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Marchi Mini Grants

Encouraging Creativity & Innovation in the Classroom

Established in 2013, the Marchi Mini Grant program is named in memory of Lisa Marchi, a former educator in Mapleton Public Schools. Lisa loved supporting both teachers and students. 

The Marchi Mini Grant program provides funding for teachers to implement innovative, standards-based, hands-on learning opportunities in their classrooms. Though applicants may also receive support from the Donors Choose site, Mapleton Education Foundation awards are up-to $1,500 for an individual instructor or up-to $3,000 for a team application. 

Members of the Mapleton Education Foundation Board of Directors select projects for Mapleton Education Foundation Marchi Innovation funding and notify winners by the end of October.

Educators you can apply here, Marchi Mini Grant Applications Due 10/10/23!

2022-2023 Marchi Mini Grant Awards!

The MEF Board of Directors in collaboration with the Teaching and Learning Team has selected eight Marchi Mini Grant submissions to be funded for a total of $14,988. Thank you to all who applied. Every year we receive more applications than we can fund, but we truly appreciate the innovation and thoughtfulness that is included in the applications.

Congratulations to the 2022-23 recipients:   

Emily Tucker & Luis Vega     


Global Intermediate Academy 

The CalWood Education Center provides a 3-day immersive experience that strives to grow the diversity and number of people who experience nature and the Colorado mountains (CalWood 2022). Our students, many of whom have never experienced significant time in nature, are immersed in a 3-day experience that allows them to explore their own environment in a way that creates an enduring appreciation not only for nature, but also for their own school community. This program helps to spark a connection between students and the natural world through field-based exploration that is relevant to their own Colorado community.  

Emily Adams     

STEM kits     

Adventure Elementary 

Every year my goal is to find engaging ways to get students excited to read and have found that hands on/project-based learning is one such way. In the KiwiCo bulk orders, there are 10 kits that would serve 40 students working in small groups. Each project takes between 1.5-3 hours depending on the STEM project. The learning goals for all participating students is to practice their reading, problem solving skills and critical thinking while collaboratively building something alongside their peers. 

Andrew Salzilloa & Emily Sheffield     

Solar Electricity to Hydroelectric Converter/Water Quality      

Mapleton Early Career Preparation 

The first part will address home energy consumption needs and the second part will address home water quality concerns. In order to increase gravitational potential energy, we would look to evaluate the possibility of using solar electricity to pump H2O onto a higher platform, releasing this H2O at night to operate a hydroelectric turbine and to generate electricity. Our goal overall would be to develop and calculate the efficiencies of this system.  Water Quality in Thornton, Colorado Overview This project will allow the Thornton community to get a deeper look into the components of their water. The objective for this project is to determine the amount of lead, copper, and other contaminants in Thornton’s water. Our team will individually get samples of tap water from their homes and test them. From here the objective is to engage in civic engagement about the water quality in Thornton, such as attending city-hall meetings on water quality in order to understand the process’ and decision makings at the local level. 

Zachary Brake & Kirby Dillman     

Professional Musicians Collaboration     

Mapleton District Performing Arts 

The ability to perform with musicians who are at a higher level helps to inspire, elevate and make our students better musicians themselves. Plus, it also exposes them to a higher level of music from outside of the school setting. II) The professional groups I am proposing we bring in are the Denver Brass and Guerrilla Fanfare. The primary focus of Mapleton Bands in Performing Arts is Standard I - The Expression of Music. This will tie into that in what we already do wherein we prepare a variety of diverse music to the highest level we can for public performance and through that process we cover all topics of musicianship from notes and rhythms to phrasing, to dynamics, style, articulations -- all things that these professional groups do at a high level themselves and will help demonstrate to our students. IV) The students will learn to prepare music at a high level, will perform music for a live audience in a live performance setting, and will learn how to collaborate with a professional group, and will learn to adjust to feedback, variations from other ensembles, and most importantly use listening skills in the moment.  

Tia Nevil     

Where STEAM Comes to Play!     

Welby Community School 

The materials I am requesting will help by students connect art to science, technology, engineering, and math.  We call the art room the "art studio," it's the place where artists come to make and explore art.  

The 3D pens will allow students to create sculptures. We will use the LED lights and copper materials to create circuits that will illuminate their art work. We will use the motors and batteries to make robots that scribble and dance across their papers. The Mylar will be used to make kaleidoscopes and light reflecting boxes that they can play with to study how light travels and changes. The blank CDs will be used to create a paint spinner while studying the concepts of force and motion. The paper making materials will allow them to see how they can recycle something into something new and the impact that can have on the planet.  

Scott Curry     

Keyboard/Piano Class     

Meadow Community School 

Many of the students at our school are from low-income families and they deserve the opportunity to have high expectations for musicianship.  The advantage of these keyboards is that they are battery powered and each student will be able to have their own keyboard in their lap.  If I were able to do piano as a class, it would be the perfect way to exceed standards for music theory as well as expression.  I think that keyboards would be the perfect addition to the instruments at Meadow, and it would be an amazing opportunity to have some instruments that are specifically geared toward our middle school students. 

Amber Butler     

Access to a Bright Future     

Welby Community School 

I have a classroom of multilingual learners who are just beginning their journey through the education process. I want them to have the tools that need, both socially/emotionally and academically, to give them pleasure in the education journey. The materials that I have chosen will be used in the "cozy corner" for those moments that they need to regroup and calm themselves. The storytelling kits will support their literacy awareness and ability to be engaged in the learning process.

Jason Kunk

Plein Air Painting and Capturing the Beauty of Natural Light

Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts

Plein air painting is a long-established practice of art that can hopefully challenge my students to see the world in a new light, a beautiful light embodied by the sunrise and sunset of each day. The easels I hope to attain for my classroom will allow my students to leave our normal classroom setting and paint directly outside in the surrounding spaces of our school. Lessons will focus on capturing the subtlety and beauty of natural light, finding interesting shadows, textures, and perspectively interesting spaces. The aspirations of these artworks and Plein air paintings are aimed to disconnect my students from technology and ask them to slow down, take what life has to offer in, and look at their world using a new lens and perspective.