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In partnership with Phoenix Suns Charities, we provide support to kindergarten through high school teachers for hands-on STEM projects in the classroom.
 
stem mini-grants program

Grants will be awarded to support innovative teaching strategies to enhance student performance that address science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. We seek to support projects with an interdisciplinary approach that invite increased knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and/or evaluation that enhance learning through science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics.

Grants can not be requested for tablets, laptops, computers or projectors. Any equipment of reusable materials purchased through the grant become property of the school not the teacher.

Grants up to a maximum of $2,500 each may be awarded. A total of up to $50,000 is available for grants in the 2015-2016 school year. Refer to the budget guidelines below for more information.​

 
eligibility
The program is open to K-12 educators who teach in public and charter schools located in the APS service territory.
 
program procedures & criteria

Grant applications will only be accepted online from August 10 - October 7, 2015. Applicants will be notified of the status of their application no later than November 2, 2015.

Approved grants will be provided to the school or school district for distribution to the teacher recipient who will use the grant money in accord​ance with the approved budget. The sc​hool and/or school district are encouraged to continue the project after this funding expires. Project funds must be spent on designated budget items within the 2015-2016 school year.

 

review criteria 
  • an innovative approach to learning within the STEM subject areas
  • measurable, realistic goals to improve student achievement obtainable within the grant period
  • an interdisciplinary approach that invites increased knowledge and application of STEM-related subjects
  • clearly-defined and valid objectives and outcomes
  • well-defined activities specifically related to the project goals
  • an itemized, reasonable budget that relates back to the project
  • a realistic evaluation demonstrating quantifiable results
All publicity pertaining to the STEM Mini-grants must include acknowledgement of support by APS and Phoenix Suns Charities.
 
budget guidelines
Funds may be used to purchase equipment, classroom supplies and/or fund field trips, guest speakers or other items that would otherwise not be supported by the school or school district.
 
APS will not fund the following:
 
  • school and/or school district responsibilities (i.e. salaries, stipends, text books, etc.)
  • food and/or refreshments
  • capital campaigns
  • non-educational equipment such as office machines, computers, phones, cameras, etc.
 

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application tips
​Funding will be provided for projects which encourage creativity and increase student motivation to learn. Successful proposals will promote exciting and innovative activities to motivate students and enhance their learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).
brainstorming
Tell a good story in an engaging way to explain what you are trying to do, why and how it relates to STEM. How long will the project last? Will it be ongoing?
 
project summary
Be explicit; what are your intentions? This is the first exposure the judges have to your project. Start off with something that will “hook” their attention; provide a background for your project. Give the key points and summarize the key objectives that will drive your project. How will students benefit from participating? What are your expected outcomes? How do you plan to sustain the program?
 
objective
Activities should engage students in hands-on lessons that lead to new knowledge, understanding, investigating and/or and awareness about STEM. Describe what you’re trying to achieve and what you will do (activities, experiments, lessons, field trips, research and data collection, speakers, etc.) in a timeline with specific learning outcomes. Make sure you tie the activities to the objectives.
 
budget
Itemize the expenditures needed to complete this project, including information on the materials and equipment needed, supplier and cost. Be specific as to how the required items relate to the project.
 
evaluation
What effective evaluation methods will you use to measure achievement? How will you know your students learned what you wanted them to learn? What data will you provide that shows an increase in your students’ performance and achievement? Describe the data you’re going to provide.

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2014-2015 project summaries
​Teachers from 24 classrooms in the state received up to $2,500 each through the APS/Phoenix Suns STEM Mini-grant program. A total of $50,000 was awarded to support the innovative, student-based projects highlighted below.
phoenix-metro region
Arizona Academy of Science, Phoenix
Students Impacted: 100
Project Title: Electronics Engineering Initiative
Grant: $2,000
Description: Arizona Academy of Science's engineering initiative proposes to use the Arduino platform to teach multiple facets of the engineering process. Students will be issued a SparkFun, Arduino kit as a technology base to develop programming, engineering, and electronics skills in a problem solving environment.
 
BioScience High School, Phoenix
Students Impacted: 66
Project Title: Dragon Robotics Robot
Grant: $2,500
Description: Students will use their engineering designing skills to build a robot and program it using computer science skills. They will be creating a Pie-throwing robot to be displayed at the downtown Phoenix Pi-day.
 
Buckeye Union District, Buckeye
Students Impacted: 180
Project Title: Inquiry Science Using Aquaponics
Grant: $2,500 Description: Students will be experiencing the simultaneous growing of plants and fish. Not only will this system help the students with their scientific trials of growing plants but it will also give them insight into how two factors of an ecosystem can work together.
 
Estrella Foothills High School, Goodyear
Students Impacted: 20+
Project Title: First Tech Robotic Challenge
Grant: $2,072 Description: The students will be designing, modeling on PTC software, building, programming and operating their own robot for competitions.  
 
Explorer Middle School, Phoenix
Students Impacted: 97
Project Title: Middle School Makers
Grant: $1,950
Description: "Middle School Makers" will involve programming and creating robotics, kinetic sculptures and animatronics using Hummingbird kit materials.
 
Fireside Elementary School, Phoenix
Students Impacted: 85
Project Title: Mindstorms Robotics Club
Grant: $2,380
Description: Following the Engineering Design Process, student teams will build a robot, program the robot, and test the robot to complete a challenge. Students will then record on how well the robots performed and reflect on the challenge by writing their observations in their online blogs.
 
Trivium Preparatory Academy, Goodyear
Students Impacted: 334
Project Title: Investigation into Local Water Quality
Grant: $2,498
Description: Life Science classes will learn about water quality culminated with a day of STEM research at the Gila River. A watershed model will be used to teach the students about point and non-point pollution sources as well as the runoff here in Arizona.
 
