Summer project examples

As part of the Ignited program, teachers create an Education Transfer Plan to bring their experiences back to students. Below is a sample of projects that teachers have completed.

Science Projects

Teacher: Valery Lynn
Host: Stanford University
Fellowship Title: Francis Research Lab Fellow

Summer Project: Valery held a research fellowship in the Francis Lab in the department of Environmental Earth System Science at Stanford University. Valery collected sediment samples with varying salinity concentrations from the San Francisco Bay. She extracted DNA from these samples and, using PCR, amplified genes for archael amoA, ammonia monooxygenase, an enzyme responsible for converting ammonium to nitrite and nitrate.

ETP Description: Valery engaged her students in a similar hands-on laboratory process. She had students collect soil samples from a creek bordering the school (and students ‘discovered’ they had a creek!). Students plated these samples and analyzed them for nitrogen-fixing bacteria. To view Valery’s full ETP, visit: Nitrogen Cycling by Soil Microbes.

Teacher: Jonathan Fong
Host: University of California, Berkeley
Project Title:  Mass Spectrometry Lab Fellow

Summer Project: Jonathan held a research fellowship at the Mass Spectrometry Facility at UC Berkeley where he helped to analyze multiple samples in succession on a gas chromatography/mass spectrometry machine and worked on high school curricula that made use of this machine.

ETP Description: Jonathan engaged his chemistry students in a hands-on lab in which they extracted caffeine from common soft drinks to send to the Mass Spectrometry Laboratory at UC Berkeley. The laboratory then used gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to analyze students’ samples and determine the amount of caffeine in each. Students explored and applied concepts of density, molecular polarity and solubility as well as precise laboratory skills. To see Jonathan’s full lesson, visit: How Much Caffeine Is in My Soft Drink?

Teacher: Blanca Herrera
Host: Lockheed Martin
Fellowship Title: Software Systems Support Fellow

Summer Project: Blanca tested satellite software at Lockheed Martin. She used the company’s peer review process to test commands, record and report errors back to the software engineers to ensure that the program performed as designed.

ETP Description: Inspired by her experience, Blanca engaged her middle school computer students in a basic programming lesson. Students used Alice to learn basic programming and build a scene that reviewed core 5th grade science concepts including the water cycle and the human skeleton. To see Blanca’s full lesson, visit: Alice: Computer Programming in a 3D Environment.

Technology Projects

Teacher: Jeff Larson
Host: Adobe
Fellowship Title: Adobe Youth Voices Coordinator

Summer Project: Jeff worked on Adobe Youth Voices (AYV), a philanthropic project of Adobe, which focuses on bringing curriculum and software training to educators and students around the world with the theme of “Create with Purpose.” Jeff assisted in planning and presenting workshops for educators at conferences and trainings. Additionally, he helped to prepare and maintain digital assets for use in the AYV Essentials website, including, photos, videos, and curriculum.

ETP Description: Jeff’s ETP focused on learning to assemble and create interactive digital content for publishing using Adobe InDesign. With this lesson plan, teachers of any subject area are able to have students create, assemble, and publish their content for tablet viewing. To see Jeff’s full lesson, visit: Interactive Digital Publishing Project Using InDesign.

Teacher: Rob Alexander
Host: FUJIFILM Dimatix
Fellowship Title: Technical Training Instructor

Summer Project: Rob’s summer project at Fujifilm Dimatix was to examine shift-to-shift communication and consistency and to explore process efficiency in the fabrication of industrial print head assembly. Rob observed the “pass down” process when technician shifts overlap by half an hour to “pass down” where they left off on the production to the next set of technicians. This allows the next shift to pick up where the previous shift left off and continue production as seamlessly as possible.

