School grants: Vertical farming, graphic novels and more

Nonprofit BEF awards more than $35,000 in grants this year

Posted 4/15/16

Interactive robots, synthesizers, classroom gardens, and a new library of graphic novels. Barrington public school students can look forward to seeing these and more exciting additions to their …

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School grants: Vertical farming, graphic novels and more

Nonprofit BEF awards more than $35,000 in grants this year

Posted

Interactive robots, synthesizers, classroom gardens, and a new library of graphic novels. Barrington public school students can look forward to seeing these and more exciting additions to their classrooms, thanks to grants from the Barrington Education Foundation

Since 1992, the BEF has given yearly grants to Barrington schools, totaling to more than $1 million. This year, BEF has awarded $35,792 in the form of seven teacher-initiated and board-initiated grants.  

All of this year’s grants are aimed at creating educational programs at and providing new learning tools to Barrington public schools. 

• STEAM Makerspace Stations: $8,824.00 will go to creating STEAM Makerspace Stations in the 10 kindergarten classes in the district. These Makerspace stations will enable students to design, experiment, build and invent, as they dive into science and engineering curriculum.

• LittleBits Synthesizer Kits: With the help of a grant of $2,600, Barrington High School will receive LittleBits Synthesizer Kits. These kits will give students the opportunity to build synthesizers and instruments as well as explore the inner workings of electronic music, all the while connecting music and the arts to science.

• STEAM/Makerspace Carts: A grant of $8,000 will go towards providing Hampden Meadows School with three complete STEAM/Makerspace Carts. Each cart, located in one of the three wings of the school, will include LEGO robotics, video cameras, LittleBits, Sphero balls, circuitry kits, squishy circuits and much more.  Each cart will provide students with an outlet for exploring the principles and wonders of math and science.

• Graphic novels program: A grant of $5,700 will afford a Graphic Novels Reading Program at Hampden Meadows School. This program will bring a dynamic graphic novelist to Hampden Meadows for two full days of student workshops. The grant will also support a family night, which will provide students and their families with the opportunity to meet the author and learn more about this increasingly popular genre. Finally, included in the grant are copies of many different graphic novels for student circulation.

• Window farming and hydroponics: Another BEF grant of $2,000 will provide Hampden Meadows School with window farming/hydroponics equipment. This grant is for a vertical gardening station that will be used as a teaching tool for students in a self-contained classroom. In addition to supporting the science curriculum, this project will help students to learn responsibility, work ethic and communication as they care for the window farms and share their knowledge with students in other classrooms.

• Sphero Balls: The next grant of $1,380 will place Sphero Balls at Primrose Hill School. Sphero is a 3D programmable robot that will enhance student’s skills in computer science and coding while engaging students in critical thinking, persistence, problem solving and creativity.

STEAM Connections: This grant of $7,288 covered the cost of the STEAM Connections event, which took place this past November. The event was a fun-filled day of inspiration and exploration in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and math. The event drew more than 1,500 attendees and included 75 exhibitors and speakers. 

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