Spring 2020 Grant Winners
Maine Biology Touch Tank (Yarmouth High School)
Grant applicants: Mr. Chris Hill
YEF will be funding a 100-gallon marine touch tank at Yarmouth High School. Students will be able to study sea creatures of Casco Bay with this hands-on piece of equipment. From scallops to sea stars to baby lobsters and more, the Maine State Aquarium will allow YHS to borrow aquarium animals for use in the tank. Several different science classes will use the tank as part of their studies, and younger students in the district will be able to visit the YHS aquarium as well. YEF is pleased to fund this $9,200 grant.
Vermicomposting (Yarmouth Elementary School)
Grant applicants: Students Emma Moll & Hannah Swift with Mrs. Melanie Moll
YHS Juniors Emma Moll and Hannah Swift will work alongside Yarmouth Elementary School Teacher Mrs. Moll to introduce second grade students to vermicomposting, that’s composting food waste with worms! There will be an indoor worm composting bin in second grade classrooms, and students will study how food scraps from snack time can be recycled into valuable compost. To start, the compost will be used in the Yarmouth Community Garden, but when YES construction is complete, the compost will be added to the new school garden. Emma & Hannah will serve as mentors to the younger children during this community project. YEF is excited to fund this $1,500 grant.
Fall 2019 Grant Winners
Coding Drones (Yarmouth Elementary School)
Grant applicants: Todd Abbot with Ryan Gleason
This YEF grant will give every student at the elementary school the chance to use drones. This exciting opportunity will help teach young students how to code, program, and fly drones. Besides computer science, students will work on math concepts like degrees of angles, velocity, measurement, and more. This hands-on project will be fun and exciting. Students will also play a role in fixing the drone if their intended flight path doesn’t quite work out! Drones are used everywhere today – from delivering packages to exploring the ocean – and Yarmouth students will be one step ahead.
Light, Lenses, & Eye (Yarmouth Elementary School)
Grant applicants: Deborah Landry with Karin Ney & 3rd Grade Team
New science equipment is coming to YES!
Every third grade classroom will receive innovative tools to help study the human eye. Students will use lasers, lights, and eye models to explore how the eye and brain are connected, why people wear glasses, and much more. Plus! YEF is pleased to provide materials so all third graders can study the inspirational work of Dr. Patricia Bath. Dr. Bath was an African-American woman who grew up in the 1950s in Harlem. She overcame a long list of challenges to become a world-renowned eye surgeon. Teachers will bring together science and social studies for an inspiring unit for every Yarmouth third grader.
Grant applicants: Deborah Landry with Chaké Higgison, 4th Grade Team, Morgan Cuthbert, Holly Houston, and Chris Hill
This grant will impact 400 students and more than a dozen educators! Yarmouth students are learning about the Earth’s changing climate, and its effect on habitats around the globe. This grant brings in climate scientist and working artist Jill Pelto to three Yarmouth schools. Pelto spent years studying glaciers in Antarctica and the northwestern United States. From there, she developed an innovative classroom curriculum that combines artwork with scientific data. Her lessons leave a lasting impact on all kinds of learners – from math and science lovers to creative artists and everyone in between! She will work specifically with all fourth graders, seventh graders, high school art students, and YHS environmental science and marine biology classes as well.
Grant applicants: Rod Corey
Robotics is coming to 5th grade! Harrison Middle School will be one of the first schools in the state (and perhaps the entire country!) to have this kind of technology in fifth grade classrooms. This grant funds 24 state-of-the-art VEX IQ robotics kits and one robotics challenge field so that all Yarmouth fifth graders are exposed to robotics. Students will work in pairs to build and code their own robots with cutting-edge technology. This exciting program will teach computer science, engineering, math, teamwork, problem solving, and so much more to all fifth grade students.
Grant applicants: Jonas Allen with Dylan Thombs & YHS Administrators
90 high school boys, coaches, and staff members will have the opportunity to attend the nationally-recognized Boys to Men Reducing Sexism and Violence Program. These workshops provide a safe space for students to consider and discuss sensitive and difficult topics that are often avoided. This is a youth leadership program that empowers students to understand and speak out against gender-based harassment, abuse, and violence. Participants will collaborate with school leadership on projects that will help shape school culture. YEF is proud to launch this program this winter. YHS administration hopes to then expand the program to reach even more students next school year.