Thunderbird High School, Phoenix
Students Impacted: 200
Project Title: Quantitative Analysis of Photosynthesis
Grant: $2,500
Description: Students will be investigating the structure of plant cells and how their structure is related to their function by using microscopes. They will also compare structures (stomates) on leaves and explain how those structures allow for photosynthesis.
 
Westar, Goodyear
Students Impacted: 700
Project Title: Building an Ecosystem
Grant: $1,500
Description: Creation of an ecosystem that consists of a pond and a desert botanical garden, providing an outdoor classroom for student exploration and discovery.
 
northeast region
Coconino High School, Flagstaff
Students Impacted: 100
Project Title: High Traction Holistic Drive
Grant: $2,500
Description: The goal of the project is to design, prototype and manufacture a holistic drive system for a competition robot that has the benefits of high traction and torque.
 
Snowflake Junior High, Snowflake
Students Impacted: 374
Project Title: STEM Robotics
Grant: $2,270
Description: Students will learn to build, program and manipulate the EV3 robots. Students will also use the EV3's with a projectile launcher probe and time of flight probe in the Aeronautics section to monitor rockets and airplanes.
 
northwest region
Camp Verde High School, Camp Verde
Students Impacted: 115
Project Title: Veterinary Assistant Preparation
Grant: $2,500
Description: Students will be provided with the tools associated with veterinary science to conduct practical scenarios to test their skills and knowledge beneficial in the veterinary field. 
 
Clarkdale-Jerome Elementary, Clarkdale
Students Impacted: 52
Project Title: Great Earth and Space Adventure
Grant: $800
Description: Students will discover through inquiry what it takes to be an astronaut. Funding will support a trip to the Challenger Space Center.
 
Franklin Phonetic Primary, Prescott Valley
Students Impacted: 150
Project Title: CFI: Classroom Forensic Investigations
Grant: $2,000
Description: Students will use a forensic science kit to engage themselves in examining and analyzing evidence allowing them to play a role in their own education.
 
Mountain Institute JTED, Prescott
Students Impacted: 600
Project Title: The Virtual Medical Experience
Grant: $2,500
Description: The project will provide students with a state-of-the-art simulation-based laboratory that will include an untethered simulation patient.
 
West Sedona Elementary, Sedona
Students Impacted: 142
Project Title: Engineering is Elementary
Grant: $2,060
Description: Funds will purchase kits from Engineering is Elementary, which defines STEM through visuals, including a flow chart of the design process. Each kit teaches specific types of engineering through accessible stories and lab activities that incorporate math and science.
 
southeast region
Casa Verde High School, Casa Grande
Students Impacted: 100
Project Title: STEM Engineering – Digital Electronics Lab
Grant: $2,500
Description: Funds will be used to create a digital electronics lab that will allow the students in the engineering pathway to gain an understanding and knowledge of introductory digital electronics.
 
Cactus Middle School, Casa Grande
Students Impacted: 220
Project Title: Seasons: Eclipses, Earth, Sun and Moon
Grant: $800
Description: The astronomy project incorporates inquiry-based lessons that promote critical thinking while students explore the universe.
 
Evergreen Elementary, Casa Grande
Students Impacted: 65
Project Title: Home Sweet Home: Fourth Grade Environmentalists
Grant: $1,200
Description: Students will keep organisms in a classroom environment to learn concepts of environmental factors and optimum conditions for survival.
 
Ray Junior High and High School, Kearny
Students Impacted: 25
Project Title: Delivering STEM Education through VEX Robotics
Grant: $2,500
Description: Physics students will apply their knowledge of physics specifically torque, center of gravity, motors and circuits through robotics. 
 
southwest region
Somerton Middle School, Somerton
Students Impacted: 260
Project Title: Preparing Future Engineers
Grant: $1,950
Description: Students will be exposed to different world wide scenarios and problems and they will have to provide an innovative solution that can help their community in the future.
 
Centennial Middle School, Yuma
Students Impacted: 70
Project Title: Lego Robotics
Grant: $2,500
Description: Students will use a LEGO mind storm EV3 robotics kit to design and build a robot that is designed to autonomously complete a series of tasks in the LEGO FLL challenge, the LEGO space activity challenge and the LEGO green City challenge pack.
 
Centennial Middle School, Yuma
Students Impacted: 600
Project Title: Exploratory Learning: Building Roller Coasters with No Motors
Grant: $2,500
Description: Through hands-on inquiry based, exploratory learning, students will use trial and error and the forces of physics and nature to engineer a roller coaster that works without artificial forces.
 
Southwest Junior High, San Luis
Students Impacted: 400
Project Title: Hands-On Engineering
Grant: $1,460
Description: Students will apply mathematical concepts like velocity, speed, slope and rate while calculating and comparing the speeds of rollercoasters that they built.

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how to apply - returning applicants

Follow these instructions if you have previously opened the application to view questions or started an application to complete at a later date.

  1. enter your e-mail address
  2. select “I am a returning online applicant”
  3. enter your user created password
  4. you will be forwarded to a window containing all of the applications that you have in progress
continue
 
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how to apply - new applicants

Follow these instructions if you have not applied for funds this year.

  1. Enter your e-mail address. This will be your new account login ID.
  2. Select “I am a new online applicant,” then click on the “Continue” button.
  3. Confirm your e-mail address by typing it in again
  4. Create and confirm your own user specific password
  5. Click on “Create an Account”
  6. Click on the “OK” button and you will be directed to the online application
apply now
 
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  1. apply now
contact us

​Thank you for your interest in the APS/Phoenix Suns STEM Mini-grants. We will work hard to answer your questions as quickly as possible.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact:

Laura McBride
602-250-2702
Laura.McBride@aps.com