Competition was steep this year! More than 170 people applied, each with his or her own MAD idea. Thanks to each of you who took the time to submit an application
This year, we were able to fund a total of 21 grants, involving almost 2,700 students.
Today we're excited to announce our MAD Grant winners -- 16 from the Highline School District and five from Portland Public Schools.
Here are the lightly edited project descriptions, written by the applicants, including a few that edged over the "up to 200 words" limit. We think you'll see the MADness shine through:
See photos of our prize patrols in Highline and Portland schools on our Facebook page !
Scroll down for the Highline School District MAD Grant winners.
Portland MAD Grants
Buckman Elementary School
Buckman's MAD About Lacrosse!
Buckman (and pretty much everywhere else in the US) is going mad about lacrosse!
Buckman Elementary School is an Arts focus school of around 500 students in inner-southeast Portland. When we first started out as an Arts Magnet, we received extra money in the form of desegregation funds from the federal government. We had busses, a full-time PE teacher, three arts specialists, a student management specialist, a social worker, a robust title I program, and a counselor.
Over the years, the money has all faded away. Now we rely upon fund raising, grants and volunteer work to maintain our focus...
...We’ve also chosen art specialists over a Physical Education teacher. We maintain a visual arts teacher, dance teacher and a drama/music teacher. Most classroom teachers have been trained in SPARK and lead their students in weekly PE.
What we need are more PE options. What’s mad about lacrosse? Have you ever watched a game? Kids running around chasing balls with sticks? What’s more perfect than that?
...Every year, our classes are filled with soccer fanatics in the fall. As winter rolls around, there are a few basketballers. Come spring -- nada. No one plays anything -- not even baseball. Parents sometimes get their kids involved in classic soccer, but not everyone has deep enough pockets.
That’s where lacrosse comes in. Lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the United States ... Is it MAD to offer lacrosse at Buckman? It’s MAD not to. Our kids love to run and chase ... Let’s give the East Coast a run for their money! Support PNW lacrosse!
Hosford Middle School
Walking to OMSI
Picture 185 sixth grade students walking two miles (each way) in the Portland rain all the way to OMSI to visit the Vomit Center, walk through a giant nose, climb a human skin wall and explore all the mushy, slimy, scaly, oozy and stinky things that occur in the human body. Crazy and gross, isn’t it? That’s exactly right. We are seeking funds to make an all day field trip possible for our sixth grade students to explore two high interest exhibits at OMSI: Grossoly: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body, and Race: Are We So Different?, the first national exhibition to tell the story of race from biological, cultural and historical points of view. These exhibits strongly support the 6th grade science curriculum of life science, and provide a hands-on exploration of key science concepts.
We request funds to cover fees for chaperones and for students who are unable to come up with the required fee.
Engineering Design Teacher
Jackson Middle School
Afro-Peruvian Wooden Cajon Drums
I want to build Cajon Wooden Drums with my students in Engineering Design. Cajon Drums are Afro-Peruvian. They evolved from the African slaves in Peru using crates as drums because drumming was such an important aspect of their lives in Africa. The students will have to use many different skills to build the drums. They will use math when they are drawing their plans and measuring the wood. The will use industrial arts skills when they use the tools to cut the wood and assemble the drums. They will use art skills when they stain the wood and decorate the drums with paint pens using Adinkra symbols from West Africa. They will learn cultural and historical information about Africa and Peru. They will use musical skills when they happily play their handmade drums. This project will help the students academically, give them a greater appreciation of other cultures and music, and help build their confidence. Students will have the opportunity to safely use tools that most of them have never used before to create a drum that is both beautiful and functional. My students will have a project that they will proudly share and play for a long time!
Third Grade Dual Language Teacher; School Garden Coordinator
Lent School Green Garden Bank
We request $500 to capitalize a newly formed student-run bank at Lent School. Lent and the Community Transition Program (CTC), another PPS school, have entered into a “business” arrangement. The CTC uses student-run businesses to support the transition of special needs students ages 18-21 to life after high school. CTC students will use their greenhouse to grow vegetable starts and sell them to Lent students to grow fresh produce for the Lent cafeteria. The Green Garden Bank will provide loans to Lent classrooms for the purchase of starts, keep records of weekly loan payments (calculated by pounds of produce delivered to the cafeteria), and produce a weekly report for the school.