Spring 2019 Grant Winners
LEGO Education WeDo 2.0 Sets (Yarmouth Elementary School)
Grant applicants: Second Grade Teachers with Cathy Wolinsky
A new and exciting version of LEGO Education WeDo is coming to YES!
LEGO WeDo 2.0 will bring innovative STEM challenges to the second grade level. Not only will students be introduced to computer programming at an early age, but these LEGO projects also focus on teamwork, communication, and trial and error. Students will have the opportunity to use LEGO kits with motors and sensors to create moving dump trucks, windmills, race cars, and more. These young learners will be using coding software and robotic skills all while having lots of fun.
Tripods for Art (Yarmouth Elementary School)
Grant applicants: Chaké Higgison with Cathy Wolinsky
Fourth graders are now movie producers! Students have loved a recent art unit where they use an animated film-making technique called stop motion. Students have also enjoyed making time lapse videos of their artwork. YEF will provide 25 tripods to assist in their film work. YES Art Teacher Chakè Higgison reports children can’t get enough of this visual story making unit, and it’s been a wonderful means of expression for these young artists. It’s engaging all children, and inspiring even the more-reluctant artists. YEF is pleased to provide these new tools to assist the YES art room.
Cathy Wolinski (pictured below) was part of both YES grants. We’ll miss you Cathy! Thank you for applying for many YEF grants over the years.
Grant applicants: 8th grade and 12th grade students with Tom Pitman
YEF is excited to fund a project that will help sea farmers and fisherman in Casco Bay! A group of 8th grade students, alongside their 12th grade mentors, will build a specialized buoy that will monitor pH levels, oxygen levels, and temperature in Casco Bay. This buoy will then send real-time data to students, who will publish the information on a public website. The students will not only have the experience of building the buoy, but it will allow them to study water quality trends in Casco Bay. This information will alert fishermen, clammers, kelp farmers, oyster farmers, and others in our community to water pollution and other conditions.
Self Defense for Yarmouth Girls (Yarmouth High School)
The statistics about college campus sexual assault are alarming, and a new program funded by YEF will teach students ways to avoid and escape dangerous situations. Health and Wellness teachers at Yarmouth High School have volunteered to participate in a self defense program (called RAD) that is offered by the Portland Police Department. They will become certified RAD instructors and bring their knowledge back to Yarmouth, and offer self defense classes for high school girls. YEF will fund all of the equipment needed to teach the course.
Grant applicants: Tom Pitman with Paul Lamson-LaPlume
YEF is thrilled to help launch a new class at Yarmouth High School called Motors and Mechanisms. This course is designed to explore the motorized movements of simple and complex machines. Students will explore topics like gear ratios, levers, pulleys, and more. They will assemble their own machines and solve exciting challenges. The motors will be controlled by programming commands via computer. YEF is pleased to fund the innovative tools needed for this course.
Fall 2018 Grant Winners
Kindergarten Light Lab Kits (Rowe School)
Grant applicants: Deborah Landry with Laura Elder and Karen Bradford
Every kindergarten student in Yarmouth will become a scientist and have the opportunity to explore and study light in an exciting way. This grant will provide a light lab kit to all seven of our kindergarten classrooms. The kit will include lenses, prisms, and a colored light ray box. They will use mirrors and flashlights too. Students will discover light is needed to see objects in the dark, light can travel through and also bounce off certain objects, light can bend, it has many colors, and light also has energy. This will become an innovative science unit for our youngest learners every spring.
Growing Our Brains (Rowe School)
Kindergarten students at Rowe School are learning about Growth Mindset, and the importance of working hard to solve challenges, working as a team, being kind, and never giving up. This grant will create “grow your brain” stations in every kindergarten classroom. These stations will include special Lego machine kits and beginner robot kits and accessories. Young students often learn best through play, and they will use these tools and toys to solve problems, work as a team, build social skills, and have fun. It will help them better understand the concept of Growth Mindset.
Grant applicants: 3rd Grade Teachers
A makerspace is a community destination where students can create, solve problems, and work as a team. This grant will provide a makerspace in all third grade classrooms so children can learn through creation. Teachers are always looking for new ideas to incorporate into their lessons, beyond the traditional lecture-style learning. These incredible STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) carts will allow students to come up with ideas for projects, learn that ideas may not always work, and failure is ok – just keep trying! These carts will give students everything they need to put their STEAM skills into action as they invent, innovate, and discover with tools, tubes, gears, wood supplies, robots, and robotic kits.
