2005 Innovation in Education Award Winners
Program: Tech Link for Student Success – Creating Wireless Building Blocks
District: Cajon Valley Union Elementary School District
Description: Tech Link for Student Success – Creating Wireless Building Blocks exposes students in grades 6 to 8 to the role of mathematics and science in cell phone communications that they use daily. QUALCOMM University hosted several teachers who learned about the real-world problems in wireless technology and communications. The goal was to inspire teacher to help students see how math and science will always be required to enhance and expand communications capacity and technology innovation. Teachers were excited about their opportunity to collaborate with community professionals in discovering how wireless technology worked and to create challenging and inspiring lesson plans based on a local communications industry that addressed state academic content standards.
Program: Project LIVE (Learning through Innovative Video in Education)
District: Escondido Union Elementary School District
Description: Project LIVE at fosters critical thinking and visual literacy skills in both students and teachers to increase student achievement. This group of teachers works as a professional learning community to use digital video to address state academic content standards leading towards measurable student achievement gains. Teachers create their own video presentations, so that they experience exactly what students will experience. After the initial kick-off training, Project LIVE teachers get together monthly to learn new concepts, to collaborate with their fellow teachers, and to receive feedback from other Project LIVE teachers as well as District staff. Teachers say their participation in Project LIVE fundamentally changes the way they teach because they can differentiate instruction to meet the needs of individual learners, engage students more easily and coach them on project-bases learning.
Program: Fantasy Baseball Math Program
School/District: Bonita Vista High School, Sweetwater Union High School District
Description: Fantasy Baseball uses baseball cards and real-life statistics to create and play simulated baseball games in the classroom that engages middle and high school students with the mathematical concepts of statistics, probability and proportional reason, all topic required by the California State standards in mathematics. Traditionally, these concepts are approached in an abstract way and students have had difficulty in grasping the material. Fantasy Baseball program makes the abstract more concrete and understandable by students. At Bonita Vista High School, all 120 students passed the high school exit exam in math and many other students have gone on to take higher-level math classes at high school and colleges.
Program: PISCES (Partnerships Involving the Scientific Community in Elementary Schools)
School/District: San Diego County Office of Education, San Diego State University and 10 local districts
Description: PISCES succeeds in increasing instructional time for science and in improving attitudes towards science among students and teachers. Teachers partner with Science Corps members recruited from local graduate science programs and learn to use kit-based instructional resources and real-time scientific data to enhance science instruction and support understanding of science concepts with broader math and language arts skills. Students display enthusiasm for science taught this way and teachers appreciate the extra support and professional development for quality instruction in science at elementary school levels. An early analysis of the CST (California Standards Test) for science in grade 5 administered in spring 204 indicates significant gains in achievement for students taught by teachers in the PISCES program.