In August 2021, the Technology Education Foundation (TEF) awarded $133,580 in 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: $7,430 to upgrade hardware and software for “Science on a Sphere” exhibit. This exhibit provides high-quality, high definition and up-to-date data from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The exhibit is an important tool for the STEM youth educational programs offered at the Center. ALNC’s Science on a Sphere exhibit is only one of three in the midwest and is housed in its own theater. SOS engages visitors of all ages in multimedia experiences about the science of climate change, energy, and nature and sustainability. Students participate in age appropriate program curriculum to learn about global issues, regional impacts and local solutions.
Bayview Foundation Inc: $10,378 to create an iPad lending library for residents. In 2020 COVID-19 restricted access to the International Center for Education and the Arts. Many residents have no other access to the internet except by smart phone. The grant will bridge Bayview Community’s technology gaps via the iPad lending library. iPads will be loaded with software that is most commonly used, and made available in three different languages. Residents will have access to health care, employment and educational opportunities. Digital literacy skills will increase, and social connectivity options will provide relief from the isolation and lack of community cohesiveness that exists in face-to-face programming.
Belleville School District: $4,250 towards the purchase of an interactive display (SMART board) for the Math Department. The current displays are unable to be used in a virtual classroom environment and cannot support the type of interactive programming the math courses require. The new display will support collaborative instruction and learning allowing for simultaneous interaction by 20 users. Increases in successful instruction whether in-person or virtually will allow students and teachers to focus on the problems and equations related Math, rather than the interruptions and loss of class-time due to faulty and dated technology.
Canopy Center: $3,500 to purchase technology needed to support the Parent to Child (P2C) program. Canopy Center helps children and families who have experienced trauma and adversity. P2C provides supervised visits for a biological parent who has been ordered to or agreed to supervised visits. The space mimics home settings including a large kitchen space for making and sharing meals as a family, private meeting rooms, an art room and a large backyard area. 2020 saw an even greater need for computer tablets and technology as students attended classes in a virtual environment. The grant money will be used to purchase tablets and create workspaces for children to complete their homework assignments during supervised visits.
Door of Hope Ministries Inc: $8,802 for a computer and technology lab supporting the after school Fall STEM programming. The program supports low income students from Madison’s North and East side middle schools. The Tech Lab will allow students to attend programs in person, and if required, can switch over easily for virtual learning opportunities. The STEM programming provides an after school learning experience to bridge gaps that students may experience in their coursework. These programs integrate learning, research and hands on experience to boost confidence, provide extra support and overall grade improvement.
Edgewood College: $8,050 to support the Community STEM Fellows program. The primary goal of the Community STEM Fellows program is to build capacity within communities of color for supporting STEM education. The money will be used to train 3 additional STEM Fellows. Fellows are trained to lead teams that work with partner organizations to communicate STEM activities available in Madison; create community member groups to attend Family Science Night hosted by Edgewood College; and finally to create, plan and implement a STEM event in their own neighborhood.
Elver Park Neighborhood Center: $12,000 to purchase and install 3 smart boards for use in Center classrooms. Elver Park Neighborhood Center serves children on Madison’s southwest side through school-year and summer camp programs, providing free community resources, and hosting community-driven events. The new smart boards will allow center staff to provide more digital content to enhance virtual and in-center classroom programs; bring interactive content to community meetings; and provide students with technology focused learning opportunities.
Horizon High School: $2,500 to purchase a portable digital camera and laptop. Horizon High School is the only recovery high school in Wisconsin, specifically for students in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. The student population is ethnically diverse, 93% qualify as low income by MMSD, 88% have special education status with more required individualized services. Horizon High School’s learning environment respects and values each student and supports him or her to achieve his or her highest 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.
Madison College Foundation: $6,000 for six scholarships to be used by students interested in pursuing a career in a STEM field. Three scholarships will be offered in the Fall of 2021 and three in the Spring of 2022. Madison College is committed to increase access so that no student is denied an education due to financial barriers. Madison College maintains a proud history of providing affordable access to quality education, which fuels success of businesses, communities and students.
Monroe School District: $10,000 to the Monroe Middle School to purchase subscription based online platforms to support the hybrid in-classroom and virtual learning environments developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. These platforms are designed to improve student behavior and engagement, build vocabulary and concepts, allow flexibility to teach individual-based content as well as group content, and measure results.
Neighborhood House: $6,670 to expand the community technology lab, purchase additional desktop computers, laptops and software licenses. Neighborhood House has been a part of the Greenbush neighborhood for 104 years. Their mission is to provide high-quality social services that facilitate the growth of a diverse, responsible and welcoming community. Neighborhood House serves children through summer camps, after school programs and tutoring. Adult programs offer spaces for community members to better themselves physically, mentally and emotionally. These programs are free and empower individuals who face technology barriers in their daily lives.
Simpson Street Free Press: $10,000 to support technology purchases for additional students to participate in “Science of Wisconsin’s Environment” series. The grant will allow more “wait-listed” students to enroll and expand the SWE series. Additionally a new section, “Technology News” will be launched in 2021. Student reporters research topics, organize source material, write and publish their articles. SSFP is a champion for technology education programming. Student access to technology (especially during COVID is a priority for SSFP).Writing and producing STEM content for publication will provide important learning opportunities for both student writers and readers of SSFP.
St. James Catholic School: $10,000 for construction of a STEAM lab. STEAM labs are maker spaces that allow students to develop an understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics through integrated curriculum of creative engagement, rather than by separate subject-matter approach. The lab will provide students access to a 3D printer, Coding iPads, Coding Spheres and materials. Grade appropriate curriculum will be developed along with assessments to ensure student success.
The Road Home: $5,000 towards the Family Technology Fund for technology assistance. Families served by Road Home are extremely low income, 85 % are families of color and predominantly female-led households. These families experienced additional burdens during COVID as children learned virtually, requiring an adult to be home. The ability to pay bills each month is critical for staying in their homes, and additional funds for internet access and tools can be scarce if not impossible to acquire. The FTF will provide families with access to laptops to be used in the home or at Road Home offices for virtual classes/training and job searching. It will also provide funds for internet and wifi fees.
Westminster Presbyterian Church: $9,000 to purchase software and resources directed towards the literacy-focused after school program. Westminster Presbyterian Church is an “Adopt a School Partner” with Thoreau Elementary School. They provide space for after-school and summer programming. In the 2018/2019 school term. 23% of Thoreau student could not read at the basic level. Disparities were very high between white students and students of color. These disparities were impacted even more during the 2019/2020 school year due to the impact to virtual learning. The after-school literacy program will make use of software to assist students for whom English is a second language and software that provides alternate methods for learning to read.
YWCA Madison: $20,000 grant commitment to the YWCA Madison’s YWeb Career Academy. The funds are used to support enrollees in the three month, free IT bootcamp. The program continues to serve underemployed, low-income women and people of color thereby reducing the racial disparities both in the technology field as well as in economic well-being in Dane County. Upon completion of the program, students are placed in internships or full-time employment with the goal of increasing diversity within the tech field and creating family sustaining careers. YWeb academy staff work with employers to offer YWebCA participants real-life experience, industry driven skills, and networkingopportunities. Additionally, in 2020, there is an opportunity for participants to receive training to obtain a Google Certificate and learn Google’s curriculum.
Did you know that 100% of proceeds from the Berbee Derby go to the Madison-based Technology Education Fund (TEF)? The annual Thanksgiving Day event has become a family tradition for many. Fun event for all ages and levels.