Staff and Student Mindfulness (Yarmouth Elementary School)
This grant is designed to improve student and staff wellness at Yarmouth Elementary School. Mindfulness is the nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment. It helps people of all ages respond calmly to situations, improve mental health, and cope with stress. YEF will help bring a mindfulness workshop to YES educators. The workshop will give staff an introduction to mindfulness and share how it can be incorporated into classrooms. A mindfulness coach will lead the staff workshop but will also spend six weeks at YES visiting all classrooms. The coach will help students practice mindfulness, focus their minds, and have compassion for others. Teachers will be able to observe and learn as well. This innovative approach to wellness will have a positive impact on students and staff.
Grant applicants: Deborah Landry with Kate Parkin
A wireless weather station is coming to Yarmouth Elementary School, and all Yarmouth schools will be able to gather weather data from this device. Many grade levels study weather. Fourth grade, in particular, will use this weather station as part of their earth and space science curriculum. It will send real-time data to indoor devices so students can monitor temperature, rainfall, wind speed and direction, air pressure, and more. This weather station can also link to other stations around the world so students can study weather and climate from regions across the United States and beyond. It will help them learn how to gather and sort data, make predictions, and use weather tools. It will teach them about major weather events happening around the world, and it will show them how weather impacts their daily lives at home.
Wind Firefly (Yarmouth Elementary School)
Grant applicants: Deborah Landry with Kate Parkin
Third graders learn about many types of energy, and this grant will allow them to investigate how energy transfers from one object to another. They will also study how energy can change forms. This grant will introduce them to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) challenge demonstrating how wind energy can produce electrical energy and, in turn, power a light. YEF will provide 22 mini wind turbine kits, and student must work with them to create a successful design. This grant also provides each third grade classroom with the children’s version of the inspirational story “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” so teachers can incorporate this book into the unit as well.
Fossil Labs at YES (Yarmouth Elementary School)
Grant applicants: Deborah Landry with Laura Wetmore and Kate Parkin
Third and fourth grade science lessons will be enhanced thanks to a YEF grant that funds an incredible collection of fossils. This new collection will help students understand the history of our planet, learn about habitats, work with maps, and discover how landforms and environments have changed over the years. They will observe and measure fossils to determine when the organism lived and compare them to living creatures today. Students love to hold real fossils and are much more engaged in the subject matter compared to when they read about fossils in a book or online.
Grant applicants: Chris Wentworth and Karin Ney
YEF is excited to provide hammocks and slacklines for Yarmouth Elementary School. This grant allows students to explore different ways to regulate their bodies and minds during their outside time. The school offers team sports and playground equipment at recess, but some students can find those options challenging and overwhelming. This grant gives children a space where they can unwind, refocus, and recharge in a different way. Children can work on building strength and balance, or enjoy a calming swing in a hammock.
Grant applicants: Jay Harrington with Rich Smith, Marti Jo Shaw, and Karen Jagolinzer
Get ready for a fun family night out at Harrison Middle School, and the evening will be all about math. This grant will bring famous mathematics educator and math game developer Greg Tang Jr. to Yarmouth. He will spend time conducting math workshops with fifth grade students, provide professional development for teachers, and host a math night for families. The night will be filled with fun math games and challenges for students, staff, and families. HMS hopes this event will inspire a love of math while giving students another opportunity to share their learning with their families.
Grant applicants: Morgan Cuthbert with Janice Medenica and Tate Gale
Seventh graders learn about organism life cycles and also marine ecosystems. This project brings both of those topics together while connecting students to their community. Students will learn about kelp. Kelp is a type of seaweed that increases oxygen levels in the ocean. Students will work to start growing kelp in classroom water tanks and be able to observe the process in their classroom for four weeks. From there, the school will give these new kelp lines to a local kelp farmer so they can continue to mature and help clean the waters of Casco Bay. Students will help harvest the kelp in the spring so they can witness the entire kelp life cycle. This will be a fantastic hands-on science lesson that will also help our local environment.
Investigating Dog Genes (Yarmouth High School)
Grant applicants: Elise McCormick with Hannah Grant, Abi Thornton, Kim Fuller, Deborah Landry, and Catie Wooten
AP Biology students will have the unique opportunity to study the DNA of dogs. They will collect saliva samples from their beloved family pets and use innovative technology and equipment to discover why dogs look the way they do. This opportunity will help students understand the technology and tools that biologists use in the real world, they will use the scientific process of trial and error, and it will help them understand genetic testing in humans as well.
