In 2015, the Technology Education Foundation (TEF) awarded grants to deserving recipients throughout Dane County and the greater Madison areas. Each recipient demonstrated their ability to provide science and/or technology for the greater good of our community. Congratulations to:
Savanna Oaks Middle School: $1998.00 for virtual 3D modeling hardware Leonar3Do. This hardware device will push students into the sculpting realm of 3D printing. The students have been using Sketchup and Tinkercard to make trinkets and now the use has expanded to other STEM areas. The Savanna Oaks Middle School’s Learning Media Center has made room for a MakerSpace. The Science and Math teachers have collaborated to create project based learning activities integrated with the curriculum. The Art Department is using the technology to design and create jewelry.
YWCA: $10,000 to support YWeb Career Academy (YWebCA). YWebCA targets young women and young people of color, who are underrepresented in technology, to increase opportunities to attain family-sustaining jobs while also meeting a labor market gap. The program provides instruction in website development skills and also covers job readiness, team building, and hands-on learning in computer programming through an intensive training institute.
DANEnet: $9,000 to fund Maker Clubs at three community center sites. The funds will be used to purchase maker tools, consumable supplies, and for staff time to coordinate, teach and manage the clubs. Maker Clubs combine technology, engineering, art and do-it yourself culture. Youth work alone or in small groups with adults to create, innovate, design and build projects. DANEnet’s mission is to make information technology accessible and affordable through education and services for nonprofit organizations and individuals with barriers to access and education.
School District of Poynette: $5,034 to purchase 15 Samsung Chromebooks and a charging power tower. Investigative Literacy class in Poynette Middle School is a project-based class that requires students to do research and collect evidence in order to create applicable solutions to a problem they have identified. These projects require technology use to assist students in delving deeper into their topics. This nine week targeted class will enhance literacy skills and student engagement. Students are given two separate topic selection opportunities: The first is a mini-research project, based on the basic research skills and elements of non-fiction reading and writing. The second is a collaborative problem identification/solving opportunity.
Catholic Multicultural Center: $5,520 to improve wireless internet access. The Catholic Multicultural Center (CMC) is one of the primary South Madison locations for technology access for low-income individuals. The CMC computer lab is open weekdays for unlimited public use. These individuals do not have internet access at home and thus depend on places like CMC to go online to check email, complete and respond to job applications, fill out forms for public assistance and more. As part of a larger building-wide technology update project, the CMC is planning two technology improvements to better serve the community: Improving internet access in the building and implementing a digital volunteer sign-in. The CMC depends on over 1,000 volunteers annually to operate all of its programs. A group of graduate students is developing a new digital volunteer sign-in system and database to replace the current paper timesheets.
Country View Elementary School: $3,750 for a MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printer and supplies. The 3D printer will be used as one of the main tools to support STEM education within a makerspace environment. Within this environment students will have the opportunity to explore ideas of interests while engaging in problem solving situations and developing STEM skills. A 3D printer will allow children to complete the learning process by creating a product that could also be used as a tool for self-reflection or teacher evaluation.
Deforest Area Public Library: $5,000 to purchase 44 Playaway Launchpad tablets for three libraries. Each Playaway Launchpad tablet contains high quality, ad-free learning apps grouped by age, grade level, subject area and theme. Subject area packs include, English language arts, math, science, language learning, critical thinking, creativity and STEM. These themed learning packs allow children to explore and study subjects such as nature, art, fantasy, animals and more, while also helping children learn how to navigate through a new digital format.
Urban League of Greater Madison: $2,500 to help ensure that the various workforce training programs incorporate the technology skills needed for low-income job-seekers to be competitive in the marketplace, and that they have access to the tools needed to search and apply for jobs. The TEF grant will help implement a full scale of nationally-recognized work readiness skills development curriculum and certification that utilizes online assessment and skills development modules. It will enhance the Information Technology Career Academy with college credit for learning and paid hands-on work experience, help to enhance the customer relationship management system to more thoroughly and efficiently coach and track program participants, ensure that the computer labs are accessible to job seekers, and help to increase the number of job seekers who receive foundational computer skills training.