Through this collaboration, Lent students will develop financial literacy skills such as recordkeeping, measurement, calculating, and budgeting. Bank officers will learn to use spreadsheets and use their data to write weekly loan repayment reports.
In the last week of school, a committee of school staff will “audit” the bank’s books. If records are complete and accurate, the bank officers will receive a bonus of a $50 contribution to their graduating class’ school graduation account. Any remaining grant funds will used to sustain the collaboration next year.
Trillium Charter School
Tide Pool Exploration
This grant application is to open our students' eyes to the varied flora and fauna of the Pacific NW coast. Starting in February, I will be teaching two classes on oceanography and hope to expose students to all that is in the ocean. We will discuss the plants at the many different layers of the ocean, all the animals that call the ocean home, and the ecosystems that connect them all.
My hope is to create a culmination activity by visiting the coast in the springtime. The activity would be a visit to a variety of tide pools in the Cannon Beach area. I would also arrange a specialist from Friends of Haystack Rock to talk with to us about the wildlife on the rock and how to keep this ecosystem healthy. My goal would be to expose students to a new ecosystem and help them understand what part they play in keeping all of these organisms healthy.
Highline School District MAD Grants
In the Highline District, we work closely with the Highline Schools Foundation. Our MAD Grants are pulled from the same pool of applicants as their successful Excel Grants: Apply for a MAD Grant, and you're also in the running for an Excel Grant and vice versa.
We also work together in our prize patrol, showing up at schools and surprising winners of both Excel and MAD Grants! For most of us, that's one of the most gratifying parts of the grant program. Who wouldn't like to visit schools and hand out money?
All of our MAD Grant winners have been alerted, so it's time to go public with the winning projects. (Note: The Excel Grants winners will be announced later this month, so if you are a Highline educator and you didn't win a MAD Grant, there is still a chance that you could be an Excel Grant winner.)
Substitute Teacher and Volunteer
Bow Lake Elementary School
FIRST Lego League Robotics/WildCats
We are a second year FIRST Lego League team at Bow Lake Elementary. The students are 5th and 6th graders. There are two returning students and eight new students that are excited to learn more about STEM education.
This year the students will use the core values of FIRST to learn how to program a robot to complete missions and find a real world solution for a senior citizen in their research project. To enhance the programming skills for this year’s challenge, we would like to add a color sensor, accelerometer and a power cord to our kit.
Bow Lake Elementary School
The Marvelous Mummy Museum!
The 6th grade teaching team at Bow Lake plans to take our students to the King Tut exhibit and the IMAX movie, Mummies, to further extend our Social Studies curriculum on Ancient Egypt. Beforehand, the geography, government, and culture of Ancient Egypt will be examined and researched. At the exhibition students will observe actual artifacts to compare and contrast them to items we use in today's world.
When we return the students will write about and create a model of an artifact to share with our 4th and 5th graders at our “Mummy Museum” for motivation, deeper understanding, assessment, and fun!
This grant will help cover the costs of the field trip.
Cascade Middle School
Girls Soccer Team
Girls' Soccer is a new sport for middle school in the Highline District. In years past, the girls played as part of a co-ed team with the boys. Last year, they finally got to have their own team. Unfortunately, there were no uniforms. The uniforms from the co-ed team were used by the boys. The girls had to make do with leftover volleyball jerseys.
I would like to purchase new jerseys to be used by the girls soccer team. We plan to fundraise throughout the year to supplement any extra costs for the uniforms and to pay for socks and shin guards for the girls.
Many of our girls have never played soccer on an official team. Participating in sports is essential to keeping girls in school. Please help the girls of Cascade Middle School to be the best that they can be.
Teacher - 6th Grade
Cedarhurst Elementary School
Authentic Measurement for Sixth Grade
On a recent field trip to South Seattle Community College’s apprenticeship program, I came to realize that most kids of high school age have never used a construction tape measure. We teach our students to use rulers and yard sticks but how many times when measuring an item at home does one reach for a ruler? Kids today need to learn to measure with the tools they will use in real life. Students need to have a good understanding of distances and how to measure accurately to 1/32 of an inch or nearest millimeter.