Grant applicants: Marita O’Neill with Abby Hill, Jack Vigue, and Winnie Leahey
Director and acting coach Al Miller of the Brunswick Theater Project will assist students as they study Hamlet. They will work together to create a Hamlet iMovie. Students will read and discuss how Hamlet speaks to them as people living in the world today. They will then choose directors, assign characters, create scenes, pick costumes, and eventually film their portrayal of the play. This project-based learning opportunity with a local theater expert will help students have a better understanding of Shakespeare.
Heart Rate Monitors in Psychology (Yarmouth High School)
Grant applicant: Sarah Carrigan
Psychology students will study how the body reacts to the environment around it, and this grant will provide heart monitors for the class. Student will collect data and be able to see what role stress, exercise, and emotions have on their heart rate. These monitors can also be used as sleep trackers so students can track their sleep cycle and see what impact the proper amount of sleep has on their bodies. The connections that students make between mind and body will be used to inspire healthy habits inside and outside of school.
Spring 2018 Grant Winners
3D printers are coming to Yarmouth Elementary School! This YEF grant will purchase two 3D printers, which will be an exciting addition to the growing technology lab and maker space at YES. The machines are also portable enough to be moved to individual classrooms. The grant applicants say 3D printers will help students have a hands-on experience with design technology. It will also help students better understand the size, volume, and dimensions of 3D shapes. Educators say these mathematical concepts can be hard to grasp when students have limited access to a variety of 3D shapes in the classroom.
Look Closely! (Yarmouth Elementary School)
Fifty new pairs of binoculars have just arrived at Yarmouth Elementary School, thanks to a YEF grant. Third Grade Teacher Karin Ney has a great view out her classroom window. The wooded area surrounding the school is home to deer, birds and many other species. She was inspired to create an “observation window” when she noticed that the wildlife activity outside would often catch the attention of her students. Mrs. Ney says this natural curiosity often leads to powerful and interesting conversations. She already has a notebook set up near her observation window so that students can record their discoveries, and she is excited to add binoculars! This YEF grant has allowed Mrs. Ney to purchase 50 pairs of binoculars for the entire third grade. She intends to share them with the rest of the school as well.
Grant applicants: Zachary Callahan, Ragan Bartlett and Barb Ellis
Harrison Middle School sixth graders will benefit from a hands-on experience with aquaponics. Aquaponics is the combination of aquaculture (the raising of aquatic animals such as fish) and hydroponics (the cultivating of plants in water). In aquaponics, waste from the fish is used to feed the plants. The growing plants are then able to filter and clean the water. There is no additional fish tank filtering system needed, and fish are fed as you would normally feed your pet fish.
This YEF grant will be used to purchase a micro-aquaponic system for every sixth grade science classroom. The fish themselves will become classroom pets, which is an added bonus to this science experiment.
The science teachers will also invite local aquaponic farmers into the classroom to talk to students about their large-scale operations and how this type of farming is becoming an increasingly popular means of growing sustenance.
Nurturing Curiosity Through Nature (Harrison Middle School)
Students at Harrison Middle School enjoy watching birds outside the library window. They observe bird behavior, record data, and submit their information to scientists working on a bird study at Cornell University. Participating in this scientific study has inspired students, library staff, and teachers to launch activities such as the HMS Birding Club and a brand new group that sketches drawings and writes journal entries about nature.
This YEF grant will be used to purchase plantings to attract more birds and other animals to the area outside of the school library. The grant will also purchase a mounted spotting scope for the library, binoculars, and a high quality digital camera to record observations. Portable outdoor seating will provide a means to participate in outdoor field studies and drawing and journaling sessions. Educators say students enjoy escaped from technology and this grant will spark curiosity, intrigue, and wonder.
Grant applicants: Elena Miller, Georgia Herr, Isaac Grondin, Stefan Bell and Krisztian Kovacs
ThinkLab students at Harrison Middle School are building SeaPerch underwater robots, thanks to a 2017 YEF grant. Students have started testing their new robots in indoor pools and are excited to soon bring their robots outside. A new YEF grant will be used to purchase two GoPro waterproof cameras and cables that can be attached to the robots. The new equipment will provide live feeds to computer monitors and smart devices so that SeaPerch operators can react to whatever their robot encounters. Students will also be able to study what is found at the bottom of local rivers, ponds, and even the ocean. This project started as a math and engineering experience, but soon it will also be an exciting tool to explore biology.
