Innovation Grants fund programs and initiatives designed to encourage critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and exposure to progressive learning tools and skills that may be underfunded within the current curriculum.
Innovation Grants are open to any individual, teacher, or group. However, for a recipient to be outside Routt County public schools, there must be a sponsoring school district member supporting the application.
Applying is now easier than ever with the new online application. Applications recurved by January 16, 2017 will be granted for use during the 2017-2018 school year.
Innovation Grants are unique and teacher-driven with support from principals. The EFB and Commission encourage going out on a limb with program ideas that experiment with new progressive learning tools, techniques, etc. Please visit the the Innovation Grants page at www.SteamboatEducationFund.org for more details and inspiration from examples of our “favorites.”
By the end of October following the Innovation Grant project year, an accountability report will be required that describes successes, failures, and what was learned through the experience rather than showing outcomes related to student achievement. Risk taking is encouraged. For example, Google X Lab, which produced the first self driving car, actually rewards failure to encourage risk taking and adaptive learning.
At present, approximately $185,000 or 5%, is available to fund Innovation Grants. However, Innovation Grants are submitted and considered along with Community Group Grant requests. The best grant applications will receive the funds!
Examples of Innovation Grant Favorites
Outdoor Classroom Grant – Steamboat Springs High School
This grant was used to design, construct, and utilize an outdoor classroom used for collaboration and integration of different curricular areas. Building their “Field of Dreams” brought together English and construction, art and drama, math and science, to promote innovation as well as generate creative and collaborative uses for students and the community.
3-D Visualization and Content Grant – Steamboat Springs Middle School
This grant gives middle school students a three-dimensional view of many of the abstract ideas in science and math. Students are more excited, engaged and curious with this interactive experience.
Student Designed Mobile Science Lab Grant – Hayden School District
This grant addresses a need for a multidisciplinary approach to experiential education within the English, math, science, and vocational departments. Teachers were asked students how skills can cross academic and vocational barriers. The funds requested were used towards problem solving – first to build the lab and then to house a platform for scientific discovery.