Grants Awarded

Posted on Dec 15, 2017

Piedmont Makers is excited to award $5480 in grants to support S.T.E.A.M. education for the 2017-2018 academic year to teachers and PHS Clubs in the Piedmont Unified School District.   Thanks to all our donors for making our 2nd grants cycle possible!  And a huge thank you to Cheryl Wozniak, EdD., PUSD Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and Mary Leon, for their support in soliciting, organizing and administrating these grants over the course of the year.

  • Marna Chamberlain - Piedmont High School ($2600) – Water Challenge Project (All Biology Students, Grades 9 & 10) – We are thrilled to fund this exciting project as it will give students the opportunity to apply creativity and knowledge to turn constraints into creative opportunities.  Specifically, students will be tasked with providing enough drinking water for their assigned village by building a water collector suitable for their specific region of the world.  This project-based lesson integrates science and engineering together in a way that exemplifies 21st century learning.

  • John Jogopulos - Piedmont High School Motorsports and Engineering Club ($500) – Used Motorbike, Car, Truck or other Vehicle to be rebuilt.  We are excited to fund a new project for this entrepreneurial and innovative PHS club that is giving students an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of mechanical engineering in a way not currently available through the schools.  This grant will enable more interested students to participate than would otherwise be able to with only one current student-funded project.

  • Amelia Costello - Piedmont High School Biotech Club ($495) – CRISPR Gene Editing Kit, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) Kit, Tech Social Materials. The PHS Biotech Club is a student-run club that aims to expose more high school students to the biosciences and give those already interested deeper opportunities to explore the field.  The kits purchased through the grant will provide hands-on activities for students to engage in during school lunch periods.  The Club also helped arrange our January Tech Social speaker, Dr. Kevin Doxzen, who will be inviting the audience to participate in a hands-on experiment with your cell phone.  Come check it out to learn more!

  • Dan Kessler, Christy Blackie-Taylor and Camilla Thayer - Piedmont Middle School ($750 Partial Funding with the PMS Parents Club) – Earthquake Retrofit (7th grade) and Weather Engineering Projects (6th grade).  We are excited about the PMS Science Teacher’s projects because they will integrate engineering into lessons about earth sciences using experts and materials to gain further understanding about fundamental processes affecting our everyday lives.  We loved that the Earthquake project builds on work started through a project funded in last year’s grant cycle.

  • Adam Saville - Piedmont Middle School ($900 Partial Funding with PMS Parents Club) – 3D Printers for the PMS Maker Space. (PMS Middle School Students & the Piedmont Community) 3D Printing is a great way to make STEM education accessible and fun for a broad range of kids; brings the “A” into STEAM education as there’s an authentic integration of Art and Design, with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; and teaches kids “successful failure” that they can see with their very own eyes.  These 3D printers will be available for use by the broader community as well as the PMS Maker Classes.

  • Carolyn White, Jennifer Gulassa – Piedmont Middle School Library ($260) – 21st Century Skills Innovation Library books.  These books will support students interested in Makers in general and particularly support the Makers electives.  We applaud the Library’s interest in supporting S.T.E.A.M. education in a variety of ways and hope these books will become valuable tools for all PMS students to explore potential projects that they’ll be inspired to make!

  • Robin Ludmer – Beach Elementary ($72) – Keva Planks to add to the Mini Maker collection in the McHugh Library. We liked Ms. Ludmer’s proposal because it will inspire kids to create simple and complex designs, build pyramids and all kinds of wood sculptures, through open ended play.  These materials will be widely available to all students.

Questions or comments, please contact:
Donna Friedman Meir (

Jane Lin (
Piedmont Makers, Grants Chairs