ITEEA to Receive Jefferson Trust Grant


January 30, 2023

Reston, VA, January 30, 2023 —

ITEEA to Receive Jefferson Trust Grant

RESTON, VA, January 26, 2023 - The International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA) partnered on a proposal submitted to the Jefferson Trust at the University of Virginia that has been selected to receive funding. The proposal is titled "Piloting an Open-source Educational Manufacturing Model," and funding radically expands an Invention Laboratory program from proof-of-concept stages at Buford Middle School in Charlottesville and Forest Glen Middle School in Suffolk to a national, open-source curriculum.


Reconstructing Great Inventions in American History

ITEEA President Debra Shapiro is participating in the initiative, which is part of ongoing efforts to enhance the Engineering byDesign curriculum. Students in her seventh- and eighth-grade engineering classes are currently reconstructing great inventions in American history. This work is grounded in work with curators at the Smithsonian Institution and the Make to Learn Laboratory at the University of Virginia, and has seen practical application and use with middle school engineering students as part of an ongoing, decade-long collaboration with Charlottesville City Schools at Buford Middle School.


Her students are currently piloting an Animation Laboratory in which students are reconstructing inventions such as Edison’s kinetoscope that ultimately led to birth of cinema. Students will then use the knowledge gained through this process to design their own inventions that incorporate 21st century technologies such as sensors, stepper motors, and microcontrollers while gaining knowledge on Integrative STEM.


Ms. Shapiro shared, "It is fantastic to learn that this important grant to continue working on the pilot program for Animation Laboratory and Engineering byDesign Curriculum was awarded. This will allow us to move forward with the pilot program and open the EbD curriculum to Virginia Educators this summer and then made available to ITEEA members at its annual conference in March, 2024. Congratulations to the ITEEA STEM Center for Teaching and Learning and the University of Virginia Make to Learn Laboratory!"

The Jefferson Trust makes grants to innovative ideas that enrich the University of Virginia and the student experience. Founded by the University of Virginia Alumni Association in 2006, this donor-led organization has invested over $12.8 million in student, faculty, and staff ideas, supporting the people and projects that strengthen the University of Virginia. In 2023, the Jefferson Trust will award $1.5 million through multiple funding opportunities and reports that this year's process was incredibly competitive.


Read the full Jefferson Trust Press Release.

One participating student, Kyler, has already created his own innovation that facilitates the process of stop-motion animation. Once the Animation Laboratory has been translated into the Engineering byDesign format and piloted, it will be made available to ITEEA members.


ITEEA ( is the professional organization for technology, innovation, design, and engineering educators. Its mission is to promote technological literacy for all by supporting the teaching of technology and promoting the professionalism of those engaged in these pursuits. ITEEA strengthens the profession through leadership, professional development, membership services, publications, and classroom activities.



Media Contact:

Kathleen de la Paz

Communications Director


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