East Brunswick Education Foundation awards science, sports grants for district enhancements

A weather station to enhance the eighth grade science curriculum, a commercial grade laser/cutter/engraver to enrich teaching and learning in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) classes at Hammarskjold Middle School, a blended learning program that will make it possible for teachers to integrate science and literacy standards for fourth and fifth graders throughout the district, and equipment that will make it possible for all students from kindergarten to grade 7 to experience disc golf.

The combined value of these projects, awarded by the East Brunswick Education Foundation (EBEF), to three of the East Brunswick School District’s curriculum supervisors is over $52,000.

Science Supervisor Ryan Higgins and Department Chair Jessica DiBenedetti teamed up to submit both of the science grants. The goal of the first grant titled, “Earth Networks Weather Station,” is to upgrade 20-year-old weather instruments.

According to their website, “Earth Networks operates and maintains the world’s largest weather network, with 17,500-plus neighborhood-level sensors installed at schools, stadiums and businesses where individuals live their lives.”

The updated weather station with its increased sensors and access to this broad weather network will provide students greater opportunities to investigate weather-based phenomena using authentic data.

The second science related grant, “Super Science Readers,” allows for the purchase of a subscription to Scholastic’s SuperScience program that will provide every fourth and fifth grade student with a digital subscription to science themed articles that support the district’s science goals consistent with the NJSLA-Science Standards, as well as the NJSLS-Language Arts and Science and Engineering Practices.

By providing students with regular exposure to science-based non-fiction sources, students’ exposure to Tier 2 and 3 science vocabulary words will help build a strong foundation to support subject specific non-fiction reading in the middle school years and beyond.

Funding for “Cutting Edge Technology,” a grant submitted by the district’s Business/Practical Arts/Technology Supervisor Andrew Scanlon, will be used to purchase a laser cutter/engraver for use in STEM electives and cycles at Hammarskjold Middle School.

This cutting-edge technology will serve two goals: It will complement the software that students are already using to design solutions to engineering challenges, and the learning related to construction will be enhanced as students will be able to apply problem solving and design skills to their projects. Students will be using industry-standard software and hardware to design and rapid prototype their solutions

Thanks to a grant submitted by Erik Myer, supervisor of Physical Education and Athletics, one more sport to the “sports for life” curriculum that is taught within the district’s physical education program will be added and students in grades K-7 will have the opportunity to experience disc golf.

Funding will allow for the purchase of the equipment necessary for students to learn how to throw and aim a Frisbee at a target and to create a mobile disc golf course every elementary school and Hammarskjold Middle School.

For more information on the East Brunswick Education Foundation and how to support its financial initiatives, visit www.ebnet.org/ebef

  • This information was provided by the East Brunswick Public School District.