The West Irondequoit Foundation, a non-profit organization that benefits West Irondequoit schools, has announced four grants it will fund for the 2020-21 school year. All grants must be initiated by teachers or staff. Applications are submitted, reviewed and voted on by the WIF Board of Directors. This year’s total grant donation is $32,831 increasing the 30-year figure given by the WIF to the District in excess of $966,431. Established in 1987 to receive gifts/donations to enhance educational opportunities, the WIF raises money to underwrite grants for innovative projects, equipment and pilot programs at West Irondequoit that cannot be supported by the district’s annual operating budget. The grants are:
Mini-One Electrophoresis Systems: Eighth- and ninth-graders in Living Environment class will get hands-on experience in DNA investigations – something they normally couldn’t do until college. The grant will allow the district to purchase equipment needed to engage in DNA fingerprinting that will not only enhance their experience in Living Environment toward the associate learning standards but also experience technologies used in medicine, forensics and DNA testing. Grant requestor: Nicole Denissoff, science teacher.
Active Pens in Physics: Physics students will be able to utilize existing technology (laptops) in new ways to promote differentiation, collaboration and feedback. Their current use of technology is limited to text from a keyboard. This enhancement will help students make sense of their world using equations, graphs, sketches, graphic organizers and flow charts. These active pens are superior to traditional stylus in their ability to interact with the student laptops. Grant requestor: Ari Kramer, science teacher.
Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) Router: The CNC machine will help Irondequoit High School students execute highly detailed cuts in a variety of materials, including all types of wood, metals, plastics, resins and fiberglass. The machine will bring 21st-century skills used in high-tech manufacturing and expose them to “G- code” – the primary programming code of CNC machines. Students develop skills to design and draw in 3-D using software that enables them to create highly detailed drawings. Moving from drawing to actual objects is very difficult to do using traditional hand tools. The CNC machine changes all that. Grant requestors: IHS technology teachers Eric Schultz and Steve Mascari and Data Director, Chuck Miller, a former tech teacher.
Rain gear for Helmer Nature Center: As the district’s “outdoor classroom,” HNC gives students a wide array learning opportunities outside surrounded by nature. However, inclement weather often prevents our students from these experiences. This grant will outfit students (and adult chaperones) with proper rain gear while at HNC to ensure successful (and dry) learning experiences. It will also help ensure equity for students who may not have access to necessary rain gear. Grant requestor: Casey Franklin, HNC Education Coordinator.