ETP Description: The goal of Rob’s ETP was to engage students in a hands-on, collaboratively designed, engineering experience. Students follow the procedures of research, development, and production observed at FUJIFILM Dimatix as they complete a modular toothpick structure. Following preset design criteria, groups complete work in class and communicate work to be done by the next class via a “Pass Down Paper.” The project goes back and forth between classes by way of the “Pass Down Paper” until completion. Groups are encouraged to complete multiple structures for competition. To see Rob’s full lesson, visit: Still Standing Modular Design with Pass Down.

Teacher: Gregg Witkin
Host: Citrix Systems
Fellowship Title: CloudStack Content Development Fellow

Summer Project: Gregg’s summer project was to create meaningful videos to both increase brand awareness and engage the open source community around Citrix’s robust cloud environment.

ETP Description: Gregg’s ETP was focused on having students learn to develop simple, yet effective video demonstration techniques like those used in his Summer Fellowship at Citrix. Students developed short videos that demonstrate how to do something in a clear and concise way to help someone else learn. Students use both video and non-video tools to accomplish their goal. To see Gregg’s full lesson, visit: Video Demonstration.

Mathematics Projects

Teacher: Michael Bautista
Host: Synopsys
Fellowship Title: Technical Writer/Web Developer

Summer Project: At Synopsys, Michael updated and migrated an IT Matrix webpage to SharePoint 2007. He updated information and documents on the Synopsys New Employee site and proposed changes for an internal company website.

ETP Description: In Michael’s ETP, math students collected data on their paper usage over a two week period. They first analyzed current global paper consumption trends and learn about the environmental impacts of paper production. Students created a spreadsheet in Google Docs that allows them to see the environmental effects of their own paper consumption, such as C02 emissions, H20 used, and trees cut down. Upon completing their data matrix, students created graphs of the various data sets used and find linear modeling equations. Students used the graphs to make estimations of their yearly environmental impact caused by paper consumption. Students then used their data to make conclusions and predictions for the average student, a typical classroom, and the entire school. To view Michael’s full ETP, visit: A Mathematical Analysis of Paper Usage.

Teacher: Kevin Jordan
Host: Lockheed Martin
Fellowship Title: Product Support Engineering Fellow

Summer Project: Kevin worked in the Solar Array Manufacturing Division of Lockheed Martin where he helped to assemble Solar Arrays for a number of satellites. The process involved laying groups of cells in a specific arrangement onto a surface and bonding them in place.

ETP Description: Based on Kevin’s observation that different solar arrays have different shaped cells, he designed a lesson in which high school students used area formulas to calculate the number of cells, energy production and cost of different shaped cells on a rectangular solar array. Students then drew conclusions about the most efficient, cost-effective solar cell shape. To view Kevin’s full ETP, visit: Designing a Solar Array- An Area Optimization Problem.

Cross-Curricular Projects

Teacher: Christina Cagliostro
Host: Intel
Fellowship Title: Curriculum Development Fellow

Summer Project: Christina assisted in the development of a three-day leadership training at Intel. In developing this training for high-level engineers, she identified leadership indicators and skills including setting goals, making a business case and effectively networking.

ETP Description: Inspired by her summer project at Intel, Christina decided to engage her students in a similar career exploration activity. Christina had her students interview their parents about their careers and give oral reports to the class about what they learned. This not only expanded students’ knowledge of careers and important skills, but also helped students gain new insights into their parents’ professional lives. To see Christina’s full lesson, visit: Online Student Profile and Portfolio Builder.

Teacher: Jacqueline Ng
Host: Ericsson
Fellowship Title: Innova Squad Fellow

Summer Project: Jacqueline worked with the Innova Squad, a team charged with helping Ericsson become the most innovative company in the field of telecommunications and internet communication technology. The Innova Squad acts as internal consultants who tackle projects across the company utilizing the Innova Method with the goal of inspiring employees to collaborate and innovate. The Innova Method, which cycles through the phases of “Inspiration, Ideation, and Action,” is a structured approach with roots in design thinking methodology that produces repeatable innovation.

