. This will require them to communicate and collaborate as they design, calculate and construct their town and provide power to buildings. Throughout the entire project, students will need to use their creativity and critical-thinking skills.

Rockets to the Rescue!
Amanda Booth
Underwriter: Thompson Consulting Engineers
Developed by the University of Arizona, Rockets to the Rescue! engages youth to explore the field of aerospace engineering. Students will design a rocket that will take people and supplies safely to an island that has been devastated by a natural disaster. To be successful, students will determine the rocket’s launch angle, the amount of pressure needed to return the supplies and astronauts safely and how to pack supplies so they remain in good shape throughout the flight.

Building Brains and Bridging Connections with STEAM
Heather Wren and Lindsey Olinda
Underwriter: Thompson Consulting Engineers
The Building Brains and Bridging Connections through STEAM project provides topics, tools and technology for student exploration—the building blocks of learning. Students will interact with self-selected real-world challenges, evaluate possible options and use critical-thinking skills to create solutions. Students will be encouraged to share their learning with their peers and parents. Parent involvement is encouraged through innovative and alternative avenues to promote increased participation and shared experiences related to learning.

Collaboration Station: Community-Based Intervention for Social Skill Development
Victoria Sachar-Milosevich
Underwriter: Lifetouch
Students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and emotional disabilities often struggle to make personal connections and to develop appropriate social-skills. The Collaboration Station will include classroom activities to foster social-emotional behaviors and community-based learning events such as trips to museums, theaters and art shows to practice the learned behaviors in the community. Following each event, students will share their experiences through videos, art and group reflections.

The Hero’s Heritage
Sharon Byrd and Lynette Voloudakis
Theatre, Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and catering students will collaborate with the military community to explore personal stories and experiences. Students will design culminating performances to honor the military community, conduct and submit interviews to the Library of Congress and explore career opportunities and the impact of military families. Students will engage in civic and service-oriented activities as an innovative approach to curriculum.

Making News: Connecting with the Community through Online Student Journalism
Kathleen Trace
Underwriter: Lifetouch
In order to gain globally competitive skills and learn industry standards, journalism students need to practice modern journalism: online story writing, digital photography, design and advertising. Students will collaborate to decide how a digital paper can best serve the school community and how to implement those ideas. To prepare students for college and careers, moving to an online publication is needed as the majority of news publications are now primarily online.

Citizen Science — Life through the Macro Lens
Carol Macdonald and Cynthia Kube
Citizen science projects have become increasingly important to the advancement of scientific understanding, particularly of interactions in the environment. In this project, students will use macro photography as a scientific tool to capture and analyze images of organisms and habitats. Data can then be shared through images and scientific statements with the school and local community.

Augmenting Our Learning
Deana Hubbell and Danielle Devereaux
3DBear is an augmented reality (AR) application that uses a camera in a tablet to overlay objects—characters, scenery and animations—onto the physical world and allows users to interact with those objects, which provides teachers the opportunity to create meaningful learning activities. Students can create scenes that demonstrate their learning by manipulating objects and sharing their knowledge. This technology connects students to the environment around them and helps them see things in different ways.

Farm-to-Table Garden
Cynthia Dufour
Underwriter: Jersey Mike’s
The school garden club from third through fifth grades will be responsible for planting, maintaining and harvesting vegetables and fruits to be served in the school cafeteria. Students will establish a successful composting program, recycling uneaten organic food into an outdoor compost bin. The farm-to-table garden will allow students to participate in positive, healthy environmental food practices as they experience harvesting fresh, organic food.

We Are Global Learners and Storybook Engineers
Deana Hubbell and Danielle Devereaux
Underwriter: Speight, Marshall & Francis P.C.
This project works with Level Up Village, an organization that facilitates global STEAM collaboration between students around the world. Working with students in another country, second graders will collaborate and communicate with one another through Global Storybook Engineers, curriculum that focuses on solving design challenges. Students will also have the opportunity to learn about their partner’s country, which will broaden their global view of the world in which they live.

