Splash! Grant Overview

The Splash! school grant program provides up to $3,000 per teacher to enhance student knowledge of freshwater resources issues. Public and charter school teachers of grades K through 12 are eligible to apply.

COMPLETING YOUR APPLICATION

Before completing a grant application, be prepared with the following:

Grant Type: Review the grant types and associated details below. Select one grant type and plan your associated key concepts, activities and budget.

Classroom Activities: All grant types are required to incorporate freshwater-resources classroom activities even if the main component of your grant is a field trip or garden. This helps reiterate or introduce new concepts into the grant, expanding its educational value. You can visit WaterMatters.org/Education for ideas. Photos of sample student-completed activities will be submitted at the end of the grant.

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): What STEM-related teaching strategies will be employed to actively engage students in water resources education?

Next Generation Sunshine State Standards (NGSSS) for Science: A drop-down menu of NGSSS Big Ideas is available on the application to assist you in your selection.

Budget: Prepare your budget based upon the list of approved budget items provided for each grant type. Provide the quantity and estimated costs per item. If applicable, include shipping in the cost of each item. It is your responsibility to find the lowest cost for each item requested. It is also your responsibility to contact the locations on the pre-approved field trip list for pricing.

NOTE: Please review the list of items SWFWMD cannot pay for on page 7.

 

Expectations of Grant Recipients

You’ll need to know the following important information if you receive a grant:

Making changes

During the grant period, activity or budget items may need modified. If modifications are needed, seek permission from Katherine Munson at Katherine.Munson@WaterMatters.org. Katherine is the Splash! grant program manager. All changes must be requested in writing and should not be made until approval is given by Katherine.

Pre-/posttest

  • It is mandatory to give students a pretest before beginning the grant and a posttest at the completion of your grant’s activities. The pretest and posttest should include all the same questions in the same format.
  • Samples tests and a bank of questions are located on the Additional Information and Resources tab on the right of the Splash! grant webpage. Feel free to use these as samples when creating your own test specific to your grant’s activities.
  • Your Final Report will ask for the average pretest score and the average posttest score.
  • A copy of the pre-/posttest must be submitted as part of your required invoicing documentation.

Participation hours

  • Record all direct student participation hours related to the grant for your Final Report. Direct student participants are the students being pre-/posttested.

Classroom activities and SWFWMD resources

  • Every grant should incorporate classroom activities even if the main component of your grant is a field trip or garden. This helps reiterate or introduce new concepts into the grant, expanding its educational value.
  • SWFWMD encourages classroom use of SWFWMD publications and web resources. Please refer to WaterMatters.org/Education for ideas. There’s an abundance of other activities online. Photos of sample student-completed activities will be submitted with your final report.

Spread the word

  • The SWFWMD encourages grantees to inform the entire school community about the grant and ways students are learning about freshwater resources. A take-home element is also strongly encouraged to inform families about freshwater resources education.
  • The SWFWMD, as a public funding source, reserves the right to share all projects, concepts, artwork, photos, videos and other products of these grants with others who desire to create projects in their own schools or communities. Each grant recipient should maintain school district photo/video release forms for students included in submitted work products.

 

GRANT TYPES

Grant Type 1: Water Quality Field Study and Student Project

Description:

The goal is for students to understand how human actions affect the quality of freshwater resources and ecosystems. Students will test water quality and identify native or freshwater aquatic plants and invertebrates while visiting a wetland area near the school. The field study location should be located within an hour’s drive from the school, preferably in the school’s county or neighboring county. More than one wetland area can be visited for comparison. Students should do a research project or learning journal on current issues relating to freshwater resources and contamination and share the project with classmates. Include a summary of the field study and follow-up project on the application.

Optional add-on A: Conduct a habitat restoration, clean-up or other service-learning project as part of the field program

Optional add-on B: Visit a spring, cave or sinkhole to examine karst topography

Key concepts:

  • A watershed is an area of land that water flows across as it moves toward a common body of water, such as a stream, river, lake or coast.
  • We all live in a watershed and everything we do can affect the quality of our water. Identify actions to protect our water resources with this watershed pledge.
  • Scientists use different types of equipment and tests to measure water quality.
  • An ecosystem is a community of microbes, plants and animals, including humans that interact with one another and with the physical environment where they live.
  • There are many types of ecosystems all connected by water.

