Let’s Do Science Safely!

Anna Kramer, a teacher at Cascade Middle School needed help to adapt their teaching environment in order to reach all children. She explains: “Two of three 7th grade science teachers at Cascade are using non-science rooms with inadequate electrical outlets. This results in unsafe power strip/extension cord combinations. Cordless microscopes would allow us to teach life science without the added risk of tripping or electrical fires.

Additional microscopes would provide sufficient technology for all 7th grade classes to engage with the technology simultaneously, allowing students full access to the content and 7th grade teachers to enhance their collaboration and fully align their curriculum.”

The school was able to add to Anna’s excel grant, enabling her to purchase 12 cordless LED student microscopes and 3 cordless LED teacher microscopes with USB camera attachments for projecting an image. Here are the results:student microscope

  1. We have enough microscopes for multiple classes to use them at one time (when students work in pairs).
  2. We have enough cordless microscopes to spread the plug-in scopes around the perimeter of the room. This reduces the number of cords crossing student pathways, which is a major safety issue.
  3. We have less microscopes plugged in.
  4. We can project images from the microscope so students know what to look for.

About Excel Grants: Every year, the Highline Schools Foundation grants teachers the funds they need to support unique and innovative programs in their classrooms that their school’s budget can’t provide. We want to support activities and experiences that expand the learning process and actively engage students. Since the projects origin in February 2002, we have distributed more than $232,000 to Highline Public Schools through Excel and MAD Grants! Grant requests are accepted each fall and we announce the program on our website and Facebook.


Since 1999, the Highline Schools Foundation has been supporting innovation and excellence in Highline Public Schools. Our funding priorities focus on programs to improve academic achievement, supporting college and career readiness, grants to teachers for engaging classroom projects, the arts, athletics, and programs that keep students in school and productive. Highline is a district full of need and opportunity. The Highline Schools Foundation is the only non-profit organization dedicated to all schools in our district—our goal is to help as many students as possible be successful!

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