Zoob Challenge and Chatter
Leslie Wildman
Underwriter: Outback Steakhouse, Red Mill
This project is an innovative approach to grounding morning meetings. Zoob Cars, Zoob Bots and Zoob 250 will be used in small group settings in early morning soft starts, where students will have the opportunity to share how they adapted their building skills in a safe, interactive space. Growth mindset and social-emotional needs are supported in the building experiences as students face challenges and meet with success.

UKE Can Do IT! Ukulele Instruction for Elementary Students
Lindley Fox
Students who participate in musical activities gain a feeling of accomplishment. Learning to play the ukulele is a fun way to learn to make music. Additional benefits are improved hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills along with better concentration, stress relief and a sense of achievement and happiness. Students will work cooperatively, think creatively, develop literacy skills and gain deeper understandings of other cultures.

Second Life Sustainable Outdoor Power Equipment
Timothy Kennedy
Underwriter: Virginia Beach Education Association
In this activity, students will pair up to form companies that use the technical skills, tools and resources that have become commonplace today and will be required in future small engine repair shops to diagnose and fix small engines. These companies will write work orders, run diagnostics to determine the scope of work, perform the work and keep records. Units deemed beyond economic repair will be recycled in an environmentally safe manner.

A heARTful Memory
Megan Bailey
This project will allow students the opportunity to participate in the Memory Project, a program dedicated to promoting intercultural awareness, friendship and kindness between children around the world. Through this project, students will partner with students from a part of the world that is culturally very different from their own and exchange original works of art, reflective of the theme of friendship and happiness, opening their eyes to how art is a language that connects the world.
Rigamajigs are hands-on, large-scale building kits that contain wooden planks, wheels, pulleys, nuts, bolts and rope. With this project, third grade students will become engineers as they are given tasks to create products to solve real-world problems. Combined with their unit on simple machines, students will have the opportunity to utilize these machines firsthand within their creation and discover how they make work easier.

SEE it! SAY it! SHARE it!
Leanne Bolin and Berkley Wheeler
Through this program, a core communication board will be installed on the school playground, allowing students to see visuals, say words and share communication with others. Included on the core communication board will be 60 pictured symbols, each paired with words, empowering students, teachers and the community with the ability to share in the support of building relationships, increasing communication and easing frustrations while on the playground.

"Uke" Can Play Ukelele!
Gina Lane
A ukulele instructional unit for all fifth grade students will be created along with an extra-curricular ensemble. Students will be given the opportunity to play in both solo and group settings with repertoire ranging from folk songs from various countries to arrangements of popular music and jazz. Music literacy skills, including rhythm and note reading, ensemble playing and critical listening, will be fostered and social skills will be developed through teamwork and peer mentoring.

Learning Comes Alive with Lego WeDo 2.0
Eleanor Richards
Underwriter: The Breeden Company
Lego WeDo 2.0 is a robotic Lego Coding set designed specifically for students in the primary grades. Students who use WeDo 2.0 are able to create various mathematical, scientific and social studies concept simulations by constructing models and coding them with compatible software on their Chromebooks. Real-world and life-cycle topics to be modeled include flood prevention, warning systems for impending storms and animating a frog’s life cycle.

Gina Lane and Megan Bailey
Underwriter: Patsy & Jim Slaughter
The SpecTRUMS and SpecDRUMS project will allow students to combine art and music. They will use their knowledge of the color spectrum to create collaborative works of art inspired by the artist Wassily Kandinsky, who believed hues of colors were directly inspired by musical sounds. Students will then turn their art into musical compositions using Specdrums, app-enabled rings that turn colors into music with a simple tap.

Building Innovative Minds at Innovation Station
Kellie Weisenbeck and Stephanie Wyman
Underwriter: Catherine’s Catering
This project will provide materials and equipment to establish an Innovation Station for K-5 students. The Innovation Station will focus on the use of technology tools, including 3D printers, robotics, coding and AR/VR, to foster a love of learning in students. The station will provide materials for students to innovate, problem-solve, collaborate and create. Students will be given opportunities to direct their own learning paths through engaging and high-interest challenges.

Archive of Prior Grant Awards

Grants in Action (videos)

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