Grants Approved by LDFF during 2021-2022, Benefiting Students of the Lower Dauphin School District
Physical Computing with Cyber:bots (HS)—$544.50
Science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics (STEAM) education is important for preparing students for the 21st century. Nancy Kiscadden sought funds to expand STEAM opportunities within the classroom at the high school. She updated a set of four (4) Boe-Bot Basic kits that weren’t being used in the robotics courses of the Technology department with Cyber:bot conversion kits. She also purchased one additional complete Cyber:bot. The kit upgraded the capabilities of the original Boe-Bots with the microprocessor Micro:bit. The Micro:bit has several sensors (temperature, accelerometer), buttons, microphone, speaker, Wifi, LEDs and bluetooth capabilities all packed in a 3x3 square. The Micro:bit/Cyber:bot can be programmed using block code (used in elementary), as well as text-based code (used in high school), so they are appropriate across many levels of learning. Completed hands-on activities included: computer programming, cyber security, increasing knowledge of the text-based language her classes were studying and more.
STEAM Activities and Cart, 3rd Grade Team (East Hanover)—$669.57
The third grade teaching team at East Hanover wanted a more interactive way to teach their Forces, Interactions and Motions unit. With the grant funds they received, they purchased a storage cart and STEAM activity kits. In April and May, they culminated their study of Forces and Motion by exploring laws of motion and other concepts learned through construction and manipulation of the STEAM kits. Each class enjoyed a two week rotation, sharing all materials so students experienced each activity. The teachers enjoyed watching students work together to make new discoveries. The STEAM cart’s activities provide a unique hands-on opportunity for kids to apply new learning. Students are now requesting to use the materials at other times of the day, outside of the regular lesson plan.
Knowledge Exploration Visual Arts (KEVA) Plank sets, Gifted Education (K-8)—$650
KEVA Planks are a simple construction set that uses small rectangular blocks and no connectors or fasteners. They can be used to build a variety of objects from simple to highly complex. Gifted children find a new freedom of intellectual expression with KEVA planks that combines both their artistic nature and their brilliant analytical minds. The students in the gifted education program are fortunate to have access to these hands-on manipulatives that will enable countless activities and projects for many years to come.
Gaga Pit (East Hanover)—$2,697.86
Gaga is a game similar to dodgeball, played in a fenced octagonal area called a pit. Funding was provided to install a Gaga pit composed of structural composite lumber, which has a 50 year warranty, and a rubber mat for the floor. The previous version only lasted a few years and became dangerous because it was made out of wood. The new Gaga pit will benefit all students at East Hanover and will be used during recess time as well as a reward for student behavior in class. Students today spend a lot of time on electronics and screen time—the Gaga pit provides a safe and fun atmosphere for them to play outside. Gaga is a multiplayer sport in which the students need to learn how to work together. Therefore, it increases social skills, communication, collaboration and problem solving. The students desperately need help in these areas since so much has been lost in the past years due to COVID.