Steve Schulz is a science teacher at the Manheim Township High School. In the fall of 2017, he applied for a grant through MTEF entitled Advanced Spectroscopy Techniques on Student iPads. This grant provided the funds for the department to purchase digital, bluetooth-capable spectrometers that students were able to use on their iPads. With this tool, students could export the data they collected to a computer spreadsheet software, analyze the data with graphs, and determine the rate law of the fading of crystal violet indicator in a basic solution.
Mr. Schulz shared that STEM courses have unique uses for iPads that the science department was eager to incorporate into their classes, however, funding for new probeware that was iPad-compatible was limited. The department found the spectrometers to be beyond the budget available to them so they reached out to MTEF for funding by applying for a grant. In future years, this hardware will be used in 2 additional AP Chemistry labs and an AP Biology lab as well.
In the past, students devoted much time to recording the data and entering it into a spreadsheet. This required them to collect less data and to focus on the low-level thinking, menial work rather than consider the deeper questions such as the meaning of the data, its purpose, and the reliability of the data. Now, students are unencumbered by technology freeing them to get better data and think more deeply about it.
When asked about the grant process, Mr. Schulz shared that teachers should not hesitate to apply for funding for worthy projects that positively impact the education of our students.
Dolores Rabey is a Health and Physical Education teacher at Landis Run Intermediate School. She recently received a grant for a set of Polar Heart Rate Monitors. These heart rate monitors give students instant feedback as to their cardiorespiratory output in order for them to stay in their target heart rate zone for a specified length of time.
Mrs. Rabey was led to apply for this grant because this type of technology is being used in the middle and high school, and she thought it would be applicable for Landis Run students. Having these monitors would eliminate the need for students to continuously check their heart rate by using 10 second pulse checks.
As a result of this grant, Mrs. Rabey can use the monitors to assist in cardiorespiratory endurance training with all her students. The monitors provide instantaneous feedback and help them to adjust their output to stay in the correct zone for optimal results and improvement. They also allow students to compete against themselves and stop making comparisons as everyone has a different level of endurance.
When asked about the grant process, Dolores said, “I would tell others to dream big and try something new! We all need to think outside of our comfort zone and try to practice being innovative.” She is pleased with the results of this grant and shared that every student that participated in Physical Education in Landis Run was impacted by the implementation of the heart rate monitors.
Matthew Jones is an Art teacher at Manheim Township High School. He recently applied for a grant from MTEF for a Classroom set of Styluses. Since every student now has access to an iPad, the art department now has a platform to teach and create digital art. The one thing they needed to do this was a stylus for each student to use.
Using the stylus, iPad, and sketchbook app during the 2017-18 school year, students were able to create digital art, enhance their traditional methods with subtle digital alterations, and also use their iPad as a digital to work out initial ideas and concepts. (Photo 1 : Character design using stylus and sketchbook app)
When asked about the MTEF grant process, Mr. Jones stated, “the grant form is very straight forward and easy to understand.” He stated that he tried to keep his answers concise and to the point. He mentioned that it does take some time to get the required signatures for the grant application and for it to get approved. In short, he recommends that applicants plan far ahead because it will take several months to implement the grant from the time you start writing it until you actually receive the requested items.
The MTHS Art Department has found definite value in their classroom set of styluses as it enables the students to use the iPad more effectively. Mr. Jones mentioned that a few students enjoyed and saw value in the styluses enough to purchase their own for use at home. Another student used her iPad and stylus to plan everything out before starting a piece of art.
(Photo 2: Top image is digital practice for final piece below.)
(Photo 3: Top image is original and bottom is digital alteration.)