Forest Hill Elementary School

Students Lead the Way With Innovation Grant Program

Third in a series of mid-year check-ins with Innovation Grant teams

“The Innovation Grant program encourages students to take ownership of their education and school experience,” said Campbell Union School District Superintendent Shelly Viramontez.

Through the grant program, 10 student teams are using the design-thinking process to generate, test and implement ideas for two areas identified in our student survey data as needs: campus cleanliness and building a sense of belonging at their schools. 

“When we provide students with real-world challenges, they see the connections to what they learn in school and recognize they have the ability to make a difference in their everyday lives,” Viramontez added. 

Here are stories of progress at two schools.

Rosemary School:

four students work on projectThe two Innovation Grant teams want to create a better school experience for their classmates.

The Refreshing Remix team, 23 students in grades 3 through 5, are creating activities that encourage all students to take responsibility for keeping their school clean and behaviors positive. Working with Teacher Jonathan Natividad, they created a schedule for students to support cleaning target areas for trash, they introduced motion sensor messages by restrooms to remind students to keep them clean, and delivered SEL supports to help students stay calm and in their classroom.

The Arcade team, 24 fourth-grade students at Rosemary and Blackford schools, are using their survey data to learn computer science, design videogames and create 3-D models of other activities for students to enjoy. Their aim is to create an arcade and student clubs at lunch and afterschool for having fun while learning computer programming. Students participate in the Arcade Club during the school day at lunchtime and after school as part of the Campbell Care program. Students share ideas and resources as they design independent solutions to create engaging spaces for Computer Science.

“Computer science dominates the careers of tomorrow, while opportunities to learn computer programming are only still emerging nationwide,” said Teacher Jason Pittman. “By making a place for computer science where fun and engagement leads, we hope to expand the ways to make learning computer science fun.”

Castlemont School:

boy stands at front of class as other students watchThe Castlemont team, led by teachers Kelli Sorich and Coriann Snyder, is reimagining the school’s 5th grade science experience so it is affordable, meaningful, and able to be replicated by other schools that choose to do so. 

Their design envisions a full-day science camp experience, that costs less than $78 per student, filled with fun, outdoor and team-building activities connected to their science lessons. 

Together, they planned and created activities, prepared a presentation to inform and promote the science camp day to classmates, and enjoyed sharing science and nature activities with students at Sanborn Park.

“Our students are working to find a way for every student to have access to this kind of enriching educational experience,” said Castlemont Principal Kristen Prindle. 

To learn more about this year’s 10 Innovation Grant projects, click here, or listen to the students talk about their projects on the Our Design Journey podcast.