2019-2020 DARING Innovation Grant Recipients

2019-20 Innovation Grant recipients

The District 128 Foundation for Learning continued its mission to enhance and enrich learning in Community High School District 128 by awarding 18 DARING Innovation Grants totaling $27,291.48 to Libertyville High School and Vernon Hills High School teachers on Dec. 19, 2019. The 2019-2020 grant winners were announced and celebrated at an awards luncheon held at the District 128 Administration Office, where grant winners were joined by members of the Foundation for Learning Board of Trustees, D128 Administration, and the Grant Review Committee. This year's grants brought the number of grants awarded by the Foundation since 2008 to 163 and the total dollars funded to $245,739.33. In addition, the Foundation has given money to the high schools for project funding and assistance for students in need. To date, the Foundation has given LHS and VHHS $454,039.33 in funding for these initiatives.


The 2019-2020 DARING Innovation Grants Winners

AP Classes Get a BIG Upgrade with MiniOne PCR and Gel Electrophoresis - From analyzing how genetic diseases are inherited to breeding practices to increase food yield, MiniOne will give AP Biology and AP Environmental Science students real tools to use. They will move beyond just analyzing sample data to producing their own data and gain experience in lab techniques used in college. $2,000, VHHS, Science - Chris Wolf, Alyssa Clarke

Arcade Cabinet - Students from three subject areas will work together to create a finished product. Woods’ students will plan, build, and prepare the arcade cabinet. Art students will decorate the cabinet with meaningful themes and pieces of unique art to showcase their talent. Finally, Computer Science students will install the computer and create games and programs to make the arcade functional. $1,400, VHHS, Interdisciplinary (Applied Technology, Art, Mathematics) - Adam Lueken, Brian Miller, Allison Molloy

Bluetooth Syncing Oxygen Sensors for Student Chromebooks - By using wireless oxygen gas sensors, students can accurately measure changes in oxygen and analyze authentic data as they would in an actual science lab with a simple program already used on students’ Chromebooks. Students are able to see their results live and make connections to the science they are learning. $1,134, VHHS, Science, Chris Wolf

Certified Wildlife Habitat Garden - Students from the Special Education Life Science class will partner with the AP Environmental Science classes to ponder problems of how to provide four habitat components (food, water, cover, and places to raise young) and practice sustainable gardening techniques. Students will create a healthy garden habitat and propose plants for the garden layout that will include all the criteria/components necessary to acquire the National Wildlife Federation's certificate of wildlife habitat. This is a cross-curricular partnership which will take both classes through the lessons of soil fertility, biodiversity, agriculture, water quality and ecosystem balance. $1,982, VHHS, Science, Special Services, Matt McCarty, Alyssa Clarke

Cintiq Monitor for Production of Digital Drawing and Painting - The Cintiq Monitor provides many possibilities for students to produce and design with digital media. Using Adobe Photoshop, students work directly on the surface of the monitor to intuitively create original and expressive works of art. Students experience the ease in which work can be done which helps them gain confidence, esteem, and control, allowing for more creativity and freedom of expression in digital work. $2,000, LHS, Art, Ray Gossell

Cultivating Compassionate Citizens: Choir, Orchestra, American Studies New Music Commission - This grant provides the opportunity through music, historical readings, and poetry to tell the stories of now dominant voices throughout American history. A nationally known composer, Lee Kesselman, will provide a multi-movement work and Choral and Orchestral students will not only learn/perform completely new music, they will collaborate with American Studies students for discussion about America’s complex past, and encourage them to develop new opinions and attitudes as a result of this unique experience.$2,000, VHHS, Interdisciplinary (Music, Social Studies), Jeremy Little, Dana Green, Amanda Carroll, Siobhan Szabo

DOI and Broadcast Journalism - This project will introduce a more formal video broadcasting element to Drops of Ink. Students will have more professional and high-quality video broadcast equipment to use in creation of assignments and the website. Having this equipment allows students to produce and create better video broadcasts.$1795.08, LHS, English, Michael Gluskin

Free-Fall Trajectory Student Inquiry Project - Students will investigate 2-dimensional motion of objects in free-fall using precision projectile launchers. Students will be able to gain a conceptual and quantitative understanding of how objects in free-fall are affected forces, angles, and gravity through hands-on experience. $1,825, VHHS, Science, Nicole Collins, Josh Ravenscraft