Having an authentic way to measure will allow them facility with measuring the larger distances that are impossible to accurately measure using a ruler. I am requesting funds to purchase a class set of 25-foot measuring tapes so I can teach my students how to measure large objects.
Language Arts and Social Studies Teacher
Health Sciences & Human Services High School
Shakespeare Starter Kit
My tenth grade students will be reading Romeo and Juliet. For most students, this is their first-ever experience with Shakespeare, and it provides important access to academic discourse about Shakespeare that students will encounter throughout high school and in college. Not only is Shakespeare's language challenging for my students, many who spoke other languages before English (just as Shakespeare is challenging for all readers!), but most students come into the class with no idea about who Shakespeare was, when he lived and what his world was like. These resources would be invaluable in helping build schema that would support the students' reading and learning and allow us to use the unit to reach Common Core Standards:
West Side Story film and Romeo and Juliet by Franco Zeffirelli DVD. The Zeffirelli DVD will build students' understanding with a visual guideline. West Side Story will enable students to analyze diverse interpretations of Shakespeare and to see how his work has been valued by our culture over time.
15 copies of No Fear Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet. This book includes side-by-side versions of the play in Shakespeare's original text and in "plain English" and is immensely supportive to our readers.
A poster of Shakespeare's Globe Theater. This will help students picture the original setting for Shakespeare's works.
Physical Education/Health Teacher
Highline High School
Hop to be Fit!
I try to find activities for fitness stations in Physical Education classes. After cleaning my son's closet I noticed his pogo stick and decided to bring it to school. My students loved it. Pogo sticks are making a comeback. Even celebrities like Matthew McConaughey are jumping and bringing fun into fitness.
Pogo sticks are a great addition; increasing student's cardio, core and leg strength. It builds coordination and confidence. Students work out in groups. Four pogo sticks would add an awesome contribution. They are made for young adults and can handle up to 220 lbs.
Highline High School
Let Your Mind Run Wild!!
It is my pleasure to be with my Advisory students all four years of high school. Some of my students are not yet entering into the purple and gold spirit of HHS. Being fully engaged in high school activities helps students be fully engaged academically. Fridays are purple and gold days, so I would like for my Advisory to create some exciting accessories that they can proudly wear to support school spirit.
I am requesting rolls of purple/gold duct tape along with scissors so that we can create bracelets, earrings and pins; decorate belts and cellphones; embellish jeans, t-shirts and backpacks … the duct tape options found on-line are limitless. Students will collaborate to create and model school spirit. GO PIRATES!!
4th Grade teacher
Madrona Elementary School
It is well known that kids learn more by engaging them in activities that excite them, use their bodies, and involve a final product of their own design. Part of our science discovery with magnets could include the building of a magnetic pendulum that will show the magnetic forces at work.
Through the construction of the pendulum, students will gain a stronger understanding of magnetic fields and forces while applying their knowledge in a real life product.
Mount Rainier High School
Authentic Trumpet Section
Our zero-hour jazz band has been growing over the past couple of years. This means that more students are willing to wake up an hour early to participate in a big band. This year our focus is on listening to the professional big bands and using them as a model for our sound. We discovered that there are two mutes that trumpet sections use frequently in their music: the cup mute and the Harmon mute. These same mutes are also called for in our music.
In order to produce the authentic big band sounds of big bands like The Count Basie Orchestra, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, and The Glenn Miller Orchestra, our trumpets need cup mutes and Harmon mutes. Please help us produce authentic big band sounds!
Department Head, ELL Program - ELL Instructor
Mount Rainier High School
Paying it Forward with Video Journalism
At Mount Rainier High School, we have a small community of ELL learners who can often get lost in the crowds of 1600+ students. Although eclectic, our community of ELL learners is close and look to each other for support. As part of our efforts to make ELL students, especially newcomers, feel comfortable more quickly, our Program is developing a project in which the current ELL students will develop a blog for news that is of interest to ELL students in particular, as well as important information that is often not understood in the verbal daily announcements.