Yarmouth Shellfish Nursery (Harrison Middle School & Yarmouth High School)
YEF is proud to fund an extension to our wildly successful Yarmouth Shellfish Nursery grant. The original grant began four years ago as an independent study with a group of seventh graders. The students had a desire to help protect local soft-shell clams from the invasive European green crab. After growing and transplanting thousands of juvenile clams off the coast of Yarmouth, these students – now juniors at YHS – would like to continue the project but with American oysters. They will partner with a local oyster and kelp farmer to research environmental conditions and growth rate of the oysters. They hope to be able to provide evidence to local farmers on the best places to farm.
This YEF grant will pay for a four-year supply of oyster seed and replacement parts for the existing YEF upweller (an upweller is a place to grow young shellfish). YEF will also fund a drone to take aerial photos and monitor testing sites, solar panels to power sensors that will be mounted to a monitoring buoy, as well as testing kits that will allow students to monitor water quality.
Grant applicants: Holly Houston and Marita O’Neill
Yarmouth High School Art Teacher Holly Houston would like her students to create art while learning about science. She is excited to raise awareness about connections between species in your backyard to species in Casco Bay and how to keep them healthy. A YEF grant will bring in Maine artist Tim Christensen to assist with this project, as Christensen combines his love of clay with his desire to protect the world around him. Christensen will visit YHS for eight days. Art students will create and carve a ceramic piece that shows how a bird in their backyard is connected to a bivalve in Casco Bay. “Students will be asked to not only find and illustrate (with clay) the connections in six jumps, but students will also discover their personal role in keeping these connections healthy,” said Houston.
Fall 2017 Grant Winners
Grant applicants: Cathy Wolinsky, Amy Finnen and Terry Lincoln
This robotics grant will impact every student at Rowe School. KIBO robot kits are designed specifically for younger learners and will be placed in every kindergarten and first grade classroom in Yarmouth. KIBO robot pieces look and feel like old fashion building blocks. The materials are sturdy, and they work together in an endless variety of ways. Children build their own robot with these materials, program their robot to do what they want, and then students even get to decorate their machines. This decoration piece is unique and exciting because these robots appeal to students with interest in technology, but they also appeal to creative students who are more interested in the arts. These KIBO robots also give students a break from screen time, as they are programmed with their hands, and not using a computer or tablet.
Mobilize the Salmon Hatchery
Yarmouth Elementary School
YEF funded the salmon hatchery at the Yarmouth Elementary School in 2015, and we are thrilled to make an exciting upgrade to this grant. The salmon hatchery is now an important part of the fourth grade life science curriculum, and this latest grant will provide a steel service cart to move the 200-pound hatchery from classroom to classroom, reaching more students at YES. Fourth grade students have been able to observe the Atlantic salmon life cycle from start to finish, but now all YES students will have a better opportunity to observe, learn, and ask questions about this important life science lesson. The fourth grade team of teachers is excited that their own students will be able to spend more time with the hatchery, now that classes don’t have to travel to one fixed location to work on the project.
Harrison Middle School
Grant applicant: Bob Gross
SeaPerch is an innovative underwater robotics program sponsored by the U.S. Office of Naval Research, and it is coming to Harrison Middle School. This grant will equip teachers and students with the resources they need to build their own underwater robots. This is a new approach to robotics that will have students learning how water can impact technology and design. Students will build these robots from a special kit, using engineering and science concepts, along with a marine biology component. The SeaPerch program is a fun, hands-on challenge that involves working with a team. Each team will end this robotics unit with an underwater launch at a local pool, in the ocean, a pond, or large water tank. YHS engineering students have had great success with SeaPerch, and YEF is excited to bring this program to the middle school.
Grant applicants: Morgan Cuthbert, Tate Gale and Janice Medenica
Seventh grade teachers are excited to bring the new technology of Cubelets to Yarmouth. Cubelets are pre-programmed robot blocks that inspire children to become better thinkers. There are seventeen types of Cubelets and each has a special skill. Cubelets can act like a flashlight, work as a knob, control temperature, or operate like a battery, just to name a few! When the Cubelets are combined, the robot-building possibilities are endless. Cubelets will help teach young learners a new way to code, and it will also help teachers introduce the important systems model of science. This groundbreaking technology will get students excited to dig into the seventh grade science curriculum.
