Grade Contract-Grant Proposal Reflections-Beth Cramer : LUSENET : M.Ed./International Falls : One Thread

Reflections on Grant Writing Submitted by: Beth Cramer and Jill Herzig May 15, 1999

Toyota Tapestry Science Grant for Teachers was our first opportunity for grant writing. Although we were not awarded the grant we applied for, we felt it was a beneficial learning experience. Upon review of proposal, "It's Just One Drop", we have concluded that it contained many strengths and perhaps a few weaknesses.

The most evident weakness of our proposal was that we tried to include too many projects to support our science grant. We began writing on the topic of water clarity. After discussing this idea with a Voyageur's National Park representative, we came up with an innovative approach to use the bald eagle as an indicator of clean water. We attempted to test water, not only on Rainy Lake, but also various sites in our geographic location. Perhaps we encompassed to broad of an area, both geographically and experimentally in our proposal. In hind site, the large scope of this project explains the difficulty we had including all of our information within the guidelines of the proposal.

Another weakness might be found in our budget. Monies were allocated to a variety of lab supplies and technological equipment. To someone unfamiliar with our school setting, it may have appeared that we loaded the budget with unnecessary materials such as a television, VCR, and a computer. These may seem like base-line materials, but unfortunately are lacking at St. Thomas School. We believe that without these items we would have been unable to implement our project.

We believe our grant proposal has many highlights. Our letters of recommendation, one written by the superintendent of Voyageurs National Park and the other by our principal, illustrated the support of our community and school. Another strength, is our innovative hypothesis that eagles can be used as indicator of clean water. Our project would not only have educated our students about environmental science, but also the results would have informed the community about the quality of our water. "It's Just One Drop" is not only an innovative title, but it is also a multidisciplinary approach that encompasses a wide range of academic disciplines across the curriculum. Even though our grant was not selected, we know it has great potential. Therefore, our next step is to find another benefactor to fund our proposal.

-- Anonymous, May 15, 1999

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