Approved budget items:

  • Transportation
  • Substitute teachers
  • Professional to conduct field programs
  • Water test kits and supplies
  • Soil test kits
  • Probeware
  • Kayak, canoe or boat rental (life jackets, paddles, waders, etc.)
  • Dip nets
  • Microscopes (up to $150 each)
  • Microscope slides
  • Field notebooks and study guides
  • Freshwater-related books, DVDs, software and activity kits
  • Project-specific consumable supplies and materials (printing, postage, paper, poster board, art supplies, etc.)

 

Grant Type 2: Water-Conserving Garden Project

Description:

The goal is for students to understand ways to minimize the negative effects of gardening, landscaping and agriculture on Florida’s water supply and water quality. Students should learn the importance of implementing best management practices and Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles, using non-potable water sources and reducing runoff from fertilizers and pesticides. Students could compare traditional methods to water-conserving methods, participate in water quality labs and make informational pamphlets or public service announcements to share with families and others. PLEASE NOTE: Along with all grant types, this grant type is required to incorporate classroom activities in order to reiterate freshwater resources concepts.

Optional add-on A: Visit a local commercial farm or nursery to learn about the water-conserving best management practices implemented there. In your application, include the location and a summary of the field study.

Key concepts:

  • Florida’s future depends on a continued supply of adequate amounts of freshwater for human consumption and natural systems.
  • Pollution comes from many sources, and pollution on the land’s surface can end up in our drinking water.
  • Plants need water and adequate sunlight to grow.
  • Different gardening methods use various amounts of water.
  • Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ saves water and protects water quality.
  • Hydrology and soils determine the kinds of plants that grow in specific locations.

Approved budget items:

  • Transportation
  • Substitute teachers
  • Professional to conduct field programs
  • Water test kits and supplies
  • Soil test kits
  • Plants and seeds
  • Mulch and soil
  • Rain barrels and coordinating supplies
  • EarthBoxes and coordinating supplies
  • Hydroponic planters and coordinating supplies
  • Gardening tools (gloves, rakes, shovels, hoses, etc.)
  • Drip irrigation supplies
  • Weather station
  • Rain gauge
  • Educational signage
  • Watershed model (e.g., Enviroscape®)
  • Freshwater-related books, DVDs, software and activity kits
  • Project-specific consumable supplies and materials (printing, postage, paper, poster board, art supplies, etc.)

Please Note these non-approved budget items: aquaponics items, storage containers, benches, fences and other infrastructure.

 

Grant Type 3: Classroom Resources and Community Awareness Campaign

Description:

The goal is for students to develop an appreciation of water as a limited resource and become stewards of our water. Through classroom activities, students will study the water cycle and sources of fresh water, learn that rain provides fresh water to the Floridan aquifer system (the region’s primary source of drinking water), build an awareness of the connection between land and water, and discover ways to reduce human impacts on our water supply. Most importantly, students will discover how their families or communities can reduce water use and will launch a community awareness campaign.

Activity suggestions: Visit WaterMatters.org/Education for ideas. Daily Water Use at Home survey, conduct a school water use evaluation, build an aquifer model, incorporate related books and DVDs, design posters to display on the school campus, produce video clips or commercials for the school news station or website, write a play to perform for the school or parents, create pamphlets to send home or distribute in the community, host a water-themed event at school.

Classroom resource kits (available upon request while supplies last):

  • Grades K–2 and Grades 3–5 Watershed Education Box
  • Grades K-3 Water Conservation Kit 

Key concepts:

  • Florida’s future depends on a continued adequate supply of fresh water for human consumption and natural systems.
  • Most of the water used in Florida’s homes comes from groundwater.
  • Groundwater is replenished by rainfall as water circulates through the water cycle.
  • Pollution comes from many sources, and pollution on the land’s surface can end up in our drinking water.
  • We all need to save water in our day-to-day lives. Identify actions to conserve our water resources with the Daily Water Use at Home survey or ideas from the Classroom Challenge.

