Teacher Innovation Grants are available to Bethlehem Area School District teachers to implement an innovative project, initiative, teaching strategy, technology application or other effort providing measurable educational outcomes for students. The purpose of this grant program is to enhance student learning and student interest in learning by providing educators an opportunity to exercise their passion for teaching, develop their ideas, partner with colleagues and connect with the wealth of knowledge, expertise and talent within the district and the community.
2021-2022 Teacher Innovation Grants Now Open!
2020/2021 Teacher Innovation Grant Recipients
“Who I Am,” – Broughal Middle School, Brittany Reese
Description: A social studies project where the students paint on canvas to express their heritage and culture. This project showcases the diversity of Broughal and helps the students to connect who they are with the content of the curriculum.
“Leaders Speaking and Listening Safely – Spring Garden Elementary, Nicole Spirk
Description: Providing this classroom with an IPEVO document camera will give the students the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions with their classmates. The mask wearing and social distancing have presented a challenge for student participation in the classroom. They are quieter and more apprehensive to express themselves freely. This piece of equipment would empower them to present their school work to their classmates safely from their desk. Portable desks and yoga mats would be purchased for when the class moves outside for learning opportunities.
“Comfortable Seating,” – William Penn Elementary School, Alexa DeRaymond
Description: This grant would provide comfortable seating options (i.e. Ergo Bounce cantilever chair, balance ball seat, and Wobble chair) for a K-2 Emotional Support classroom. These seating options will help the students to learn how to cope and manage their frustrations so they are able to focus on learning.
“Creating a Culturally Responsive Classroom,” – Northeast Middle School, Mary Roehrenbeck
Description: This applicant would like to create a literature-based program for her minority students and create an environment that builds understanding and empathy as well as recognizes and celebrates cultural differences.
“Furthering Science Research from the High School Level,” – Freedom High School, Liam Browne
Description: This grant application is for the purchase of a portable fume hood for the chemistry lab at Freedom High School. A portable fume hood would allow the students to safely work on research projects without disrupting the rest of the class.
“Take-home Lab Kits for AP & Honors Chemistry Virtual Learners,” – Freedom High School, Carla Krieger
Description: This grant would help to solve a challenge created by COVID-19 by providing E-learners with take-home chemistry lab kits.
“Applied Neuroscience in the World Language Classroom,” – Liberty High School, Andrea Bonnet
Description: This grant applicant would like to make changes, based on neuroscience research, to enhance the learning process for students studying French and Spanish. This grant would fund the purchase of tools for the classroom such as balance discs, portable pedal exercisers, food props, and children’s books in French and Spanish.
We Still Can STEAM During COVID-19!” – Freemansburg Elementary, Mary Gruber
Description: The grant will support the purchase of new equipment to enable K-5 students in the hybrid and e-school learning environment to be able to have a complete learning experience in their Digital Literacy classes. The equipment that will be purchased is the Breakout EDU platform, MERGE cubes, CoSpaces with MERGE cube add-on platform access, green screen fabric, and iRoot robots.
2019/2020 Teacher Innovation Grant Recipients
Asa Packer Elementary School, Music Makerspace, Jill Mertz
Description: The Makerspace, Music Makerspace Production Studio, will provide students (K-5) with 21st-century career exploration opportunities related to technology and music. This will empower and facilitate students to design and create unique projects using a maker mindset, a foundational element of the Future Ready Library Framework.
Asa Packer Elementary School, All Voices Should Be Heard, Mary Truchan
Description: This project will assist students’ learning by amplifying the educator’s and the students’ voices. The use of the QBall microphones allows for students to hear their peers when speaking in class, the teacher during instruction, and other presentations without the distraction of outside noise. They can also be used for the school-wide musical theater program.
Broughal Middle School, Who I am, Brittany Reese
Description: ELA 8th-grade students will take part in a “Who I am” project within their social studies class. Students will be given loose guidelines for the project as a way to encourage creativity and allow students to express themselves and their heritage. Students will also be writing personal narratives that will explain their artwork and provide insight into who they are as individuals.
Clearview Elementary School, Mindful Flexible Seating, Lisa Nguyen
Description: The purpose of this grant is to provide students with a more mindful, calming, and comfortable classroom environment. Flexible seating options will provide students with a more intentional, empowered, loved, and safe area to interact and learn.
Donegan Elementary School, Donegan Sensory Path, Jamie-Lynn Carrodo
Description: A Sensory path is a space that is designed to encourage the release of excess physical and mental energy in a controlled and safe way, through gross motor activities. The sensory path stencils will be utilized on the blacktop at Donegan.
Donegan Elementary School Aquila Education VR Kit, Kristina Fontanez
Description: The VR goggles will be utilized during Wonders’ small group instruction as well as whole group, WIN time, Social Studies and Science to help enhance student learning and student interest in learning by providing them with a unique experience to see the world through virtual reality.