Verona Area International School (VAIS): $3,500 for iPads to help bridge the digital divide among their youngest students. Students will use the iPads for learning Chinese vocabulary and practicing reading/writing of Chinese characters, math practice activities individualized for each student’s difficulty level and English reading, phonics, and word recognition. Students can utilize a unique iCloud account to personalize their learning. Teachers can use the iPads to design personalized learning projects that engage and challenge students.
Boys & Girls Club: $2,472 to put toward three Saturday Tech Seminars focused on STEM education and awareness for participants of the College Club program. Workshops will promote understanding and cultivation of the technology proficiency required to enter college and pursue a STEM-based career. The seminars will feature presentations, one-on-one with STEM professionals from health care, digital media, and informational technology workplaces.
Information Technology Academy (ITA): $2,800 for ITA student scholars to travel to northern California to tour a number of the most prominent of the Silicon Valley’s technology companies. The purpose of the ITA is to bridge the digital divide and the achievement gap by expanding and enhancing educational opportunities, particularly in the area of information technology, for the diverse youth in the state of Wisconsin. As part of the regular ITA curriculum, students learn web and graphic design, digital video creation and editing, radio journalism, digital music creation, animation, office software, computer repair and service, networking and more.
Madison Children’s Museum (MCM): $4,700 to support growth and continuation of technology programs and camps that engage children in new technologies in STEAM fields. The funds will go to continue the LEGO engineering and robotics program, 3D printing party camps and STEAM Engineers Programs. With continued support from TEF, MCM will expand the reach of its programming, add new technologies to feature in the STEAM curriculum, and be able to maintain current programming with updated equipment and necessary upgrades.
Capital Science & Engineering Fair (CSEF): $1,500 for Wisconsin students to travel to the International Science and Engineering Fair. The goal of CSEF is to motivate students to study science, technology, engineering and math and end up qualified to go into STEM-related careers, thus helping Wisconsin to draw cutting-edge, high-tech industries. Students participating in CSEF are provided the opportunity to earn the right to participate in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Funds from TEF are used to support travel for student winners to the international fair.
Brooklyn Elementary School: $2,000 for two 3D Doodler Education Bundles. These portable 3D pens would enable an engaging hands-on experience for learners, nurture their knowledge and interest in engineering and problem solving, supporting STEAM initiative, explore math concepts like measurement and perspective, bring characters they write to life through 3D modeling, allow students another way of demonstrative learning, and encourage students to create and not just consume.
Falk Elementary School: $10,945 to purchase 20 tablets, keyboards and software to help reduce the digital divide that contributes to the achievement gap found in the Madison School District. The use of these tablets will increase reading and math literacy, increase proficiency among selected students by 5 percent, improve PALS score by 5 percent, support family engagement, increase the use of technology in the school and expand the school’s “Hour of Code” program. Hour of Code program is a project designed to get students interested in computer programming. Students learn how to code by making a character move across the screen, designing computer games and eventually writing in programming languages.
School District of Monroe: $8,050 to purchase 30 Chromebooks and licenses and cart for the district’s libraries. The Chromebooks will be used to learn basic technology skills, practice keyboarding skills, learn basic programming skills and to apply technology skills to allow students to work collaboratively in creating projects in their makerspace. Recently, libraries have begun to develop places for design and to do activities that both teach and empower students. The learning in these spaces varies widely from creating, building, and programming robots, creating structures with Legos, putting together three dimensional puzzles, and designing objects with 3D printers.
The First Tee: $5,000 to increase access to technology for students in the after school Learning Center at Vitense Golfland. TEF funds will go to purchase tablets, a smart board and monitor. A Learning Center program day includes one hour of academic support from a trained mentor and one hour of Life Skills instruction from a First Tee coach. Some elements of the program include: The First Tee Life Skills Certification – teaches and assesses key developmental assets throughout the course program; an 18-unit STEM curriculum – utilizes golf to teach basic principles of physics, geometry and math; academic activities – age appropriate reading and math modules will be available to youth at the center, as well as homework tutoring.