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Past Winners





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HISD Foundation’s Innovation Grant enables teachers and schools to implement innovative learning opportunities in the class room. In 2017-1018, the Foundation funded over $158,000 to 18 campuses ranging from robotics to literacy.

Money raised through the Golf Tournament, Friends of HISD, and State of the Schools allows the foundation to continue support and provide Innovation Grants to HISD campuses.

I have learned how to program better and feel truly lucky to have a STEM class. It will definitely raise my chance of joining a robotics club or even later, get me a job in the Science and Technology field – Horn Elementary Student, STEM-ulate the Minds of Tomorrow, Today!


2017 – 2018

Berry Elementary School – Makerspace for Kindergarten

This newly launched Makerspace will allow all kindergarten classes to participate in a rotation of activities every Friday afternoon where the students can get practice in building, engineering and creating their own designs. Over 100 students will be impacted from this project.

Mark Twain Elementary School – Afterschool Coding Club

Afterschool Coding Club is created with the vison of integrating more STEM opportunities for students at Twain. Students will be exposed to basic programming and SCRATCH.

Kolter Elementary School – STEM and Makers Space

Funds from the Innovation Grant will allow Kolter’s 4th grade class teachers to rebuild items lost through Hurricane Harvey. Teachers will build brand new STEM and Makerspace stations and labs where students can build and create hands-on activities and projects.

McReynolds Middle School – Robots and Literature: Rolling in the Genres

This project will combine literature, robots, and coding to spark student enthusiasm for learning through “hands-on” and “minds-on” activities that will lead to deeper and more profound learning of all literacy concepts as well as introduce students to coding and programming fundamentals through a literary lens.

Attucks Middle School – Advancing Thinking Through Engineering and Robots

Through the Innovation Grant, Attucks Middle School can enroll more students from the Principles of Applied Engineering class into FIRST Tech Challenge, a national robotics competition. This challenge pushes students to design, build, program, and operate robots. Currently, Attucks Middle School is the only middle school team competing in the high school division.

Sharpstown High School – Sharpstown Story Telling Projects

The Sharpstown Stories Project is the curricular answer to the unique cultural and linguistic needs of Sharpstown High School’s diverse culture. Centered around a student produced series of interconnected narratives inspired by our students and their respective cultures, Sharpstown Stories integrates mentor texts in non-fiction and fiction with stories written in house to create thematic units of study that are high interest and TEKS aligned.

Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan – STEMergistic Learning Center

The “STEMergistic” Learning Center combines its outdoor Harvest Lab, Maker STEM Station and Health STEM Station into a synergistic learning experience for comparative research, discovery/exploratory growth, engineering learning and health occupations practice. It aims to Inspire students and parents to experience student learning through hands on investigative and engineering activities. This STEMergistic Center will enhance the learning experience for the entire campus of 750 students.

Reynolds Elementary School – Maker Space

This Maker Space project will impact over 540 students from Pre-K to Fifth grade, exposing students to real world activities, connect classroom instruction and aid in helping them develop greater problem solving and critical thinking skills in a safe and fun learning environment.

Energy Institute High School – Audibox

The Audibox is a box of any sort that contains an NFC reader and a Raspberry Pi that work together with a LAN with a recorded audio file accessible through an NFC sticker. The Audibox was used at Energy’s World Culture Day event, students 3D printed landmarks in Engineering class from their country of choice studied during World Geography class. Once activated, the Audibox projects audio files about the country.

Harvard Elementary School – Inside Out

Harvard Elementary will be able to impact all 675 Pre-K to 5th grader students and teachers through a fun, informative, and educational outdoor experience. INSIDE OUT will enhance academic study with light physical activity incurred from moving about the outdoor classroom space and along the gross motor track that will surround it. This will result in an overall improvement to students’ health and well-being, which will positively support their academic success.

Roosevelt Elementary – Coins for Kinder

The Coins for Kinder project is tailored to Kindergarten students, exploring and teaching financial literacy. Scholars will be exposed to the process of becoming a self-supporting citizen who can make smart decisions relating to personal financial matters. Scholars will be given a deeper understanding of knowing practical money skills such as ” What is money”, making spending decisions to spending plans towards their college educational journey.

Horn Elementary School – STEM-ulate the Minds of Tomorrow, Today!

The Innovation Grant allowed Horn Elementary teacher to launch a STEM lab, with the mission to provide students with engaging and collaborative experiences that stimulate innovation and creativity and encourages students to pursue future studies and careers in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Students will work with Dash robots to explore coding, Drones to explore programming, iPads to introduce Apple’s Swift programming language, Lego WeDo and Lego Mindstorms to introduce engineering, coding and the ability to be successful in a group environment.

Parker Elementary School – Promoting Genius Hour

Parker Elementary was able to purchase a class set of Chrombooks, allowing students to efficiently research topics of their interest during “Genius Hour”. A teacher at Parker introduced the “Genius Hour”, to encourage students to actively research and think critically about topics of interest.

Sinclair Elementary School – Physical Computing with Raspberry Pi

The Physical Computing with Raspberry Pi project provided the teacher at Sinclair 24 credit card size Raspberry Pi computers. These computers are designed specifically to make physical computing accessible to students in middle elementary and to remain relevant to students in high school and beyond. It comes preloaded with a variety of programming languages from the block-based Scratch to the professional level Python and Java. The goal is to conduct trainings to other teachers across the district.

Austin High School – Mobile Maker Space

The Mobile Maker Space will allow students to bring their STEM ideas to life. Both students and teachers will put their technology literacy to test through working with 3D printing and design software applicable to many engineering and drafting jobs. Because of the mobility of the station, this will allow teachers throughout the campus access to the printer for their own classrooms.

Cook Elementary School – Assistive Technology for Dyslexic Students

Through the Innovation Grant, teachers can purchase assistive tools for students dealing with dyslexia and attend trainings that help prepare teachers to empower students with foundational skills.

Durham Elementary School – Brain-Based Classroom Re-Design

The brain-based classroom redesign will create a new method of creative learning environment with flexible seating that encourages daily innovation, aligning with current social-emotional and dual language research. The impact of flexible seating will promote the skills necessary for leaders of tomorrow’s workforce. By providing these innovative spaces, we are adjusting our classrooms and schools to be reflective of a society that requires something deeper than just knowing the right answer on a test. We are preparing a classroom for the impact behind asking questions, making changes, speaking out, creating, and innovating.

Community Services K-12 – STEM-In

The STEM-IN program will serve 100 students at six alternative settings: hospitals, residential facilities and including students with chronic illnesses. STEM-IN will provide the solid knowledge base needed in all STEM areas through a comprehensive, collaborative, flexible, adaptable, framework.

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