Yarmouth High School
Grant applicants: Laura Esty and Karin Walsh
This grant will impact every freshman at Yarmouth High School. Portland Stage Company is bringing its professional actors, directors, and educators to YHS to perform Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar for the freshman class. It will not only be exciting for students to see a live performance of a play they’ve read and studied, but this performance will be followed by a series of acting workshops. These workshops will get students on their feet and have them acting out the play themselves, as a way to bring the language and story to life. Having professional actors and theater educators share their expertise will greatly enhance their study of the play. This exciting project will also help students work on their reading, thinking, and public speaking skills.
Yarmouth High School
Grant applicants: Marita O’Neill and Jackie Brookes
This grant will help bring history to life for Yarmouth High School students. It will include performances and creative writing workshops by actor and writer David Mills, and they will focus on two important American voices. Juniors and seniors will first see a performance about American poet and social activist Langston Hughes. This play will be followed by an in-class creative writing workshop on Blues Poetry, a genre created by Hughes. This experience coincides with a senior English poetry unit and a junior Harlem Renaissance history unit. The grant does not end here, as it also includes a performance about Dr. Martin Luther King for freshmen and sophomores. It will be timely as the freshmen curriculum includes a section on Americans who are positive agents of change. Sophomores study themes such as social justice and civil rights throughout the year. This performance will also be followed by a writing workshop that explores Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. Students will write letters about a time they felt silenced or excluded. Teachers believe this grant will help bring these important issues and historical figures to life for all Yarmouth High School students.
Yarmouth High School
Grant applicants: Anne Tommaso and CP Senior English Students
Instead of simply reading Henry IV by William Shakespeare, this project asks CP Senior English students to take their learning one large step further. Students will produce, direct, and act out their own interpretation of Henry IV, but that’s not all. They must create and stick to a budget, market the play, design their sets, and make costumes for their performance. Students say it will give many seniors a chance to act in a play who never have before, it will give them a creative break from typical classroom work, it will give them a better understanding of Shakespeare, and it will include important life skills like working with a budget and public speaking. Tickets to this exciting performance will be available to the entire Yarmouth community.
YEF Spring 2017 Grant Winners
Harrison Middle School
Educators at Harrison Middle School are looking forward to improving student wellness with the addition of desk cycles. These quiet cycles will be placed under student desks in Health Science classroom. Students will be able to pedal while learning, and the goal is to increase the time students are physically active in a regular classroom environment. We know physical activity is beneficial for physical health, but it also boosts brain function including cognition, mood, and behavior. All middle school students will have the opportunity to use these innovative desk cycles when in Mrs. Lambert’s class.
Printmaking Press for the YHS Art Studio
Yarmouth High School
A printmaking press is coming to Yarmouth High School. Art teachers are excited to increase student knowledge and understanding of a process that has been used around the world for hundreds of years. Students will carve a surface, cover it with ink and paper, and then roll it through the press to make copies of their work. Printmaking forces students to think differently as most everything that is printed must be thought out in reverse. The process takes great patience, and this tabletop press will be used at YHS for countless years to come.
YEF Fall 2016 Grant Winners
Blue-Bots: Logical Thinking & Coding Tools
Students at Rowe School will have the exciting opportunity to program robots. Blue-Bots are small robots designed for younger learners that move along special floor mats in the classroom. Children will learn to program the Blue-Bots by writing code on their iPads. Educators believe student reactions will be priceless as they learn to make these Blue-Bots move with the touch of an iPad button. They will help bring science, technology, math, and literacy concepts to life. The Blue-Bots will especially enrich the first grade social studies curriculum as students learn direction, location, and mapping skills. Blue-Bots have clear shells so students can look inside the machines and see the fascinating components that make up their robot.
Mathematics in Action
Yarmouth Elementary School
A previous YEF grant brought Dr. Mehesh Sharma, one of the most respected math teachers in the world, to Yarmouth to spend a day with our K-4 educators. Dr. Sharma strongly believes Cuisenaire Rods are a vital component of teaching mathematics today, and now they will be available to all classrooms at Yarmouth Elementary School. These colorful number rods help bring math problems on paper to life. Children have a natural inclination to play, and these rods give them a physical tool to manipulate and play with to help them visualize and understand abstract math concepts. Cuisenaire Rods are used in math instruction around the world, and now teachers at Yarmouth Elementary School will be able to incorporate them into their math classes on a daily basis.
Yarmouth Elementary School
Breakout boxes are sweeping the nation and now they are coming to Yarmouth Elementary School. Based on popular “escape rooms” across the country, Breakout EDUs are innovative games that teach critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and communication skills. A group of students will receive a locked box, and the team works together to solve a series of challenges, riddles, and mysteries in order to unlock their box before time expires. Teachers design clues related to current curriculum, so it is a fun and engaging way to review classroom material.