ETP Description: Jacqueline’s ETP allows teachers to enhance existing curriculum by teaching students a structured, creative, and collaborative manner to problem-solve. Students learn to use Design Thinking Methodology to provide solutions to curriculum-related “Design Challenges.” By teaching students the “Inspiration, Ideation, and Action” phases of Design Thinking, students learn a structured method to research, synthesize, and brainstorm any problem and demonstrate understanding of the curriculum by providing a content appropriate solution. To see Jacqueline’s full lesson, visit: Using Design Thinking Methodology to Solve “Design Challenges” in the Classroom.

English/Language Arts Projects

Teacher: Tiffany Holliday
Host: JDS Uniphase
Fellowship Title: Change Ready Leaders

Summer Project: Tiffany worked within the Human Resources Department at JDS Uniphase on a project called “Change Ready Leaders.” Her task was to develop training guides, materials, and presentations around the topic of change management.

ETP Description: For her ETP, Tiffany’s students read “Who Moved My Cheese?” as they determined and wrote about how each of the four characters responds differently to change and the outcomes of those responses. To see Tiffany’s full lesson, visit: Choose Your Own Adventure of Change.

Teacher: Jessica Zanotto
Host: Cisco Systems
Fellowship Title: Business Operations Manager II

Summer Project: At Cisco, Jessica worked with the US Public Sector department where she interviewed project managers, delivery managers and a Vice President at Cisco about the current training program to create a plan for ongoing improvement.

ETP Description: Jessica’s lesson is geared towards the development of speaking skills for English Language Learners. Students had the opportunity to interview a staff member from their elementary school. This lesson encourages the practice of asking questions. Also, embedded in the lesson is the use of vocabulary and conversation. It also helps students build relationships with teachers and faculty members. To see Jessica’s full lesson, visit: ELD Interview: Practicing Asking Questions.

Teacher: Adrianne Wilkinson
Host: NetApp
Fellowship Title: Great Places to Work Program Fellow

Summer Project: Adrianne worked at NetApp as part of their Great Places to Work Team. She researched, updated and collected data and pictures on how NetApp is an environmentally sustainable company for their 2013 submission to the award.

ETP Description: For her ETP, primary grade students work together to create a class book entitled, A Great Place to Learn. They brainstormed the people, places and practices that make their school special and worked in teams to create a page about their person or area. Students conducted interviews, took pictures and drew pictures to show why their school is a great place to learn. They then added their work to a collective book to show the wonderful things their school has to offer. To see Adrianne’s full lesson, visit: A Great Place to Learn.

Social Science Projects

Teacher: Nate Bowen
Host: Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Fellowship Title: Public Policy Fellow

Summer Project: Nate conducted a 20-year job trends study comparing Silicon Valley with other technology clusters around the country. The results of this research were shared by Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) with the media. Nate also had the opportunity to sit in on SVLG’s day-to-day operations of public policy making. He sat in on policy discussions, SVLG committee meetings and working council meetings.

ETP Description: Nate wanted his students to experience the process of policy making. In Nate’s ETP, he had his students form their own public policy-making groups, research a specific topic area, write letters to legislators and make policy recommendations. Nate’s students learned how they can influence major issues facing their community. To see Nate’s full lesson, visit: Taking Action! Public Policy Organizations and Our Society.

Staff Development Projects

Teacher: Roxanne Ansolabehere
Host: Autodesk
Fellowship Title: Education Market Research Fellow

Summer Project: At Autodesk, Roxanne researched cutting-edge secondary education, Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) trends and emerging technologies in educational databases and specialized-content databases in India, China, Brazil, Russia, France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, and the United States.

ETP Description: Roxanne’s ETP demonstrated the leadership skills that many teachers apply in their schools by creating and delivering a staff development to her school’s leadership team. The staff development workshop Roxanne implemented is on STEM/STEAM education and engages teachers in collaboratively writing an integrated lesson. To see Roxanne’s full lesson, visit: STEAM in Your School.