News & Events

Mini Grant funding provides virtual access during pandemic

Picture from bird feeder.
View from a bird feeder camera, as part of a virtual field trip for LSC-Kingwood Biology students

Lone Star College Faculty and staff were quick to respond to the ever-changing challenges brought on by the pandemic. With so much teaching and administrative work moving online, Mini Grant funding provided many the opportunity to better communicate with students and colleagues and teach complex concepts, all virtually. Every year, LSC Foundation and the Chancellor's office, provide small grants to LSC employees looking to improve the student experience, streamline processes, or experiment with new technology.

Biology professor Dr. Shmaefsky, from LSC-Kingwood, used mini grant funds to purchase cameras to create virtual field trips. "Videos and digital data collected during instructor-led field trips were posted online for students to observe and analyze. Students' feedback demonstrated that the virtual field trips were effective and taught students how researchers collect data in field research studies," he said. For one experiment, a camera was set up outside a bird feeder and students collected data on birds' feeding preferences. Even when face-to-face instruction resumes, Dr. Shmaefsky says these virtual field trips will help provide accessibility for disabled students to participate in field trips.

When students' classrooms moved to their living rooms, LSC-Tomball Professor Antonio Lopez's team decided to take the classroom equipment there as well. With their mini grant funding, the Cisco Network Academy team started Project SHINE (Student Home Initiative Networking Education) "to give a new life to the Cisco Routers and Switches while providing a great opportunity to students," said Lopez. Instead of heading to the recycle bin when new equipment came in, the Cisco network equipment is lent out to students to practice their skills at home.

LSC-University Park Geology Professors Dr. Bryn Benford and Dr. Christa Spears used funding to install a stream gauge and weather station on campus. "The greatest natural hazard for our area is flooding. This project will bring a greater awareness of why flooding occurs where it does in our area, how our students and community can prepare for it, and how they can be informed during flooding events. Additionally, we believe strongly in place-based learning, which is centered on making course content tied to our area, so that students see the relevance. By doing this, students are more engaged and their depth of understanding content increases," said Dr. Benford.

Congratulations to all of the mini grant awardees. The 2020-21 Mini Grant awardees are:


From Online classroom to online community- Webcams, Tools to increase online learner engagement, Increasing student engagement and learning in online math courses -Emulators, Increasing student engagement and learning in online math and science courses through videos - Educreation, Student success with sound- Headsets, Library Scanner Fund, Mobile Classroom with document cameras, Virtual Clinical Experience- Online success for vocational nursing students,

LSC-Houston North

Houston North Call Center, Human Services Program Development, Alternative Payment Plans for Late Start Students, Teaching Mathematics Using Digital Drawing Tablets, LSC-HN Goes Live, Houston North - Panther Data Den


Virtual Field Trips for Online and Face-to-Face Science Teaching


Use of Virtual Reality to Enhance Learning for Student Nurses, Permanent awning over the food area, Maverick Virtual Support Services Center

LSC-North Harris

Chem Draw Software, LSC East Aldine Center HVAC Technology, PIVOT (Providing Instruction Virtually, On-Demand, and Traditionally), Advancing Simulation into Virtual Learning


Project SHINE ( Student Home Initiative Networking Education), Reflecting Our Future, All Things Virtual, Mozeo Nudging Campaign

LSC-University Park

LSC-UP Branded Face Masks, Place-based Learning of Flooding at LSC-UP to Increase Student Success and Enrollment, Lone Star College Career Competition/Challenge (LSC C3)

LSC-System Office

H5P Pilot, Mobile Production/Editing Gear, Advancing Equity

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