Getting in the Zone -  To bring sensory-based interventions into AP-level classes as a way to reduce stigma regarding so-called "special ed" interventions by making them available to a "regular ed" population.  We are interested in discovering the usefulness of these interventions for students who aren't "identified" as a way to increase self-awareness (a primary SEL goal) and help them understand how they can self-advocate to be learning ready, i.e., getting in-the-zone. Students identify their zone and select a sensory object from an occupational therapy box. The objects are used to help students de-stress, calm, and/or focus. $794.90, LHS, Social Studies, Brenda Nelson, Regina Odishoo, Marci Simmons, Kara Bosman, Laura Brandt

Glow Red or Glow Green: The Cutting Edge World of Synthetic Biology - Using cell free, cutting edge synthetic biology technology, students can investigate the cause and effect of protein synthesis and actually visualize the process. With this hands-on lab experience, students can actually conduct both parts of the process. During Transcription when RNA is coded from DNA it will glow green. Next, Translation is the coding of RNA into an amino acid sequence which will glow red in this kit. This innovation grant will add color, quite literally, to the process. This will allow students to watch as one step in protein synthesis is completed and the next one begins. $1,850, VHHS, Science, Elissa Gong

Human-Human-Interface - In Human Physiology, students learn about multiple body systems throughout the year. Students will be able to set up electrophysiology on one another and make each other's muscles move by controlling safe, electrical signals. Students will gain a more holistic view of the human body and see just how closely connected the Muscular System is with other systems such as the Nervous System. $1,559.94, VHHS, Science, Ashley Antony

Modeling Biochemistry with Molecular Modeling Kits - With the use of organic molecular modeling kits, students will be able to delve into the complexity of molecular interactions in a hands-on way.  Students will be able to more thoroughly dive into the concepts of molecular shape and polarity, and discover how these properties determine the chemical behavior of our cells. This project engages students in inquiry related to chemical structure and behavior in a tactile way, and students will build various models of organic compounds and functional groups and predict behaviors based on structure. $564.60, LHS, Science, Ashley Bell, Dana Brady

Native Garden--Outdoor Classroom -  This grant helps convert an interior courtyard into an outdoor classroom and living laboratory. Turf grass will be removed, and students will grow all native plants in this garden. In addition, teachers at LHS can bring students outside for learning activities, and the garden will be used by Environmental Science classes as a living laboratory--native plants, birds, and insects can all be identified and documented by students. $2,000, LHS, Interdisciplinary, Tom Koulentes, Dave Lapish, Jennifer Kahn 

Psychology in the World - For the past two years, AP Psychology has been able to provide opportunities for students that extend beyond the pages of the textbook and the classroom walls. This grant will continue the tradition of Psychology being an interactive learning experience with the sheep brain lab, extended review possibilities, guest speakers, and new opportunities to give back to the community. $1,280, LHS, Social Studies, Kara Bosman, Laura Brandt

Red Door Recording Studio - The Red Door helps students who love music and sound. In addition to creating, capturing, mixing, engineering and producing music, students are able to put their own musical or sound creation(s) out into the universe, and this allows students to be creative, expressive, technological, and proficient in all music endeavors within the safety, security, and supervision of the school.  $1575.99, LHS, Music, Eric Maroscher, Eli Kelly, David Ness, Jen Uliks, Sandra Kruckman

Rhythm App - This app teaches rhythm in a way that more accurately corresponds to how students read rhythms, and it is sequenced to allow students to progress in an efficient manner. With the assistance of the app, learning rhythm will be much simpler for the student musician. It is a powerful tool that will greatly decrease the amount of time it takes for students to master complex rhythms, and it will help establish a strong foundation that will give students greater independence to be life-long musicians. $1,000, LHS, Music, Jeremy Marino

RoboRoaches - The RoboRoach Project allows students to control the movement of cockroaches by neural stimulation. Students attach electrodes to the head of a live cockroach and manipulate the direction the cockroach moves using an app on their cell phone. This RoboRoach activity will help students synthesize what they learned in physiology with their engineering skills. $529.97, VHHS, Science, Ashley Antony

Service Learning Through Literacy - Students in the Literacy Courses read The Absolute True Diary of a Part Time Indian and researched background knowledge about Indian Reservations. With this background knowledge, the Literacy students will implement a service learning project to create and develop literacy kits for 39 students at the Batelands Elementary School on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. The kits are for use at home to help increase the literacy skills of the Bateland’s students. $2,000, LHS, Special Services, Kim Jansen, Simone Oslage, Regina Odishoo 

Founded in 2007, the Foundation for Learning was established to enhance and enrich the instructional program in District 128 by obtaining resources through community partnerships.