Idea Lab Grants

Idea Lab 2017 Awardees





Amy Bayer, ACE Program Coordinator

Provide funds for Circles and Restorative Justice Training for the ACE Student Leadership Team. This one-day training will provide student leaders experiential learning in the circle process. 


Victoria Cavanaugh, 7th Grade Science, Desiree Schreck, 7th Grade Math

The grant will fund the materials and professional expertise for designing and building an Aquaponics Garden. This interdisciplinary project will provide the 7th Grade with a meaningful science and math content-rich experience that will allow students to be creative and respond to real world issues of food scarcity and sustainability.

Recipient of Catalyst Innovation Award 2017


Ann Collins, Librarian

The BHS Library is building a Board Games Collection that will allow several classroom teachers to use board games in their class to support curriculum. Funds will go fund the purchase of board games, which offer an innovative approach for students to practice and hone soft skills.


Mark Goldner, 7th/8th Grade Science

This grant will provide funds for two Raspberry Shakes, small portable seismographs that can record earthquakes and earth's motions of all magnitudes. These devices will complement the projects happening in 7th grade Geology, and bring to life what's happening on the earth's crust.

BEEP at Putterham

Michelle Greeley, pre-K teacher

Funds will go towards a pre-K class field trip to the deCordova Museum and Sculpture park. In cooperation with the Lincoln Nursery School located on site at the Museum, the students will have hands-on experience exploring the sculptures and using recycled and natural items to create their own.


Ryan Kesser, 7th/8th Grade Science

This grant will provide funds to purchase a permanent class collection of animal skulls. Students in middle school and 3rd grade, will make their own discoveries and insights related to patterns, structure and function of animals' skulls, in order to more deeply understand functional differences and similarities of organisms and their role in ecosystems.


Amanda Kretschmar, Librarian

The BEF will provide funds for creating a LEGO Wall and Design Station in the library, the heart of Pierce school.  This will be a place where students and teachers make 3D models and designs, play, and learn.


Deirdre Madden, Grade 2, Danielle Halwick, Grade 1, Samantha Levine, Grade 1, Jen Pablico, Grade 4, Tanya Paris, K, Chad Pelton, 7th/8th Grade Science, 

Funds will provide materials and professional expertise to construct a Beetle Bank in the Runkle Outdoor Classroom. A Beetle Bank will support students in investigating and understanding ecosystems and biodiversity, insect habitat and life cycle, botany, progressive and ecological agriculture, and gardening practices.


Jennifer Maylone, 6-8 LCSW Guidance Counselor,

This grant will provide funds for organizing a half-day Career Exploration Workshop at Upper Devotion for the 8th Grade class. A panel of professionals from a diverse array of careers will present to students, followed by breakout groups where students will engage in more intimate conversations with the professionals.


Alejandra Munoz, 6th/7th Grade Science, Mies Boet, ECS

A group of Lincoln Elementary School teachers have come together to develop a program targeting Engineering practices and Empathy development for kindergarten and 6th grade students. Funds will go to materials, tools and storage needed to build projects designed by students, and aiming to help the Lincoln community.

Driscoll, Heath, Runkle

Olivia Reyelt, K-8 Art

This grant will fund the purchase of three classroom sets of KEVA planks for small groups of students to explore 3D work in art class. The activity will create more opportunities for students to experiment with the issues of 3D constructions and collaborative problem solving.


Matt Piccard, 6th Grade English

This grant will provide funds for adding two Collaborative Workstations in the 6th Grade English classroom. Students will come together around these workstations to share ideas, discuss, and analyze, prior to taking action on the hands-on projects that are happening this year.


Anne Reid, Librarian, Allison Lenk, Literacy Specialist, Rick Cass, 4th/5th LC

BEF Funds will purchase 16 Student Book Award nominees in Playaway (audiobook) format. This will allow students the timely, hands-on opportunity of participating in the 2018 Driscoll Student Book Award.


Donna Sartanowicz, Visual Arts

This grant will for provide funds to obtain a Glaze Test Kiln for AP Studio Art class. The kiln will enable students to complete a 3D Design portfolio and work more intensively and flexibly with glaze formulation in ceramics, thus enriching their learning and artistic output.


Elaine Shields, Bridge Alliance

The grant will fund an overnight life skills experience to Newbury College for BHS Bridge Alliance students. This staff supervised activity will allow students to have their first away-from-home experience, with familiar professional staff, as well as practice independent living skills. 


Lauren Tavares, Laura Vish, Speech and Language

This grant will provide materials to allow students in the RISE program to participate in monthly activities with the speech and language pathologists. These activities will allow students to get hands-on experience and gain independence in completion of important life skills, as well as exposure to the Brookline community.

Idea Lab 2012-2016

The Brookline Education Foundation Idea Lab Initiative began in 2012 seeking to promote the 21st Century classroom and to pilot new educational approaches that reflect the latest in educational thinking.

Idea Lab Grants award up to $1,000 each to Brookline educators. In 2015, the BEF announced an additional incentive to innovative approaches to teaching through an Innovation Catalyst Award - $500 Prize. The award is presented to the Idea Lab grant recipient whose proposal best supports a creative, pioneering approach to teaching. 

For a full list of all previously funded Idea Lab Grants click here  (Please note that the requirements are different in the 2017 call.)

Idea Lab 2017

Has this happened to you? You go to a conference, workshop, or for a run, and have a brilliant idea of how to get your students to be really engaged in a new way. But you get back to the classroom and it's hard to figure out how to execute this great idea.  

We are here to help you! The BEF Idea Lab grants are here to support your brilliant new idea! Idea Lab grants will fund up to $1,000 to teachers who offer new, hands-on, authentic, experiential learning opportunities in the classroom this year

Note that our call this year is a little different from previous years, so please read it carefully