The DSUSD Goldfish Bowl awards funding to student projects.

The DSUSD Goldfish Bowl awards funding to student projects. That is the simple description. But it is more than that. Loosely based on the television show Shark Tank, students and teachers submit detailed project descriptions about initiatives to help their schools and serve as models for others.

Goldfish Bowl Awards Money to Student Projects

Goldfish Bowl logo

Named Goldfish Bowl after a smaller, kinder fish and the idea of educational competitions (think the old College Bowl television show) submissions are reviewed by senior district staff members then the top five are brought before a panel of community leaders. Normally this has been done in person since the program began over four years ago. The December 16, 2020 event became a virtual competition based on video submissions.

This competition’s panel of goldfish included Kathleen McEntee, founder and president of Kathleen McEntee and Associates Ltd, a marketing services company; John Hoffner, retired CEO and EVP of Jack in the Box, Inc.; Joe Wallace, CIO of the Coachella Valley Economic Partnership (CVEP); local attorney and community leader Amir Afsar; and boxing champion and community leader Timothy Bradley, Jr.. Goldfish decide on the amount, up to $3,000 per award, and the money is provided by DSUSD LCAP funding (Local Control Accountability Plan) for innovation.

Superintendent Scott Bailey opened this week’s video presentation by noting that projects are selected for their innovative concepts and also for replicability at other sites. He commented, “The Goldfish Bowl serves as an innovations hub that melds student voice with community engagement toward better outcomes for students.”

The winners of this edition of Goldfish Bowl include:

I.C.P. (Imagine, Code, Print) under the direction of teachers Nathan Manderfeld and Brian Gilroy was the title of the project from James Monroe Elementary School. The teachers and students were looking for a 3-D printer and supplies. This STEM-focused school plans to provide access to its fifth graders for computer engineering, mathematics, and creating their own small businesses. There seems to be some thought about building their own printer. The ask was for $1,019 but the goldfish awarded $2,000 for the additional supplies.

Goldfish Bowl Awards Money to Student Projects

Andrew Jackson Elementary

Enhancing Literacy through Media was brought to the goldfish by Andrew Jackson Elementary School teacher Chris Thompson. He and his students creatively told a tale while asking for financial support to purchase a touchscreen high powered computer to bring student vision to life as they used digital media to create their stories. The equipment will assist and enhance with coding, digital animations, video, and 3D designs. Technology would include a 3-D printer and a video camera. They were awarded $3,000.

Goldfish Bowl Awards Money to Student Projects

Shadow Hills High School

The Future of SHHS ESports from the student members of the ESports club of Shadow Hills High School under the direction of teacher Derek Orkney. This student-created-project request asked for the maximum award of $3,000 to purchase additional computers and games. This equipment will prepare students for meets, especially those who do not have the technology at home. As goldfish Joe Wallace pointed out, this is a fast growing industry with multiple college scholarships available to players. The project received the full $3,000.

Goldfish Bowl Awards Money to Student Projects

Indio Middle School

Wellness Hub under the direction of teachers Francisco Uribe and Brooke Triplett, and counselor Priscilla Luna of Indio Middle School looks to expand the concept of restorative practices and intervention instituted in the 2019-1920 school year. It became clear that students looking to receive intervention assistance first needed to get in trouble to receive help. The Wellness Hub offers these students a safe and calm space. It helps develop student leaders in working with peers to control emotions. It further offers teachers an opportunity to replicate the opportunity within their classrooms. The project was funded at the requested $1,480.

Goldfish Bowl Awards Money to Student Projects

La Quinta High School

Humans of LQHS was also a student directed submission asking for $1,092 to create banners by the photojournalism students. Four large banners would detail the reason for the project with 25 smaller banners featuring candid photos of students and staff, along with brief descriptions, throughout the campus. The goal is to bring the school community closer together with empathy and understanding. The goldfish felt that this project should be extended beyond the school grounds and into the local community. They funded the project at $3,000, a $1,908 increase in the ask. They then challenged the students to involve the city of La Quinta and the surrounding area.

You can watch the introduction of the projects and the presentation of awards by clicking here. The next Goldfish Bowl will take place in the spring of 2021.


Image Sources

  • James-monroe-elementary-school: DSUSD