Randolph Township Schools have been awarded a $34,000 grant from the Bosch Community Fund (BCF) for development of hands-on environmental and STEM initiatives at all six district schools.
The grant will be used to develop several sustainability programs including composting, hydroponics, aquaponics, and aeroponics, all of which will complement existing science programs at all educational levels.
“With the resources provided by this grant we hope to empower students through a wide range of authentic learning opportunities,” said Katherine Thorn, K-5 supervisor.
“These real-world explorations will be inclusive of life science, ecology, earth science, community impact, environmental studies, culinary arts, business, marketing, entrepreneurship, engineering, and mathematics. Our overall goal is to cultivate a comprehensive community of wellness and sustainability.”
Involvement of passionate teachers helped in shaping an overall vision for this grant. Together we were able to develop and evolve an idea that would make these opportunities accessible to students from ages 3-21.
The district is looking forward to sharing more about the programs as they are implemented.
“I am thrilled to be a part of this dynamic grant writing team,” said Jenise Janulis, Fernbrook Elementary BSI teacher and Green Team leader. “At Fernbrook, we are excited to bring authentic learning of interdependence of ecosystems and sustainability. This will also foster an understanding of how time and patients are needed to see the inter connectivity between living things.”
Laura Healy, Shongum Elementary Media Specialist, says “Our Shongum students and staff are excited for the opportunity to jump start our very own Green Team. Money from this grant will allow our students to develop the critical thinking skills needed to cultivate solutions to complex problems.
Through this grant, Shongum Elementary will work with two hydroponic systems as well as three new water gardens where our students will grow their own herbs and plants.”
Mary Ann Smallwood, Ironia 2nd grade teacher, says
“Ironia Elementary is looking forward to the opportunity to add hydroponic gardening to our own current Growing Garden. The hydroponic systems will allow the students to garden all year long. Also, the added hands on experiences will enhance the Makerspace program with life science curriculum.”
Robert Chernow, Randolph Middle SchoolScience teacher grade 8 / Sustainability teacher, says “Having the greenhouse will add to the great education we offer at Randolph Middle School. It will be a living laboratory where students can get their hands dirty and design and implement their own experiments. They will be able to witness first-hand the effects that nature and nurture have on survival and reproduction. It will be a great asset to our Science and Sustainability students.”
The Bosch Community Fund, the U.S.-based foundation for Bosch, has awarded more than 20 million in grants to various 501(c)(3) organizations and educational institutions. The BCF focuses primarily on the enrichment of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education and the advancement of environmental sustainability initiatives.