Electric Car Project
Yarmouth High School
Students at the high school will have the opportunity to build an electric car and then race it in a national competition. Students will work together to design the car, assemble it, and then compete against other high school teams at a race on a professional track in Connecticut. The objective is to keep the car running for one hour on the same battery charge while clocking a competitive speed. The car will be driven by a student and supported by a pit crew of classmates who helped build the vehicle. Students will apply mechanical and electrical engineering concepts they learned in class to this fun project in the real world.
CP & AP Biology Biotechnology
Yarmouth High School
High school biology students in Yarmouth will soon be using the same techniques and equipment found in college science labs and molecular research labs across the country. Students will use advanced biotechnology equipment to conduct a DNA Barcoding project. Students will bring in DNA samples from different species and this new equipment will allow them to freeze the samples, extract DNA, clean and separate the DNA, and then send their results away to be processed. Students then receive a DNA sequence and will be able to research what type of species their DNA sample came from. Biotechnology is an expanding field, and this project will give Yarmouth students an edge coming out of high school. It will be especially useful for students who are interested in the medical field.
All Yarmouth schools
All students in the Yarmouth School Department will have access to the amazing technology of Google Expeditions. This is a virtual reality tool that allows teachers across the district to take students on journeys across the world. Students look through special headsets and can be taken on hundreds of virtual field trips from Versailles to the surface of Mars to famous museums to Antarctica and beyond. It also includes tours of the human body and its systems. Google Expeditions allow teachers to act as the guide and lead their classroom of student explorers through 3D and 360-degree images, while pointing out interesting sights along the way. This technology brings to life animals, buildings, and settings that have previously only been available in photos online or in books. Google Expeditions provide a new and exciting opportunity to connect with classroom content in ways that have never before been possible.
Spring 2016 Grants
Students at Yarmouth Elementary School will participate in the construction of a twig hut on school grounds. Led by Maine artist Susan Perrine, who is an expert in the art of twig structures, this community project will involve every child at YES. Students will work together to build the hut with their own hands by weaving together natural materials such as saplings and twigs. The hut will be strong and lasting, and it will be used as a quiet area, reading nook, and outdoor classroom space. Mark your calendars – twig hut construction will be underway May 17th – 20th!
Students will have the opportunity to learn the innovative Arduino system. It will teach computer programming and problem solving skills, as well as how circuits function. Arduino starter kits contain circuit boards to which students can add components like resistors and sensors. Students will start with structured projects, but once they are comfortable with Arduino, they will be encouraged to get creative and design computer programs all on their own. Mr. Gross will introduce this to the Gifted and Talented students and offer it to others on a drop-in basis. These kits will also be used during the Hour of Code.
4C Studio at HMS
This grant will transform a room at the Harrison Middle School library into an exciting studio space. The 4C Studio at HMS will provide a library space for students to work on projects involving the 4Cs: collaboration, creativity, communication and critical thinking. The studio will include a green screen wall, glass whiteboard, table and chairs, and a large flat-screen monitor. This flexible space will be an area where students can work collaboratively on projects of all kinds, including ones that involve video production. This upgrade will help align HMS with the new generation of libraries that offer breakout spaces devoted to collaborative and creative work.
Making Learning Real: Shellfish Nursery (HMS)
Seventh grade students will create an outdoor learning lab that includes a shellfish nursery. Students, teachers, and town officials will work together on this project to help solve a serious environmental problem in Yarmouth. Invasive green crabs are eating young clams, causing major problems for our local clamming industry. Students will care for young clams in an upweller located at the Yarmouth Town Landing. They will raise the clams until they are big enough to survive the green crabs and then seed the grown clams into local mudflats. Ninth grade students will help build the upweller that will house the nursery, and students across the district will be invited to observe the nursery. This hands-on project will get students out of the classroom and into their local ecosystems.
Experimentation, Evolution, and Process (YHS)
High school art students will learn new ways to create pottery with lessons from a professional ceramic artist, Tom Christensen. Christensen will create porcelain bird and pinch pot clay sculptures using methods not currently practiced at Yarmouth High School. Students love to watch professional artists in action, and these pottery lessons will help deepen their understanding of ceramics and sculpture. Their finished products will be displayed for the entire school community to enjoy.
