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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 of up to $2,500 will be awarded to K-12, public and charter school teachers for innovative hands-on STEM projects in the classroom.

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.

A total of up to $50,000 is available for grants in the 2017-2018 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 open August 14, 2017
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 2017-2018​ 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  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
  • equipment such as office machines, computers, tablets, phones, cameras, etc.
  • individual competitive teams (i.e., robotics)
 
timeline
August 14, 2017: Application opens
October 8, 2017: Application closes
November 3, 2017: Applicants notified of decisions
December 2017​: Funds disbursed​

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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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2016-2017 project summaries
Teachers from 26 classrooms in the state received up to $2,500 each for hands-on projects that promote learning around science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics. A total of $50,000 was awarded to support the innovative, student-based projects.

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PHOENIX-METRO REGION
Desert Edge High School
Students Impacted: 400  
Project Title: Building STEM Careers One Step at a Time.
Grant: $2,500  
Contact: Mr. Scott Hogan
Description:  400 Algebra 1 students will complete 4 STEM projects over the course of a year and compete in an end of the year inter-school STEM competition.  These projects include Balsa wood bridges, AP bottle racers, hydraulic robots and rockets/gliders.

Echo Mountain Primary School
Project Title: Bee-Bots Get Us Programming!
Grant: $2,000
Contact: Mrs. Tina Kennedy
Description:  Bee-Bots hands-on robots will provide an introduction to code programming in a collaborative, interactive environment. 

Galveston Elementary School 
Students Impacted: 100
Project Title: Interactive Learning with Ozobots
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Miss Stephanie Casoli
Description:  Ozobots will be used to introduce students to real-world skills such as technology and coding in a fun and innovative way.

Landmark School
Students Impacted: 775
Project Title: Simple Machines in School Garden
Grant: $2,500 
Contact: Ms. Alexandra Bembenek
Description: Students will create a simple machines outdoor lab within the Landmark school garden, giving them the opportunity to explore simple machines in an outdoor setting.

Madison Park Middle School
Students Impacted: 382
Project Title: 3D Printing from Recycled Plastic Bottles
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Mr. Jason Bruso
Description:  Teams of students will collect and sort weekly recycled materials from classrooms to gather data on recycling behavior, and then convert bottles into plastic filament for use in 3D printers.

Monterey Park
Students Impacted: 100  
Project Title: Sustainable Gardening
Grant: $2,000  
Contact: Mrs. Crystal Famania
Description: This year, Monterey Park students are studying survival in a zombie apocalypse. In addition to studying necessary skills for survival, engineering and leadership, this program will teach students how plants grow in different environmental conditions.

Pinnacle High School
Students Impacted: 200
Project Title: PHS Near Space Experiment
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Mr. Michael Vargas
Description:  This project will give kids a stepping stone into real world applications of basic physics and highlight the growing industry of aviation and near space sciences.

Rancho Gabriela
Students Impacted: 927
Project Title: Makerspace
Grant: $950
Contact: Mrs. Julie Merrill
Description:  One classroom at Rancho Gabriela will be turned into a Makerspace, giving students and teachers the ability to transform knowledge and ideas into reality through powerful, effective, and engaging learning experiences.

Sierra Verde STEM Academy
Students Impacted: 87
Project Title: Primary Robot Coding
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Ms. Tracy Mayfield
Description:  Sierra Verde is creating a coding club for K-2nd grade students, providing them with an introduction to the process of coding and engineering by programming robots.

Sweetwater Elementary
Students Impacted: 100
Project Title: Robo-STEAM: Incorporating STEAM using educational robots
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Ms. Catherine Laun
Description:  This project will use a pair of robots to strengthen student skills in the areas of critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, design, and more. 

Tartesso Elementary School
Students Impacted: 100
Project Title: Engineering the Future
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Mr. Joel Wisser
Description:  Students will use their knowledge of simple machines and the engineering process to design and build a small Rube Goldberg machine.

