STI Mini Grants Program
(formerly Innovation Incentive Awards)
The Scarsdale Teachers Institute Mini Grants Program enables teachers and other educators to:
APPLICATIONS ARE AVAILABLE HEREThere is no restriction on the number of proposals an applicant may submit.Each proposal is evaluated individually on merit.Awards are as follows:
- Design, implement and assess innovative projects aimed at improving learning and teaching
- Collaborate with colleagues
- Implement a Professional Performance Review Project
- Design an assessment, technology, cooperative learning, or other innovative project
Honoraria and reimbursements for materials are paid in June upon completion of the project.STI Mini Grant Timeline for 2019-2020:Applications Due: Friday, November 14, 2019Awards Announced: Monday, November 22, 2020Final Descriptions due from honorees for payment: June 5, 2020Presentations to the STI Policy Board: October or November 2020Innovation Incentive Awards 2017-2018
- Each member of the project (up to four people) is eligible for a $250 honorarium.
- In addition, the group can apply for up to $1000 for materials to implement the project.
Reporting on Immigration in America
Molly Earle, Edgemont Jr/Sr. High School
Gourds in Colonial America
Kim Kilcoyne, Seely Place School
Kathleen Fox, Seely Place (grade 2); Sandra Puglisi, Lucille Kettner, Seely Place (grade 3) and Jennifer Borella, Seely Place (grade 4)
Hydroponics in the Classroom
Lindsay Lugo, 6th Grade Science, Seely Place School
Bagels and Books
Tracie Castaldo, Fountain grade 7 English, Scarsdale Middle School and Marjorie Ross, Fountain Grade 8 English
Wellness and Music: Creating a Toolbox
Lindsay Blackhurst, Music Teacher Greenacres Elementary School
Janine Milo, Kristin Caldarola, Dana Corrigan, and Megan Matthews Quaker Ridge Elementary School
Unity Sculptural Weaving
Michelle Foligno, Art, Scarsdale High School
Integrating STEAM Activities into Grade 2 Curriculum Units
Carole Phillips, Librarian, Greenacres and Mindy Genovese, Teacher, Greenacres
Assistive Technology Toolkit
Megan Matthews, Special Education and John Calvert, Technology, Quaker RidgeInnovation Incentive Awards 2016-2017
Digital World Language Portfolios
Scarsdale Middle School
1st Century STEM: Roman Weapons of Math-Destruction
Edgemont Jr/Sr High School
Digital Mindfulness Toolbox
Sima Cass, Jeanne-Marie Castiello, Elliot Cohen, Michael Pincus,
Scarsdale Middle School
Development of Self-Regulation Skills in the K-1 Classroom
Janelle Brown, Edgewood and Jennifer Turetsky,
Movement Enhanced Learning in First Grade
Jim Borgia and Ann Cotty,
Engaging Physics Students with a Tactile Approach
Vanessa Blood, Robert Draper, Michael Egan and Joseph Vaughan
Scarsdale High School
Natalie Farina, Jodi Giroux and Kathleen McGreal
Scarsdale High School
Innovation Incentive Awards 2015-2016
Exploring Complex Processes in the Humanities
To purchase Little Bits in order to teach Harvard’s Project Zero “Agency By Design” thought routines. Teaching these thought routines using Little Bits helps humanities teachers to teach complex concepts such as grammar, analysis, and public policy in a simple and fun manner. By observation and experiment, students can figure out multiple ways the bits can go together in a sequence to do various things. Once students have had plenty of time for recording observations and analysis of the Little Bit circuits they have made, they can much more easily visualize the structure of an argument, or the ways that parts of a society fit together, or the relationship among parts of the government, or the parts of a sentence in English or Mandarin.