Telling Room Residency (YHS)
The Yarmouth High School English Department will welcome the Telling Room, a local nonprofit organization, to YHS to provide a series of writing workshops for college preparation juniors. The Telling Room will bring in writing teachers, professional writers, and community volunteers to work one-on-one with students to create personal narratives that will be shared and published. These workshops will encourage young writers to feel confident and help them discover and develop their voices as storytellers. Teachers hope it will spark a lifetime love of writing for these students.
Robotics Club Competition Field (YHS)
The Yarmouth High School Robotics Club will soon have a new practice field.The Club competes in robotics competitions with schools across the state. Each year the competition presents a new challenge, but it always starts with the same 144-square-foot practice space made from 36 foam tiles. This grant will fund the purchase of a “field kit” so the Robotics Club can practice for these competitions. This new practice field will also allow the Club to host scrimmages. The Harrison Middle School Robotics Club will benefit from this robotics field as well.
SPRING 2015 GRANTS
3D Printers (YHS)
3D printing is a powerful and innovative tool, as many products we use today involve 3D printing in their design. It is the latest technology that educates students in the most modern production techniques. The two 3D printers will expand the current FABLAB equipment at the high school and provide more interactive class activity. Students will design three-dimensional objects and “print” them in plastic. High school students from Art to STEM will have the opportunity to create unique products. We are excited to see what they come up with!
littleBits of Challenge (HMS)
littleBits is a cutting edge electronics program involving all 5th and 6th grade and science club students that challenges the kids to think and design with electronic modules. The 7th and 8th grade students will get hands on experience during the enrichment period. The electronic modules snap together with magnets to create projects with light, sounds, and sensors. The possibilities are endless! Students will develop critical thinking skills that bring curiosity, wonder and problem solving to science and math classes.
One excited person couldn’t wait to get his hands on these!
One Book, One School (HMS)
The book Alabama Moon by Watt Key will be a read-aloud to all students at Harrison Middle School, grades 5 through 8. This novel is a coming-of-age story that has a powerful, uniting theme. After the read-aloud is completed, there will be mixed grade level discussions and an author visit. Key will discuss his experience as an author and his process of writing, and will conclude the visit with a community-wide meeting. Alabama Moon was listed as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time.”
Stay tuned for more information about the author visit and the Yarmouth community presentation.
Skins for Keyboarding (HMS)
Knowing how to type accurately and efficiently is a key skill for middle school students since a great deal of their daily assignments and testing are computer based. The keyboard skins are designed to accelerate keyboard memorization and train students to keep their eyes on the screen and not on their fingers. Becoming better keyboarders will allow the students to focus on the content of the work being asked of them and not struggle with the typing.
Learning to Juggle (YES)
A previous grant for juggling balls and scarves was such a success for one classroom of third graders, a new grant was requested to extend the fun and learning for the entire third grade. Juggling exercises students’ brains and the connections that occur to help improve attentiveness, hand-eye coordination, and visual and motor activity. The focus, stamina, resiliency, and perseverance involved in learning to juggle are transferable to reading, writing, math and science. This activity happens at the morning meeting a few times a week.
Interactive Projection for Learning (YES)
A wireless projection and sound system will transform a YES classroom into a science/technology exploration and interactive learning center. Students will explore new online programs and links to learning sites with simulations and video components. The world comes into the classroom through many applications such as Google Earth field trips and Skype communications.
The Spaghetti Book Club is a website of children’s book reviews – written by kids, for kids! Every second grader will share their own published book review, self-portrait and illustration on this book review website. A one-year subscription for the 2nd grade will provide a place for students to talk about books. This engagement encourages love of reading by giving kids an opportunity to write about books on a personal level and share their reactions with family, friends and other children.
As interest in the successful HMS Robotics program continues to grow, this grant allows for further expansion. This grant will fund additional equipment needed specifically for the 6th grade team members to build their own robot and allow them to get more hands-on experience. All team members will have the ability to design and create with the added parts, batteries, integrated modules, and motors.
Analog Clocks for Executive Functioning Skills (HMS)
Twelve new analog clocks will help our middle school students develop their executive functioning skills that cover time management, task initiation, emotional control, and sustained attention. Because our brains do not keep track of time, being able to see the passage of time on an analog clock actually helps us be better time managers. Analog clocks, unlike digital clocks, allow for the visualization of manageable chunks of time, which has a positive impact on children’s ability to organize, plan and manage task completion. What’s old is new again!