Innovative Learning Grants

Innovative Learning Grants 2022-23

The Mountain View Los Altos High School Foundation awarded over $100,000 toward Innovative Learning Grants for the 2022-23 school year.

The Innovative Learning Grants are a competitive application process, and grant recipients are required to submit a written evaluation of their project’s outcome within two weeks of completion of the project. “These grants are intended to foster innovation while cultivating exciting new collaborations among students. The projects may also serve as pilot programs which, if successful, could become part of the curriculum in the future,” said Brigitte Sarraf, retired Assistant Superintendent of Education Services and current Director of Assessment & Accountability, who oversees the grant selection and evaluation process. Congratulations to the following grant recipients and projects approved in Rounds 1 and 2 for the 2022-23 school year.

Awards were based on the projects’:

  • scaling potential, such as incorporation into the curriculum, shared future use by others in the course team, and potential for replication across the district,
  • impact on student learning, such as enhancing depth of knowledge, applicability to addressing real-world problems, interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving, and
  • effectiveness in challenging students to make connections and discover alternative problem-solving.
Alta Vista Grant Recipients and Projects
Round 1 approved May 2022
  • Bonnie Michalek & LIsa Falsetti, College and Career: visits and activities
Freestyle Grant Recipients and Projects
Round 1 approved May 2022
  • Leslie Parkinson, Design/Photography: Mirrorless Digital Photography
  • Tommy Cho, Animation 1 & 2: Animation 3D Model, Liquid Resin Printing, and Motion Capture
  • Matthew Taylor, Film: Film High Production Camera to enhance senior narrative projects
  • Leo Florendo, Digital Media: SF MOMA field trip
Los Altos High Grant Recipients and Projects
Round 1 approved May 2022
  • Rober Barker, Film Analysis, New Media Lit & AP Literature: Audio equipment for 21st-century assessments
  • Linda Hambrick, Environmental Science & AP: Making Science Accessible with 3-Dimensional models
  • Persephone Hintlian, Heather Cisowski, Dan Carter, Erica Starks & Jen Royer, Study Skills   Therapeutic Program: interactive therapeutic calming aids, field trips & transportation
Round 2 September 2022
  • Rober Barker, Global Connections, Film Analysis, New Media Lit & Journalism: wireless mics for new assessment methods and projects
  • Silja Paymer, Karen Davis & Stephen Hine, Physics: Project-based Learning Electricity & Magnetism Unit
  • James Stiltner, Lisa Cardellini, Meghan Strazicich, and Greg Stoehr, Biology, ASI, AP Environmental Science, and Marine Wildlife Conservation Club: Resilient Corals
  • Tory Johnson, Biology, AP Biology, BioTech, and Human Bio: Cell Culture and Protein Analysis
  • Silja Paymer, Stephen Hine, Karen Davis, Science Department: Standardization of Lab Equipment for Vertical & Horizontal Align in Science
  • Linda Hambrick, Environmental Science and Biology: Investigative Tools and Resources


Mountain View High Grant Recipients and Projects
Round 1 approved May 2022
  • Lyudmila Shemyakina & Allison Pfeiffer: Honors Biology: Genetics of Fast Plants, using model organisms & PCR
  • Julie McVay & Arielle Martinka, Honors Biology, Anatomy: Ultralow freezer to support Biotechnology Lab Activities  
  • Gina Dunsmore & Jonathan Bower,  Physics: Pivot Software for interactive activities
  • David Cmaylo, AP and Honors Biology: Central Dogma Modeling
  • Gabi Elfenbein & Emily Schultz, College Prep for Special Education: Academic Communication for students with Autism
  • Sukhraj Sohal, Biology: Exploring Protein Folding with models
  • Ann Nguyen, Anatomy & Physiology, Digital Microscopy of Human Tissue Samples
Round 2 approved September 2022
  • Marcey Winawer, Intro to Computer Science: Physical Computing with LArduinos(Linkbot and Arduinos)
  • Lyudmila Shemyakina, Pre-Environmental Science, Biology, and Environmental Science: Alternative Energy learning sequence
  • Tom Chang, Digital Art, Ethnic Studies, Photography, Journalism: “See Me” portrait exhibit
  • Arielle Martinka, Biology: Comparative Anatomy – Skeleton Study
  • Nicole Higley & Minako Walther, Japanese 1-4: Okinawan Studies through Traditional Music
  • David Campbell, AP Spanish Literature and Culture: Field trip to exhibit at  the De Young Museum
  • Jonathan Bower, PreBiology, Biology, Biology honors, and AP: Exploring Evolution through Analysis of Hominid Replica Skulls
  • Sukhraj Sohal, Chemistry and Chemistry Honors: Snatoms for hands-on molecular modeling experience