In 2019, the Technology Education Foundation (TEF) awarded grants to deserving recipients throughout Southern Wisconsin. Each recipient demonstrated their ability to provide science and/or technology for the greater good of our community. Congratulations to:
Aldo Leopold Nature Center: $6,588 to upgrade hardware and software for the “Science on a Sphere” exhibit. This exhibit provides high-quality, high definition and up-to-date data from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). SOS allows visitors to engage in multimedia experiences, facilitates conversations about the science of climate change, energy, nature and sustainability. The exhibit is an important tool for the STEM youth educational programs offered at the Center. ALNC programs help combat educational and technological inequalities by providing subsidized nature-based school field trips and bus transportation to over 24,000 students annually. Of those students, roughly one-third participate in “high-tech meets high-touch” programs at ALNC. 2019 is also the 25th Anniversary of ALNC and they are excited to continue their efforts in expanding the knowledge of current and future STEM students and scholars.
Capital Science and Engineering Fair: $2,000 to support travel for student winners who move on to the International Science and Engineering Fair in May, as well as for awards at the CSEF held in February. The Capital Science Fair is a regional high school science fair for students doing original science, technology, and math or engineering research. The goal of CSEF is to motivate students to study science, technology, engineering, and math with a goal of going into STEM related careers. Capital Science and Engineering Fair joins many other organizations that are positioning themselves to address the shortage of qualified employees to fill STEM-related job openings.
Centro Hispano of Dane County: $13,875 to provide a much needed technology boost to allow staff to better serve the community. 20 Chromebook/iPads will be purchased for use by staff, interns and clients. Funds will also be used for a 1-year scholarship for a youth to pursue an IT degree at Madison College. A caveat for the recipient is that they provide Centro with IT support in exchange, which allows for Centro to be more sustainable as an organization.
DANEnet: $5,000 to expand Everyone On Madison by adding additional digital literacy classes that go beyond the basics to meet the growing needs of their clients. When individuals gain access to the internet and are paired with skills and support to utilize them, they have increased access to education, employment opportunities, social networks, health services and providers, financial and banking systems. This in turn provides them with opportunities to lead sustainable, successful lives in the community. DANEnet provides non-profits with on-site technical support, training, planning and IT consulting services. Project Everyone On Madison, a program started by DANEnet in 2016 provides digital literacy, devices and connectivity assistance to over 1,000 households. The success of the program generated more interest beyond the basics. Participant households need support with accessing online banking, MyChart, and other internet based resources important to their daily lives.
Friends of the Belleville Public Library: $2,500 to facilitate “Collaborative Learning Support for Tweens and Teens”. This includes an after-school space and supporting technology for students to use for homework and independent pursuit of interests. As the school district’s curriculum has become more technology based, the need for access to high-speed Internet and computers outside of school hours is critical to support all students’ educational success. The students have access to devices during the school day, but only the 9-12 grade students are allowed to bring their devices home with them. The TEF funding will provide computers in the new library space for students to use after school, which will level the playing field for many students.
Horizon High School: $2,000 to purchase 15 Chromebook computers to replace the six-year old desktop computers that are ineffective. Most of the students to not have any access to computers at home, so improving technology at school are very critical. Horizon High School is the only recovery high school in Wisconsin, specifically for students in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Horizon High School’s learning environment respects and values each student and supports him or her to achieve his or her highest goals. Students develop life plans that establish career, academic and personal financial goals. The school is devoted to working with youth in 9-12 grades who are at risk of not graduating from high school due to their mental illness and addiction.
Kennedy Elementary School (MMSD): $3,903 to purchase Dot and Dash robot kits for learning coding skills and iPads to house interactive apps for programs currently used in Makerspace such as Stickbots, Osmo interactive learning kits, and virtual reality/augmented reality activities. The goal is to provide the students with opportunities to experience and use technology that they may not otherwise have a chance to use. Kennedy Elementary School’s mission is to “ensure that all children succeed academically and socially, so that they continue developing lifelong learning skills and respect for diversity. To support this mission, “Makerspace” was launched a few years ago. A major focus of “Makerspace” at Kennedy is technology-based learning. Makerspace is an area where students can gather and share resources and knowledge, build, work on projects and take control of their learning. The “maker movement” is based on a philosophy of student directed hands-on learning.
Monroe School District: $7,000 to purchase 4 Dremel Digilab 3D printers and printer filament. Some of the work the students will be doing includes: coding and programming, designing 3D projects for the printer, using SketchUp and Tinkercad which will allow their work to become a reality on the 3D printers. This technology and tools will support the content areas of “computational thinking” and “innovative design”. These content areas are part of the overall Wisconsin Standards for information and technology literacy. In 2015-2016 the Monroe Elementary and High School libraries started their “makerspace” programs. These collaborative spaces allow students to work independently and in teams across the schools to work on real life problems.
One City Schools, Inc: $5,480 to purchase equipment for four classrooms that will allow teachers to use document readers and project text on a wall screen. One City’s 5K and 1st grade classrooms use technology to support the “EL education” curriculum. In EL classrooms, children spend a portion of their time in whole class discussion revolving around portions of text being read. Teachers currently write down the text on dry erase boards or chart paper. And videos used throughout modules are viewed on laptops in small groups.
Simpson Street Free Press: $10,000 to support technology purchases for 2 SSFP newsrooms to launch a “Science of Wisconsin’s Environment” feature. The technology upgrades will allow more “wait-listed” students to enroll and expand the Science of Wisconsin’s Environment series. Students will explore Dane County and Wisconsin’s environment through a “science lens”. They will write, revise, edit and finally publish their work in the SSFP newspaper.
United Way of Dane County: $4,400 to purchase Chromebooks for AmeriCorps members serving as tutors and tutor coordinators within 20 schools in Dane County. These laptops will allow for easier coordination of volunteers, access to online tutoring tools, and provide a means of communication with team members and school district personnel. The goal is to improve the efficiency and productivity of AmeriCorps members, thereby improving the tutoring experience for youth enrolled in the program. Elementary Schools of Hope is a program to ensure all students succeed academically. ESOH provides literacy tutoring to elementary age youth who are at risk of not passing reading and unable to read at grade level. Tutoring is coordinated and provided by AmeriCorps members.
Wisconsin Youth Company: $13,345 to purchase iPads, GoPro cameras, green screens, and boom sticks that will be accessible in a library for use across multiple programs for project-based learning. The goal is to provide equitable access to a diverse library of technology for all of WYC Dane County sites. Wisconsin Youth Company serves children and families in a variety of capacities and environments. They provide before school, after school and summer program opportunities. Many students to do not have access to technology during “out-of-school” time and therefore are at a disadvantage to many of their peers. Wisconsin Youth Company organizes 10 week summer day camps, afterschool programming at 20 locations, provides community-based learning at two neighborhood centers in Southwest Madison.
YWCA Madison: $20,000 is year three of the Technology Education Foundation’s 3-year grant commitment to the YWCA Madison’s YWeb Career Academy. The funds are used to support enrollees into the three month, free IT bootcamp targeted at women and people of color. The class provides 400 hours of instruction to 15-25 individuals/class. 30-50 students participate annually. The class covers job readiness, team building, hands on learning in computer programming and assistance in finding an internship, employment or an entrepreneurial path. 2018 Outcomes: 70% (23 of 33) of YWeb Career Academy participants completed the class and graduated, 70% (16 of 23) of YWeb Career Academy graduates will complete an internship or obtain employment.