2017 Innovation Grants Announced

    The Kettle Moraine Education Foundation (KMEF) is pleased to announce it has awarded $10,000 in Innovation Grants to Kettle Moraine educators. Winning applicants successfully demonstrated how their proposals will bring an innovative approach to supporting academics, citizenship and personal development. Applicants were also required to define project objectives, expected outcomes, measures of success and how the project may eventually impact the entire KMSchool District. Please keep an eye out for updates as we follow these award-winning project proposals!

    Dousman Elementary - Growing Learners in the Garden
    Mrs. Thompson successfully proposed an ambitious garden project for Dousman Elementary. A school garden will provide endless opportunities for collaboration and hands-on learning. Students will engage in a variety of learning experiences, including creative design thinking, mathematics (geometry) in design, artistic expression, plant life science, water quality, nutrition, weather education and compost science - to name just a few! The garden will also create the opportunity for parents and members of the community to partner with Dousman learners and teachers in hands-on, authentic learning. The community will work together to design and build, bring the garden to life, harvest fruits and vegetables, learn about nutrition and, best of all, cultivate children's joy in learning.

    KM Global - Mini Golf Models
    Mr. Jonas was awarded an Innovation Grant for his Mini Golf Model proposal. One might think this particular project is all fun and games, and for those who find the application of mathematical principles to the game of golf a good time, you would be right! With this project, students will apply geometric concepts, such as trigonometric ratios, the Pythagorean Theorem and angles of reflection, in order to create a mini golf course that is playable by younger students, community members and/or their peers. It is Mr. Jonas' goal to create a course that can be used for community events, and perhaps to build support for future projects. Students will finish the project by reflecting on their learning through explanation of the learning targets they met. Good luck to Mr. Jonas and his students as they bring their "A" game to math class!

    KMHS Robotics - Visual Tracking
    Mrs. Ahrendt will lead the Laser Robotics Team 2077 to develop a robot capable of chasing a ball in an automated state through the utilization of cameras to be purchased with Innovation Grant funds. These cameras, in combination with the team's software development, will provide students with real world applications of visual tracking. This technology is used in a variety of ways in today's industry, including to help stop automated industrial machines before they cause human injury. The Robotics Team will share its learning with elementary students they mentor in Lego League, and at the Elementary Robotics Workshop. The technology developed by the team will also be shared in other venues within the District and throughout the community. Good luck to Laser Robotics as they work with their new cameras and develop the software over the summer.

    KMHS and KMMS - Virtual Reality
    Mr. Buntman, Mr. Stinnett, Mrs. Yaeger, Mr. Gutbrod, and Mr. Steger are the recipients of Innovation Grant funds for the purchase of virtual reality devices and software to be used throughout the middle school and high school campuses. Virtual reality is in its infancy, but KM educators are introducing students to the future of this technology. By providing the real world experience of developing and deploying virtual models in seemingly unlimited ways, teachers will inspire creative learning in STEM, Social Studies, Art, Computer Science, History, Science classes and more. Through these grants, students will have the tools to create a world of virtual experiences. In a world of engineering, students may step inside a house they created to get a first-hand look at the elements of their design, as-built. Social Studies educators can take their students on educational trips to from coast to coast and around the world without having to leave the classroom. Students and teachers can time travel to ancient Egypt to learn world history. Through virtual reality, educators have the means to significantly increase student engagement by making the impossible, possible!

    KMMS Orchestras - Kettle Moraine Clinic and Concert With Rock Violinist
    Mr. Peterson successfully applied for Innovation Grant funds by proposing an opportunity for middle school orchestra students to collaborate with a professional musician - Rock Violinist, Mark Wood. Students will begin to learn the repertoire in November and will work over the next several months, including a clinic with Mark Wood. These efforts will culminate in a concert in March 2018 which will showcase the learning and growth from this amazing collaboration. In addition to having the privilege of performing with a Rock Violinist, orchestra students will build confidence in their playing and performing and will learn and grow from exposure to new and different kinds of music. The March concert also presents a wonderful opportunity to connect with the community through partnering with a professional musician in a public performance. Rock on, KMMS Orchestras!
    Magee Elementary - The Goat Project
    With so much incredible investment in and attention to technology in the classroom, our friends at Magee help us keep our feet firmly planted on the ground - the native prairie and oak savannah, to be precise. KMEF was thrilled to support the Magee Environmental Education Experience, a Grade 3-5 seminar research program in which about 50 goats were brought in to help maintain these habitats which are native to the Magee campus.  
    But why goats? To successfully maintain these ever-disappearing native habitats, much work is required to manage the invasive plant species that propagate and grow very quickly. Without annual maintenance, the invasive species will win the battle and the precious native habitat will be lost. This usually requires annual brush cutting and burning, but Magee deployed a new strategy: send in hungry goats!
    Similar to virtual reality devices, live goats increase engagement in learning. Students at Magee investigated goats, native species, invasive species and restoration practices. Their research met reading, writing and science targets. Students evolved from researchers to ambassadors as they led tours from other classes and schools, showcasing and sharing their newly gained knowledge of native Wisconsin ecosystems, conservation and of course real, live goats! For more information and to see all the media coverage that happened, click here