The MAD Grant request is for two video cameras to use to make short videos and conduct interviews to post on the blog. The topics would range from a visual tour of the school and the important people in it to know (ex. the attendance person), to interviews of former ELL Program students who would give advice to new and present students. Current students in the program would gain and strengthen verbal skills in these high-interest projects, as well as gain confidence when they are given the chance to show traits such as responsibility, creativity, cooperation and self-efficacy.
The idea that they will be able to leave a product that can be used by newcomers is the “pay it forward” part; the newcomers will then want to contribute a video when they become more integrated into the ELL Program and whole school community, thus perpetuating the cycle.
The blank DVD are for students to have recordings of their videos to use with college admissions or job opportunities, or as mementos for their proud families.
Odyssey High School
Visual Arts is a new class that is being offered at Odyssey High School. In years past, art was taught during intersession. Students at Odyssey are VERY excited about having art class, and all 35 of my students come to class each day ready and excited to learn!
This year, we will be working on various painting and drawing projects, but when I asked students what they would like to do, students have voiced their interest in creating a school mural in the hallway (the wall just outside the art classroom). When talking to students, we want to involve the whole school by putting out a "call to artists" in each advisory class. The WHOLE school would participate in submitting AND voting on a design for the mural! The mural theme and design would be decided by students, and would help to represent student involvement and student empowerment.
I have worked for a youth empowerment - mural organization in the past (Urban ArtWorks), so implementing the mural with my art classes would be very manageable. The really special part of this project is that the WHOLE school could be involved and feel like they had a say. It will also beautify and unify our school hallways.
This would be a project that would last forever. The art students implementing the painting will be able to have "bragging rights," giving them the opportunity to feel good about being a part of a positive impact on their school community.
Pacific Middle School
Country Books for Viking Readers
We need to update several of our country books (from the 1980s!). I have chosen those most in the news and from which new students have arrived (notably Somalia, American Samoa, Ivory Coast). It is essential that these students feel welcome and comfortable in the library. Being able to check out a book about their country is fantastic. There is nothing like a book in hand.
Celeste B. Timulak
6th Grade Teacher
Parkside Elementary School
Ancient Egypt Connections
Our sixth graders are studying Ancient Egypt. A field trip to see the Tutankhamun exhibit at the Pacific Science Center would be the perfect real-life connection for them. In art, we would also like students to create a sarcophagus where they would use their own faces as molds. This requires the use of plaster cloth.
We would be so grateful if you could pay the admission to the Pacific Science Center for our students -- over 60% of them receive free or reduced lunch -- and to provide the packs of plaster cloth for their sarcophagus art project.
3rd and 4th Grade Teacher
Parkside Elementary School
This year, we expanded the Car Boat project for two Classes. Grade Level Teachers will collaborate to teach the Electric Circuits unit and have students build their own air-propelled car boat. Students will combine the joy and excitement of mechanical toys with science content, “Electric Circuits,” by constructing an air-propelled motor boat for their culminating project.
Students will use functional reading and apply science skills by building circuits and troubleshooting. Students will be engaged because they love to build science models and will have an opportunity to participate in car boat time trials. Students will race their car twice and use their math skills by taking the average time between trials. We will then rank order the car boats based on their average.
It was an important learning experience for my students last year and I wanted to provide an opportunity for more students to participate this year.
R. Mimi Krsak
ELL Newcomer Teacher
Outdoors Means Open Doors
It's a dark, October night. I sit at my computer, so full of gratitude for the children you have helped. I'm bawling, and begging again for kids from Burma, Iraq, Nepal, Mexico, and Ethiopia. I promise the parents I will take care of their children. I promise them their eyes and hearts will be opened by unimagined wonders like a flag raising or a s'more at a campfire.
I will be going this year, with a group of 12 boys, from three blended classrooms. (That is enough to make me laugh through my tears.)
Thanks for believing in the Waskowitz miracle.
6th Grade teacher
White Center Heights Elementary School
Waskowitz for All
At White Center Heights, we have over 85% free and reduced lunch. Many of our families struggle to make ends meet. When the charge to attend Waskowitz is presented, many can't afford this. We would like to give 20 partial scholarships so our students can attend this valuable program.