Millstone Twp Foundation for Educational Excellence Awards $36,629.96 in Grants to Millstone Twp Schools

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Two of the Grants Complete the “MTFEE Creativity & Collaboration Room”

Millstone Township Foundation for Educational Excellence (MTFEE) awarded five grants, totaling $36,629.96, to Millstone Township Schools. All grants will be implemented in the fall. MTFEE is a non-profit organization devoted to funding grants for items that nurture extraordinary educational experiences for every student in the Millstone Township Public Schools and are beyond the scope of the general school budget.

Two of the grants, Creating a Collaboratory and Inspire Learning Interactive Board, complete the “MTFEE Creativity & Collaboration Room,” in the primary school. This will be a multi-purpose, educational room to provide students with engaging, interactive and collaborative-based activities to expand the ways they experiment and learn. The room also comprises three other MTFEE-awarded grants including a Math Lab, LEGO® Wall and Real- Life Learning Lab.

Following is a listing of the grant awards and recipients:

Virtual Reality Cart ($13,000) (Michelle Recco, elementary school computer teacher) – The grant consists of a virtual reality cart, to give students a chance to explore the world from a first-person perspective without having the leave the classroom. Teachers at the elementary school will be able to sign out the cart. With the classroom teacher acting as the guide, students will travel the world through 3D content to places that they currently are only reading about in books or on a Chromebook screen. Students will be able to walk around the projection and see it from all angles, including from above and below. Virtual and augmented experiences will be used for building background knowledge, helping students visualize their world, extending the learning happening in the classroom or labs, increasing student engagement, exploring places students “can’t” go (i.e. Mars, depths of the ocean, inside the human body), traveling back in time to historic events and more.

Creating a Collaboratory ($9,495.41) (Britanni Adams, second grade teacher and Carissa Bachmann, second grade teacher) – The grant consists of a collaboratory, to provide students with an opportunity to learn new things through a hands-on approach. Collaboratory, as defined by William Wulf in 1989, is a “center without walls.” K-2 students will interactively learn about STEAM, math, engineering, art, technology, community problems and science in a fun and engaging way. This emphasizes 21st-century skills, as well as project-based learning. This collaboratory will encourage a community of creativity, critical thinking, engineering and collaboration.

“Inspire Learning Interactive Board” ($6,995) (Christine Smith, primary school remedial math teacher) – The grant consists of an Inspire Interactive Board, which allows for a more interactive approach to learning. It also can broaden the ways children develop cognitive skills, academic skills, and social and emotional competencies—all while working collaboratively on one surface. The built-in software is designed to support students in foundational skills, open ended, creative play experiences, social and emotional development, and opportunities to engage in early collaborative learning activities.

3D Printer Refresh ($5,160) (Erik Wall, middle school STEAM/technology teacher) – The grant consists of two state-of-the-art, high-efficiency 3D printers for the middle school STEAM Lab, to replace the two that are obsolete. This will enable students, from grades 6-8, to bring their design work to life throughout the STEAM class experience.

Introduction to Ukulele Basics and Performance (1,979.55) (Gwen Parker, middle school instrumental teacher) – The grant consists of 15 ukuleles and books, to begin a ukulele elective in the middle school for grades 6-8. The resurgence of the ukulele in popular music has made it an ideal tool for introducing basic music skills and musical performance.

Since 2002, MTFEE has awarded close to $600,000 to its schools. There are currently more than 60 MTFEE- funded grant programs running in the Millstone Township School district. Every child that matriculates through the school district will in some way benefit from an MTFEE-funded grant.

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