Kathleen Fox and Lin Fleisher
To combine the love of reading and literature with the love of experimentation and cooking using books such as the Amelia Bedilia series & Mystery (June Jam / Cam Jansen and the Wedding Cake Mystery, etc.) and sometimes recreating recipes highlighted in the stories. In learning how to read, interpret, respond to and rewrite recipes, students will expand their vocabulary and create their own memories and connections to story. Students will also incorporate science and experimentation into these lessons (“Edible Science” by National Geographic).
Wearables: Bringing Cutting Edge Technology to Scarsdale
Lisa Yokana, Christine Boyer, Paul Tomizawa, Lorella Lamonica, Matthew Fitzpatrick
From the Fit Bit to Google Glass, wearable or e-textile technologies are at the intersection of technology, electronics, physical computing and aesthetics. As Scarsdale looks to pull students into engineering, computer science, MakerSpaces and design, wearables are one way of attracting young women, a group that is traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields. This grant would allow us to buy materials and explore their capabilities. We would then write curriculum around these new technologies, as well as bring these technologies to faculty through STI courses and workshops. Wearables are an opportunity for us to attract young women into the engineering field and ignite their passion for technology.
Building a Universe of KindnessMichelle Gould, Linda Fisher, and Trish SerafinThe purpose of Kindness Matters, an interdisciplinary learning experience for Butler eighth grade students, is to promote a healthy sense of self and a safe middle school environment. By understanding, accepting, and reflecting on their developing identities, students will better be able to embrace with empathy and kindness the unique differences of others. Our goal is to benefit the students and to enrich the school community.
This project will teach students important elements of design and to explore 3D object creation on iPad using an app called 123D Design. Students will have the opportunity to print their creations, have them displayed in a gallery and ultimately take them home. Each elementary school now has 100 iPads, which will allow this project to take place on a large scale. The possibilities and future designers this project might spawn are exciting to ponder!
Connections! Linking Mathematics. Social Studies, Art, and Technology
Erik Arfsten and Jeanne-Marie Castiello
Based on the principles of STEAM Education we would like to develop a unit that will explore the connection between Greco-Roman Art/History, with Mathematics. This new sixth grade unit will unite abstract concepts of mathematics and the concrete historical aspects of social studies affording students the opportunity to make real world connections. Making history and mathematics come alive for students is a key part to not only their engagement in learning, but in inspiring students to become critical and creative thinkers. For many years educators have taught mathematics as an independent subject with little or no real connection to the outside world. This leads to students becoming disenfranchised and struggling with the fundamental elements of mathematics. Through this interdisciplinary unit of study students will be asked to question the world around them, and engage in discussions that focus on how math is relevant outside the classroom.
STI INNOVATION INCENTIVE AWARD RECIPIENTS 2014-2015
1. IMAGE, SOUND, AND STORY
Denise Del Balzo and Cara Hiller, Scarsdale Middle School
-To introduce a new learning framework in collaboration with Jacob Burns Film Institute that enhances students’ visual literacy skills and strengthens analytical thinking using short films, photographs and other types of media while deepening students’ appreciation of themes such as identity, the danger of a singe story (stereotyping, assumptions, bias), membership in a group (insider and outsider), and tradition versus progress.2. STAND UP FOR LEARNING
Pat Kuschman and Diane Rakoff, Greenville Elementary School
- To research and implement an innovative design change for the classroom by incorporating alternative workspaces for students who are not “sit down and work” learners but may need to channel their energy while standing up in a workspace more conducive to their needs
3. PLANTS AS THE LENS: TAKING CHOICE SCIENCE OUTDOORS TO THE SMS GARDEN AND CAMPUS
Kristin Martin, Scarsdale Middle School CHOICE Program
- To develop a yearlong research project in which students examine structures, cells, and evolutionary trends as they monitor garden and campus plant growth and soil quality and link weather conditions to food growth and sustainability
4. STUDENT-LED LEARNING USING iBOOKS AUTHOR
Vincent Modaferri, High School, and Erik Holvig, Greenacres Elementary
-To promote cooperative learning between the elementary and high school levels by having high school students learn iBook Author and share their findings with their Greenacres counterparts.
