Teacher Grants



The Mars Planet Foundation helps to provide unique educational opportunities that teachers create by thinking outside of the curriculum parameters.  These programs are not school funded programs and are often approved to provide benchmarks and potential to be included in future initiatives.



Learning Initiatives have developed:

  • Project Based Ideas
  • District Wide Participation
  • Educational Speakers
  • Leadership Courses
  • Robotics Workshops
  • STEM driven cooperatives
  • Offsite Field Analysis 



The Foundation facilitates the management, selection process and awarding of 13 Scholarships.  In addition, we host the Annual Academic Banquet to recognize the outstanding Juniors and Seniors of the Mars Area School District,

Recent Awards


Adam Benson - Tech Ed & Erin Bridge - Robotics Mars Middle School - VEX IQ Robotics

 Eighth grade students will have the opportunity to build robots with many sensors and compete in VEX IQ Design Challenges. Students will compete in two challenges as a cross-curricular class project between the Technology Education and Programming classes. The VEX IQ robotics kits will be used to design solutions to real world problems from stacking to collecting hazardous materials.  


The total grant request for one VEX IQ Classroom bundle, two VEX IQ Field Cases, and two arenas is $5,008.94

 The board voted to fully fund this grant request of $5,008.94 through EITC funds 


Lindsay Rosswog - Principal = MAHS - National Blue Ribbon School Banners


Dr. McMahon shared a proposal submitted by Lindsay Rosswog for the National Blue Ribbon School Banners that would be available for purchase to display this recent award. The grant application included pricing for three banners: 10x30 banner-$1200, 2x8 banner-$40, and fence banner: $290, Display Case - $4,857.14, and Teacher Gifts: $1000. The total grant application was in the amount of $7,387.14


The board voted to partially fund this grant in the amount of $2,530 for the (3) banners and teacher gifts


Colleen Hinrichsen - STEM & Chris Churilla - Centennial Library - IPEVO Document Cameras

 Mrs. Hinrichsen presented a grant request for two (2) IPEVO Document Cameras to showcase STEAM hands on work. These cameras can attached to computers and display creations on the Promethium board rather than gathering around to view. 


The board approved three (3) cameras for each Elementary Building in the amount of $300. In addition, Mrs. Hinrichsen has $1000 funds available for her All Star Teacher Award from The Pittsburgh Pirates.


Dr. McMahon & Ms. Coon - BAL A VIS X


Dr. McMahon presented a video and grant request for BAL A VIS X which stands for Balance, Auditory, and Vision Exercise. This program offers Brain and Body Integration along with team building skills to be taught in PE class. The results of BAL A VIS X have shown students to be more focused in the classrooms. The grant request included 3 DVD's for training plus bulk of balls and sand bags in the amount of $1,200.00


The board approved BAL A VIS X Grant Request for $1,200.00


Melinda Badger - White Board Tables

 Melinda Badger, 6th grade Math and Science teacher, is seeking a grant to purchase 4 additional white board tables in the amount of $878.00. Ms. Badger has already purchased a table on her own and she also used various contact papers to offer white board surfaces to students which did not last long. The white board tables offer group interaction among students of all learning levels along with peer interaction. 

 The board voted to fully fund the grant request of $878.00 


Dr. McMahon - We Both Read Books

 Dr. McMahon presented a grant request on behalf of The Mars Primary Center for We Both Read Book Sets in the amount of $700.00 which includes two complete sets of leveled books. The books are designed for the Lending Library and encourage parents to read along with their students.