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.
Guitar Engineering and Manufacturing Field Trip
Amount funded: $0
Grant Recipient - Matthew Slauson // Students in the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) course build musical instruments each year. This project has earned the recognition of the Association of Stringed Instruments Artisans (ASIA). This grant will fund 6 students and Mr. Slausen to attend the ASIA conference where they will make a 1 hour presentation on the project, participate on a Q&A panel and attend other sessions to learn about modern instrument making techniques. They will also tour the Martin Guitar facility to see how they make instruments using modern manufacturing techniques. The school district will provide transportation.
Math Summer Camp
Amount funded: $12,936.00
Grant Recipients - Brian Cohen, Trish Donohue, Keith Lamphere & Karen Marino // These pilot camps are designed to be a research-based intervention for struggling math students. While the objectives are not new, the strategies/interventions being tried are new to the district and CNY. The goals are (1) to improve the mathematical learning of the students that attend the camp and (2) to test strategies/interventions with our teachers and students for possible inclusion into the regular math classroom. The elementary camp will accommodate up to 12 students. The middle school camp will accommodate up to 24 students. Students will be identified and invited to attend the camp. Each family will contribute $20.
Regents Chemisty and Physics Vodcasts
Amount funded: $3,900.00
Grant Recipients - Richard Allen and Dan Kurzen // The flipped classroom model is the basis for this project that will develop video-based lectures and link other content delivery systems together to allow students to receive these at home instead of the classroom. By “flipping” the classroom, students can read and learn at their own pace at home, which frees up classroom time for more experiential learning and individualized help with problems from the teacher. This pilot grant would fund 50 hours of development time to create the vodcasts and link other supporting materials through Haiku.
Summer STEM Camp for Waterman (Grades 1-2)
Amount funded: $3,190.00
Grant Recipients - Mary Arnott, Paul Blair & Brian Cohen // Promoting a love of science, technology, engineering and math will be the primary focus of this camp. Campers will learn and refine their use of the engineering process leading a greater discovery and exploration of the world around them. Two sessions of 20 campers each will be offered in the summer of 2015. Results from the pilot project will be analyzed for possible annual offerings.
Summer STEM Camp State Street (Grades 3-5)
Amount funded: $2,367.00
Grant Recipients - Erin Brown and Brian Cohen // Promoting a love of science, technology, engineering and math will be the primary focus of this camp. Campers will learn and refine their use of the engineering process leading a greater discovery and exploration of the world around them. Two sessions of 20 campers each will be offered in the summer of 2015. Results from the pilot project will be analyzed for possible annual offerings.
3D Printing Expanded
Amount funded: $8,000.00
Grant Recipients - Paul Blair, Heather Buff & Scott Stagnitta // 3D printing is becoming more main stream as it is being used in many different applications and jobs and embraced by many different industries. From architecture, to medicine, to engineering to marketing, exposing our students to 3D printing at an early age will help them understand the unique benefits and opportunities the technology provides, and the software coding that makes it all happen. This grant will expand upon the 2013 High School 3D printing program and fund 3D printing equipment and supplies for 5th – 8th grades.
Hydroponics Professional Development
Amount funded: $2,191.37
Grant Recipients - Scott Stagnitta // This grant funded a 3-day hydroponics training session at Epcot Center for MS/HS Technology teacher Scott Stagnitta. Coursework included techniques in hydroponic greenhouse growing, "See the Future of Food Production," a tour of Epcot's Living with the Land Attraction, and a "Behind the Seeds" tour of their research facility.
Audio Recording Studio
Amount funded: $40,000.00
Grant Recipients - Paul Blair, Michael Kringer, Dan Kurzen & Corey Riley // Audio engineering and the ability to experiment on sound are the basis for this grant. The audio lab will provide technology allowing students to learn about sound generation, measurement and recording and will be utilized by music, physics and math courses, and as an extension of the Zoom Room by humanities courses in social studies, language arts, and business courses such as marketing and journalism. The studio will support a proposed new CRT program in Audio Engineering.
Growing Sustainable – Hydroponics
Amount funded: $5,143.00
Grant Recipient - Scott Stagnitta // Growing hydroponically is no longer the method of the future, but of today. In fact, most of the world’s greenhouses are growing fruits and vegetables using hydroponics.This grant will fund an opportunity for students to experiment with new forms of hydroponic growing systems. Through this experience, students gain firsthand knowledge of the scientific principles that control the developmental stages of plant life. This type of content goes beyond the classroom as students gain responsibility and awareness of how small systems, if implemented on a large scale, can make a great impact on the world around them. The produce that we will produce will be donated to our own school cafeteria and to the family and consumer sciences program for cooking.
Video and Multimedia for 5th Grade
Amount funded: $9,765.00
Grant Recipient - Heather Buff // This project will serve as an introduction of video and multimedia concepts for 5th graders. Through the use of iPads and iMovie software, students will create, edit and learn to communicate ideas and concepts using video and multimedia. The devices will be shared across the 5th grade and involve projects in multiple disciplines including science, health and social studies. This project will also serve as a pilot in the use of classroom-based iPad devices as learning tools.
Vacuum/Pressure Apparatus and Accessories
Amount funded: $1,140.00
Grant Recipient - Karl Norris // In any of the physical sciences, understanding the behavior of gases is a key concept. Being able to observe this behavior first hand is an excellent learning tool. Also, the ability to observe the behavior of other types of matter, or a physical or chemical process, under the conditions of vacuum or pressure has countless applications in the areas of earth science, chemistry, and physics. While a vacuum pump is a common piece of equipment in a high school laboratory, an apparatus that can produce both vacuum and pressure and can also be adapted for specialized filtration and separation methods is not. This grant would fund such instrumentation.
Engineering is Elementary
Amount funded: $2,276.00
Grant Recipients - Erin Brown and Brian Cohen // A 2011 study found that students are deciding as early as second- and third grade whether they like, and think they are good at, math and science. Other studies suggest engineering activities help build classroom equity. The engineering design process removes the stigma from failure; instead, failure is an important part of the problem-solving process and a positive way to learn. Equally important, in engineering there’s no single “right” answer; one problem can have many solutions. In addition to building these 21st century skills, engineering activities call for students to apply what they know about math and science. And, because engineering activities are based on real-world problems, they help children see how math and science are relevant to their lives. This grant will bring more engineering units into State Street Intermediate School, giving our students the opportunity to develop and nurture both skills as well as a love for math, science, technology, and engineering.