5. EXPLORING TIME-LAPSE PHOTOGRAPHY
Erik Holvig and Karen Pelekis, Greenacres Elementary
-To research the uses of time-lapse photography as a tool to help students tell a story, understand sequence, and visualize how nature, the classroom, and even they, themselves, change over time.
STI INNOVATION INCENTIVE AWARD RECIPIENTS 2013-2014
1. APP ACADEMY
Elyse Tenzer, Scarsdale Middle School
-To immerse seventh grade CHOICE students in an entrepreneurial environment that challenges them to design, build, and publish apps that connect to the service learning initiative at the Middle School.
2. CATHERINE ROAD STREAM: SCIENCE RESEARCH
Kristin Martin, Scarsdale Middle School CHOICE Program
-To develop a year-long action research project in which students monitor and assess the water quality of the Catherine Road stream on the SMS property with the goal of creating presentations to the Scarsdale community showing data over time that are indicators of stream life and possible contaminants.
3. CURLING IN ELEMENTARY PHYSICAL EDUCATION
Jim Borgia, Quaker Ridge School, Edgewood School, Heathcote School
-To integrate science, global history, technology, and physical fitness into the elementary physical education curriculum by introducing the lifetime and Olympic sport of curling.
4. THE DRUM CIRCLE EXPERIENCE
Michael Bianci, Edgemont BOE, Kathleen Fox and Jeremie Peace, Seely Place School
-To provide a unique opportunity for elementary students to explore the fun and musical learning that comes with being part of a drum circle group, a harmonious music-making community.
5. DUST BOWL BLUES
Janet Milliken, Constance Shelengian, Sharon Waskow – Scarsdale Middle School
-To integrate the history and music of the Depression era based on research and assessed through student composition and performance of 12-bar blues pieces using iPads and Garageband that demonstrate human response to environmental, economic, and personal disaster.
6. FACTA AUT FICTIONES: CREATING HISTORICAL FICTION IN LATIN 2
Jonathan Hansonbrook, Edgemont High School
-To use primary Latin source material in translation as a means to integrate factual evidence of the ancient Greco-Roman world into fictional narratives in the form of short stories.
7. GAMIFICATION IN THE ELEMENTRY SPANISH CLASSROOM
Aimee Lepe, Quaker Ridge School and Alyssa Scala, Fox Meadow School
-To translate the Clue board game language into Spanish in order to promote student conversational aptitude and to align with the elementary classroom curriculum.
8. IMPLEMENTING DESIGN PROCESS
Nicola Minchillo, Scarsdale High School
-To design an independent study project within the Senior Options Program that applies elements of the Stanford School of Design Process within a tutorial setting and that guides students through the investigation of a topic of interest and the presentation of a model TED Talk.
9. iTUNES U IN SCARSDALE
Erik Holvig, Heathcote School
-To enhance the Scarsdale schools’ presence in iTunes U by creating an online site that will showcase model student work for staff and community.
10. USING DIGITAL TOOLS TO ENRICH SCIENCE CURRICULUM
Karen Pelekis, Greenacres School
-To re-design and enrich the first grade Plant Life Cycle study through the integration of digital tools.
STI INNOVATION INCENTIVE AWARD RECIPIENTS 2012-2013
1. DIGITAL TINY TRAVELERSDiane Anda, Cathy Manin, William Yang - Greenacres School
-To introduce first graders to global studies using digital technology applied to a popular geography curriculum strategy, the Tiny Traveler, whereby students research international sites and symbols and post their findings for the class community on a website and interactive map.2. DIGITAL WRITERS WORKSHOP IN THE SECOND GRADE
John Calvert, Jennifer Cheung - Quaker Ridge School
-To create a digital publishing center for Quaker Ridge second graders that integrates technology into the Writers' Workshop curriculum.3. DIGITAL BUDDIES: CROSS-AGE PEER MENTORING AND APP CONSTRUCTIONMitch Crasson, Katen Pelekis, William Yang – Greenacres School-To arrange cross-age mentoring between first and fifth grade students for the collaborative creation of eBooks and apps in a study of classical myths that joins literacy, content area studies, and technology.4. ENCOURAGING PARENT/STUDENT ENGAGEMENT
Rose Farrell, Vivian Sonnenborn – Greenville School-To encourage parent/child participation in academic projects outside the classroom through shared learning experiences focusing on the fifth grade social studies program in both general and special education studies.5. TAKE ME WITH UKEKathleen Fox, Jeremie Peace - Seely Place School-To enhance the development of musical literacy in second graders - harmony, chords, group singing - while integrating the arts, language arts, social studies, and creative play through the use of the ukulele, an appropriate instrument for young children.