Approved budget items:

  • Water test kits and supplies
  • Weather station
  • Rain gauge
  • Educational signage
  • Watershed model (e.g., Enviroscape®)
  • Groundwater model
  • Freshwater-related books, DVDs, software and activity kits
  • Project-specific consumable supplies and materials (printing, postage, paper, poster board, art supplies, etc.)

 

Grant Type 4: Freshwater Resources Educational Program

Description:

The goal is for students to learn about regional water resources, their importance and their protection. Students will visit a facility that offers hands-on environmental education for freshwater or estuarine studies. In place of an off-site field trip, some facilities are able to bring an outreach program to the school. Classroom activities should be conducted before and after the field trip or outreach program to reinforce key concepts. PLEASE NOTE: Along with all grant types, this grant type is required to incorporate classroom activities in order to reiterate freshwater resources concepts.

Field trip programs:

Please select from the list of Previously Approved Field Trip Sites found on the Splash! school grant introduction page. Not all locations listed are approved without selecting from the educational programming provided. Additionally, please take note of the approved counties next to each program. A travel time of less than one hour each way is preferred. If you’d like to submit a field trip program for consideration, please email a thorough description of the program and how it relates to the grant’s key concepts to SWFWMD program manager at Katherine.Munson@WaterMatters.org.

Key concepts:

For Grant Type 4, programming must educate students on at least one of the following:

  • Watersheds
  • Wetlands
  • Water cycle
  • Water resources

Approved budget items:

  • Transportation
  • Substitute teachers
  • Professional field guides
  • Water test kits and supplies
  • Soil test kits
  • Probeware
  • Kayak, canoe or boat rental (life jackets, paddles, waders, etc.)
  • Dip nets
  • Microscopes (up to $150 each)
  • Microscope slides
  • Field notebooks and study guides
  • Freshwater resources books, DVDs, software and activity kits
  • Project-specific consumable supplies and materials (printing, postage, paper, poster board, art supplies, etc.)

 

Budget items not allowed:

The SWFWMD cannot pay for the following items, regardless of grant type:

  • Infrastructure (pavers, boardwalks, fences, benches, cisterns, gutters, construction projects, etc.)
  • Storage sheds, carts or display cases
  • Capital expenditures
  • Aquaponics equipment and supplies
  • Computer hardware (e.g., thumb drives, computers, iPads)
  • Computer software not exclusively related to water resources education
  • Food or beverages
  • Cameras or GPS equipment
  • Graphic design/artwork
  • Salaries
  • T-shirts
  • Video or audio equipment
  • Website development or website providers
  • Items not related to water resources education

 

Important Dates

August 31, 2019: Deadline for applications to be submitted.

September 30, 2019: Grantees will be notified of their acceptance or denial via email.

October 1, 2019 – May 15, 2020: Project activity period.

PLEASE NOTE:

  • Any problems or changes from your approved grant need to be relayed to Katherine Munson at Katherine.Munson@WaterMatters.org. Katherine is the Splash! grant project manager for the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).
  • A pretest must be administered before the project begins and a posttest must be administered at the completion of project.
  • All grant types are required to incorporate freshwater-resources classroom activities. Please refer to WaterMatters.org/Education for ideas. Photos of sample student-completed activities will be submitted at the end of the grant.

May 15, 2020: Final Report and documentation are due. Download the Final Documentation and Report from the Additional Information and Resources tab on the right. Complete the report and upload it, along with your required documentation, to the your account accessed under the menu on the top right.

 

Expectations Relating to Grant Budget and Reimbursements

  • Your approved budget is outlined when you log in to your account. The SWFWMD will reimburse only for items listed in your approved budget.
  • All changes to the original approved budget must be requested in an email to your SWFWMD program manager, Katherine.Munson@WaterMatters.org.
  • The SWFWMD will reimburse only for purchases made after a grant is awarded and before the grant cycle ends on May 15, 2020.
  • The SWFWMD will reimburse your school district for your grant only if the Final Documentation and Report is submitted by May 15, 2020 — unless a later deadline is granted by Kat Munson.
  • All funded projects must be completed in accordance with SWFWMD and state rules, regulations and procedures.