NORTHEAST REGION
Flagstaff High School
Students Impacted: 100
Project Title: Southwest Experimental Garden Array Partnership
Grant: $2,500  
Contact: Ms. Linda Lenz
Description:  Students will partner with NAU researchers to explore how genetics and elevation/precipitation interact with native plants.

Snowflake Jr. High School
Students Impacted: 185
Project Title: Rad Recycled Robots
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Mr. Michael Eilertsen
Description:  Students will collect recycled materials and construct a robot powered by electronics.



NORTHWEST REGION
Sedona Charter School
Students Impacted: 150
Project Title: Full STEAM Ahead to a Zero Waste School
Grant: $2,000
Contact: Dr. Lisa Hirsch
Description:  Students will help design both a new, sustainable music room and the newly relocated playground space, which will include a shade structure housing solar energy panels. This comprehensive project will include a study of solar power, the planting of a pollinator garden, and the design of composting solutions. 

Bagdad Elementary School
Students Impacted: 110  
Project Title: R2D2? No, it’s MINDSTORMS EV3!
Grant: $2,500  
Contact: Ms. Leah Woodburn
Description:  Bagdad Elementary students will be provided with LEGO Mindstorms EV3 sets, and will use them to construct solar-powered robots! Not only will these be used in the classroom, but also by the school’s after-hours STEM club, the Cranium Crushers. 

Franklin Phonetic Primary School
Students Impacted: 150  

Project Title: Electric Circuit Unit
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Mrs. Kristi Goeke
Description:  Students will use a variety of beginning solar, wind power, and standard electronic kits in order to explore electric circuit boards.





SOUTHEAST REGION
Casa Grande Middle School
Students Impacted: 240
Project Title: STEM Sculptures!
Grant: $600
Contact: Mrs. Erica Herman
Description: Students will use geometric blocks to measure and build “solar” sculptures. These creations will cast shadows that the students will sketch in shadow form, then rebuild in various indoor environments and represent artistically. 

Evergreen Elementary School
Students Impacted: 10
Project Title: LEGOs to the Rescue: Making STEM Projects Accessible for English Language Learners
Grant: $800
Contact: Mrs. Sarah Marquez
Description:  This project will provide English Language Learner students with the opportunity to participate in a STEM-based LEGO construction after-school program.  

Villago Middle School
Students Impacted: 120
Project Title: Students will Succeed (And fail) with Scientific Inquiry.
Grant: $1300  
Contact: Mrs. Thelma Whaling
Description:  Learners will gain experience working with hands-on projects that allow them to experience the scientific process.



SOUTHWEST REGION
Ron Watson Middle School
Students Impacted: 150
Project Title: Applying Science through Gardening
Grant: $2,500
Contact: Miss Sarah Carey
Description: This project will provide students with hands on experience in designing, planting, and growing a garden. 
Desert Sonora
Students Impacted: 23
Project Title: Our Earth and Volcanoes
Grant: $800  
Contact: Mrs. Araceli Valtierra
Description: This project will serve as a way for students to learn about the earth. Students will follow the scientific method in order to find out what our world is made of, and how earthquakes and volcanoes are formed. 

Somerton Middle School
Students Impacted: 576
Project Title: Game Controller Challenge
Grant: $1,500
Contact: Mrs. Karina Suarez
Description:  The goal of this project is for students to design their own video game and game controller, exploring all areas of STEM simultaneously.   
Valle Del Encanto Learning Center 
Students Impacted: 181
Project Title: Renewable Energy Investigators
Grant: $1,550
Contact: Mrs. Sandra Magana
Description:  Using two EcoSTEM Energy Kits, students will learn to design and build electrical circuits that generate renewable energy.
Rancho Viejo Elementary
Students Impacted: 150
Project Title: Grand Canyon Rocks
Grant: $2,500  
Contact: Mrs. Vicki Peterson
Description:  Students will embark on a trip to the Grand Canyon National Park, and participate in the “Grand Canyon Rocks” program with a park ranger. 

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: corporategiving@aps.com