STEM Initiative Grants
In December 2013, the Skaneateles Education Foundation and the Elsa and Peter Soderberg Charitable Foundation announced a collaboration with the Skaneateles Central School District to fund an initiative to improve education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. The total investment in STEM education at the end of 4 years will be close to $250,000.
STEM grants supported by the Foundation include hydroponics, 3D printers, summer math and STEM camps, Engineering is Elementary, robotics, the Zoom Room, the audio engineering lab and so much more.
Through generous support from over 400 households, foundations and businesses in the Skaneateles community, the following grants have been provided under [the STEM Initiative etc. ]. For more information on an individual grant, please click on the grant title.
Video Editing for Middle School Students
Amount funded: $982.00
Beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, all eighth grade students are required to take a new course, Information 8, as part of the NYSED mandated curriculum. This course is designed to explore the world of information and computer technology and prepare the student to be “technology literate” by graduation. This grant funded equipment and software to teach basic video editing skills. In addition, Seth Benjamin’s 6th grade social studies units will touch on the basics of video editing using this equipment.
Lego Expansion II
Amount funded: $2,879.00
Benefits all students in 8th grade. The Lego Mindstorms program is utilized in the 8th grade technology course, to teach science, technology, engineering and math skills (STEM). This project was originally funded by the Allyn Foundation (2007) and expanded by the Skaneateles Education Foundation (2010). This grant will provide funding for additional equipment and sensors to provide expanded opportunities for hands-on instruction of STEM skills.
Amount funded: $740.00
Often students in pre-algebra have difficulty conceptualizing and visualizing geometric solids. While students must learn algebra concepts for testing purposes, often they do not understand the concepts. These polydron manipulatives aid in spatial visualization and make abstract concepts more concrete and have been recommended by the National Council of Math Teachers (NCTM). The manipulatives come with curriculum aids and worksheets for students. Lamphere suggests that these manipulatives will help balance “teaching to the test versus teaching for understanding.” This grant purchased one classroom set for each 7th-grade algebra teacher.
Middle School Lego Robotics Mindstorm Program
Amount funded: $1,992.00
Currently, students in the 8th grade technology course utilize the Lego Mindstorm Program, a national award-winning program to promote hands-on learning of STEM principals in the classroom (STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The original Mindstorm Program was funded in 2008 by a $10,000 grant from the Allyn Foundation. This new grant provided money to expand the program by purchasing and utilizing advanced sensors to allow students to expand the capabilities of the robots they are required to program and build during the class. These RFID, radio frequency identification detectors, allow students to program commands into their robots, instructing them to do a certain reaction (movement or sound). By providing this higher level of robotic capability, students will have increased knowledge and hands-on experience of STEM principals.
High School Pre-engineering Components
Amount funded: $2,275.00
Currently, the Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics and Engineering Design and Development classes use Fischertechnik equipment to teach STEM principals. This program is part of the national Project Lead the Way pre-engineering program through the Rochester Institute of Technology. The grant provided for a new unit of study by purchasing equipment to allow students to explore hydraulics, pneumatics and control systems, taking this program to a higher level of hands-on learning. Students will benefit as these components will allow them to understand real world manufacturing applications.