Donegan Elementary School, STAR (Student, Teachers, and Relatives) Nights, Aja Olivares
Description: STAR Night will be designed to assist 1st grade ESL students and families informing them of important literacy and math gaps in our school. Equipping families with simple strategies to support their children will serve as an intervention that has yet to be attempted at Donegan.
East Hills Middle School, Removing Barriers and Engaging Students in the German Classroom, Colleen Richards
Description: Students would have a deskless classroom, providing more space and ewer distractions to allow students to engage in interpersonal communications.
Fountain Hill Elementary School, Regulation Room, Victoria Knepp
Description: The Regulation Room will be a calming room that promotes self-regulation in students. This will provide a place to practice de-escalation techniques and teach students social and emotional skills when they’re experiencing disruptive behavior that is impeding their learning and the learning of others.
Freedom High School, Real Care Baby, Jennifer Deily
Description: Students will utilize the Real Care Baby to apply what they have learned in their child development and parenting course. The Real Care Baby uses wireless technology to teach and report on caregiver’s behaviors, providing both a formative and summative assessment.
Freedom High School, Coffee, Collaboration, and Inclusion, Bridget Hujsa
Description: The Freedom High School coffee shop and special education department are in the third year of active collaboration to provide school to work training to students who are differently-abled and to allow typical students the chance to work with, model skills, and to establish relationships with peers with which they might not always have the chance. To provide varied opportunities and new skills, the coffee shop needs to continue to evolve.
Freemansburg Elementary SchoolSensory Integration approach to learning implementing a Sensory Path, Shelia Luchtenberg
Description: The sensory path is a creative way to provide opportunities or students with Autism, Learning needs, and hyperactivity to build stronger sensory connections in the brain, which aids children in performing more complex, multi-step tasks is an inclusive educational setting. Students of all ages may benefit from participating in a sensory integration approach.
Governor Wolf Elementary School, Innovative ways to reduce anxiety, improve focus and self-regulation in trauma-informed schools, Kelly Meyer
Description: Classroom teachers will be given innovative ideas with tools to support every student’s social-emotional awareness and management without missing vital instructional time. Tools can be provided together in a kit or teachers to introduce as the “calming kit” Our tier-one instructional approach with social-emotional learning is to first teach the students to look inward in using Habit One: Be proactive of Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Students.
Hanover Elementary School, Sensory Pathway, Sean Connolly
Description: A sensory pathway provides opportunities to help with motor skills and sensory integration. It can help balance, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness. In addition to sensory stimulation, the pathway can help provide a brain break and boost for students overwhelmed or who feel overworked.
Hanover Elementary School, Under the Sea, MaryAnn Green
Description: The Clean Water Kits will teach students the chemistry of desalination, water purification, and recycling. Climate and Weather kits include hands-on experiments and will enable the students to understand the effects the weather has on the ocean and all of the marine life within.
Hanover Elementary School, It Takes a Village: The Lion King Experience, Lori Sivick
Description: The purpose of this grant is to provide a drama club for approximately 30-40 third through fifth -grade students at Hanover Elementary School. The drama program will include opportunities to learn about plot, character development, and the role of music in a theatrical production, blocking, movement, and communication techniques, learning about different cultures through music and story, and how to work together while presenting The Lion King Kids.
James Buchanan Elementary School, Flexible Seating to Support Fifth Grade, Jennifer Truchan
Description: The items in this project allow students to be leaders and comfortable in their learning environment. Using flexible seating creates students who take charge of their learning and choose seats according to what helps them learn best.
Liberty High School, Through Their Eyes, Shaughn Bittner and Michael Gori
Description: We hope to have modern video equipment to help individuals develop projects and lessons for the ever-changing program-based education environment with this program. Four Video kits will be available to teachers and students to utilize for their academic needs.
Liberty High School, Amazoning Robotics, Kristin Stuby
Description: Students will increase their background knowledge of warehouses by researching topics associated with supply chain management, warehouses, conveyor systems, and how robots are used in warehouses. Students will travel to the Amazon warehouse to gain a better understanding of robotics use within corporate manufacturing. Students will then design, document, build and problem solve to create a successful system that can be utilized at the Amazon warehouse.
Miller Heights Elementary School, Increasing Student Engagement in 2nd Grade Reading, MaryBeth Eltringham
Description: Miller Heights Elementary School second grade teachers are seeking a grant to purchase headphones with microphones to improve their students’ reading fluency and the ability to communicate verbally what they have learned. This will help their District achieve its goal of all students reading by grade 3.
Nitschmann Middle School STEM Challenges for Middle School, Lara Ellis
Description: The purpose of creating a Makerspace area in the library media center is to tap into as many different interests, passions, and strengths in our students as possible. In a Makerspace, children have the opportunities to discover, assemble, construct, test, and explore using divergent, ‘outside the box’ thinking. Through creative exploration and purposeful play, students, become critical thinkers and inventors while collaborating with their peers.
Northeast Middle School, Headphones for French Class, Sarah Johnson
Description: Students will utilize headphones for corresponding with their pen pals from France, as well as other classroom activities. Headphones allow for students to work on their listening and comprehension skills.