The History Department is currently structuring their application for the $30,000 Teacher Initiated Inquiry Projects (TIIP) Grant, Phase II.
The TIIP Grant is a grant administered by The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) to benefit history students of Los Angeles County. The deadline for submission is July 2; however, Samo history teacher and grant coordinator Adrienne Karyadi hopes to have Samo’s application in before June 15.
“In regards to whether or not we have a good chance at receiving Phase II or not, I will be very surprised if we do not hear back from UCLA after a week from when we submit our plan,” Karyadi said.
Prior to the TIIP grant, Phase II in the Spring of 2010, Phase I provided money to Samo history teachers Ned Acker, Amy Bisson, Daniel Escalera, William Gow, Karyadi and Renée Semik on the basis that the group would include more document-based learning in their classes, get students to think historically, and even better prepare students for Advanced Placement (AP) history courses.
“Some of the benefits of the grant are seen in the class,” Acker said. “For example, the Elmo [document camera] and projectors. [The grant] also allowed us to attend workshops. I attended one in Washington D.C. at the Library of Congress where I was able to work with the National Archives. All of this was done to help us get students to think as historians.”
Since 2010, Semik has become the I-House Principal and Gow has moved to Northern California. In addition to this, Escalera became the Athletic Director after he had already been a part of the team of teachers working with Phase I of the grant. Despite only teaching one history class, Karyadi says that Escalera has had the same positive results with students and the grant as other teachers. Even in her position of I-House Principal, Semik is still involved in working with the department.
“Currently I’m just supporting the History Department,” Semik said. “They have a lot of ideas that they have shared with me and I’m working with them as they try to implement the benefits of the grant.”
In their reapplication, Samo is aiming to have the grant apply to all teachers in the History Department. In a list generated by the department, ten priorities of what to do with the possible money received from Phase II totaled $33,300 — only $3,300 more than the grant’s fiscal allowance. The department voted for things like purchasing copies of “Historical Thinking and Other Unnatural Acts” by Sam Wineburg for all of its students and hiring a Document Based Question Essay Consultant to work with department teachers.
“I think document-based learning is a better approach to teaching history because it’s more interactive, you’re seeing evidence of history instead of just reading about it,” Samo junior Harrison Sammons said. “As a student, it’s easy to get bored with the same old textbook.”