6. DIGITAL LANDSCAPES FOR CREATIVE PLAYKristen Martin - Scarsdale Middle School, CHOICE Program
-To engage Middle School CHOICE students in the design and construction of a dynamic art installation using digital and physical media that includes a light projection atelier for the Reggio Emelia curriculum in the Edgewood school.7. STEM Engineering in the Sixth GradeJeff Tuttle - Scarsdale Middle School
-To implement introductory STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) engineering-based activities for sixth grade students in partnership with Senior Options students from Scarsdale High School.
STI INNOVATION INCENTIVE AWARD RECIPIENTS 2011-2012
1. ALTERNATIVE ASSESSMENTS IN HEALTH EDUCATION
Art Nelson, Edgemont Jr/Sr High School
-To enable students to demonstrate and communicate their mastery of course content in health education through video podcasts that will also serve as alternative assessments to paper and pencil tests.
2. BUDDIES CREATING ART THROUGH MATHEMATICSAmanda Barry, Matthew Bernstein, Jillian Edwards, Lin Fleisher, Kathleen Fox, Kim Kilcoyne, Eileen Loveless, Seely Place School
-To develop an interdisciplinary and cross grade level unit of study integrating math and art for 2nd and 6th grade student partnerships as they research famous people and create artistic representations for display.3. CAMERA TRAPS AT THE WEINBERG NATURE PRESERVEVanessa Blood, Julie Chen, Richard Clark, Rika Konishi, Tammy Marchini, John Neering, Margaret Siegrist, Jeremy Szerlip, Scarsdale High School-To set up camera traps at the Weinberg Nature Center and Saxon Woods Park for the purpose of researching coyote migratory patterns.
4. COGNITIVE-LINGUISTIC METHODOLOGY FOR TEACHING NARRATIVE DEVELOPMENT ACROSS DISCIPLINESJennifer Benash, Lindsey Hicks, Jennifer Turetzky, Heathcote School
-To provide a systematic approach to instruction and intervention in narrative development and expository text comprehension for elementary students.
5. INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE TEACHING AND LEARNING IN ELEMENTARY EDUCATION
Kevin Blake, Peter McKenna, Stacey Wierl, Fox Meadow School-To integrate technology into physical education instruction, assessment, and student feedback by monitoring and documenting student progress toward gross motor skill development and physical fitness goals.6. OUTDOOR AQUATIC TESTING
Vanessa Blood, Julie Chen, Rich Clark, Rika Konishi, Tammy Marchini, John Neering, Margaret Siegrist, Jeremy Szerlip, Scarsdale High School-To develop an outdoor science laboratory for the purpose of determining the overall health of the Bronx River and other local aquatic ecosystems.7. SUPPORTING LITERACY AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH IPADSJoan Iorio, William Yang, Greenacres School
-To conduct an action-research project probing the impact of iPad technology on literacy learning with small groups of students who have specific educational needs and goals.
8. VIDEO ANALYSIS AS AN EDUCATIONAL TOOL IN SCARSDALE HIGH SCHOOL PHYSICAL EDUCATIONDevin Hoover, Nicole Roemer, Scarsdale High School
-To integrate video analysis assessments into the Scarsdale High School Physical Education program.