2021-2022 SCHOOL GRANT RECIPIENTS
Total Requested: $56,930
Total Funded: $19,956.45
Applications Funded: 17
Student Served: 4500+
Districts Funded: 10
Blackstone Valley Regional (BVT)
BVEF would like to thank our 2021-2022 School Grant Sponsors
that make this program possible!
Blackstone Millville Regional School District
STEAM Kits at Blackstone-Millville Regional H.S. Library
Students served: 450
Students will be able to explore new skills and different learning opportunities that include authentic tasks. Allowing students the opportunity to tinker as they explore new transferable skills.
Blackstone Valley Regional Vocational High School (BVT)
Biotechnology Precision vs. Accuracy Labs at Blackstone Valley Tech
Students served: 220
With a growing need for STEM professionals in Central MA, Blackstone Valley Tech is welcoming our first class of Biotechnology students this coming school year. By 2024, our program shall have 80 seats for Biotechnology programming (20 seats/grade), responding to growing student demand for entry into BVT, as well as regional employer demand for highly-skilled laboratory workers. In preparation for school year 2021-2022, BVT is requesting $2,000 to purchase two precision balances for use in Precision vs. Accuracy Labs this fall for a combined 220 students (20 Biotechnology + 200 first- year Exploratory students). As indicated in our budget, we are also requesting BVEF Innovative Academic grant funding for pH meters to be used in these labs as well.
With funding for precision balances, we can increase hands-on STEM learning for BVT students through initial instruction on how to properly calibrate and maintain the balances, select appropriate measurement settings, and analyze measurement data using instrumentation software. Students will also be able to differentiate between error and uncertainty. To put this instruction into practice, students shall actively participate in a Precision vs. Accuracy Lab activity to explore various weighing applications, such as percentage weighing, dynamic weighing, density determination, and parts counting. Students will be asked to predict the mass of common objects (grain of rice, paperclip, coin, cell phone, golf ball, etc.), record their data, graph results, and compose comprehensive lab reports – all tasks routinely completed by professional research scientists. Taking this lab in a new direction, students can use pipettes to place a precise volume of liquid into a small tube. Having a precision balance available allows students to accurately weigh tubes before and after introduction of the liquid and calculate if they have dispensed correct amounts of liquid by using density as a weight-to-volume conversion factor. Precision balances serve as a way of knowing if students have used pipettes properly when pipetting liquids for centrifugation, which ensures that the centrifuge is balanced when they place their tubes into it. In addition to mastering metrology, this lab teaches students to calibrate their own micropipettes – a lucrative business in its own right.
Measurement is at the heart of science. Precision balances are integral devices used every day in academic and professional lab spaces to provide scientists with essential measurements needed to properly conduct experiments. Without precision balances, students are limited to using hand-held scales with a readability to only one decimal point (0.1 g) and that are not found in professional research laboratories because they are below research standards. In general, measurements generated by such scales are neither accurate nor reproducible, negatively impacting sensitive experiments if solutions are made with incorrect amounts of dissolved solids. Since weighing materials and recording data are common skills performed within professional labs, utilizing precision balances at BVT shall better prepare students for post-secondary success in professional laboratories and their future STEM careers.
Biotechnology Precision vs. Accuracy Labs at Blackstone Valley Tech
Students served: 220
With a growing need for STEM professionals in Central MA, Blackstone Valley Tech is welcoming our first class of Biotechnology students this coming school year. By 2024, our program shall have 80 seats for Biotechnology programming (20 seats/grade), responding to growing student demand for entry into BVT, as well as regional employer demand for highly-skilled workers. In preparation for this coming school year, BVT is requesting $1,000 to purchase two pH meters for use in Precision vs. Accuracy Labs this fall for a combined 220 students (20 Biotechnology + 200 first-year Exploratory students). As indicated in our budget, we are also requesting Lampin Corporation grant funding for precision balance equipment to be used during this Biotechnology lab as well. Use of technology tools for data collection, documentation and analysis effectively reinforces scientific practices and deepens students’ understanding of STEM concepts.
By using industry-grade pH meters, we shall increase hands-on STEM learning for BVT students through initial instruction on how to calibrate and maintain the instruments, select appropriate electrodes and measurement settings, and analyze pH data using instrumentation software. To put this instruction into practice, students will actively participate in a Precision vs. Accuracy Lab activity to determine the pH of everyday household substances (lemon juice, bleach, soda, bottled water, etc.), record data, graph results, and compose comprehensive lab reports – all tasks routinely completed by professional research scientists. Students shall also identify unknown solutions by determining if a solution is an acid or base, in conjunction with other measurement techniques. Once students are proficient in taking pH measurements, they will advance to making their own solutions – each with a precise pH – for a variety of scientific investigations of increasing complexity. By incorporating pH meters into biotechnology labs, our students shall learn practical data measurement skills needed for entry into biotechnology lab careers upon graduation.
Art Program 2021, DHS
Students served: 330
This project is to revamp the art program at DHS. DHS has added an art graduation requirement in order to meet the MASSCORE graduation guidelines set by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. All DHS students are now required to take an art course, and we have added new offerings for students interested in pursuing advanced art.
New courses include Art Foundations, that will give a survey overview of art mediums, styles, and techniques; Sculpture I and II, and Drawing and Painting I and II.
Students will have opportunities to display their work at the annual DHS Art Show; learn about art history and careers through trips to various museums (as well as possible workshops at those sites), and be able to prepare portfolios for college art program admissions.
Investment Course, DHS
Students served: 15 per year
This project is to launch a new course as part of our business course offering in Marketing and Investing. This course is part of the school's Business Pathway that is designed to prepare students for college programs in business and careers in fields such as marketing, accounting, sales, and finance. In this course students will learn how various investment options and the stock market work. Topics will include exploring careers such as financial advisor, SEC investigator, and stock trader. Students will participate in simulations to learn how financial markets function and study various case histories.
Community Gardens, DHS
Students served: 25 per year
Students in the FLEX program (a social-emotional educational program) will study science through the establishment of community gardens on school grounds. Students will receive academic credit in science as they study plant development, soil chemistry, horticulture, and sustainable permaculture systems.
Food from the gardens will possibly be donated to community sites such as the senior center.
Community members will be asked to volunteer to assist students in the work of the garden.
Building a Program to Build
Students served: 25 per year
Students in our construction trades apprentice preparation program, Careers in Construction, are developing the skills and knowledge to enter a construction trade out of high school. The use of the table saw will allow students to learn the safety and process of using the saw. Books will be used to enhance their understanding of taking a project from inception, to blueprint, to final product.
Experimental Method in Careers
Students served: 90
Students will be able to demonstrate their knowledge of Units 1, 2, and 3 of the AP Psychology curriculum and apply the scientific method to the inversion experiment. Moreover, students will connect the scientific method to a career of interest to them and present their findings to the class.
Mendon/Upton Regional School District
Elementary STEM Cleared for Liftoff: Starting Project Lead the Way “Launch” Programming
Students served: 477
In 2019 Miscoe Hill Middle School decided to pilota Project Lead the Way (PLTW)
module to investigate the relevance and impact on students and staff. PLTW is a PreK
- 12 organization that designs curriculum modules for hands-on STEM learning
experiences. Students learn science, technology, engineering, and math through
active participation in problem-based challenges that are directly linked to
real-world opportunities. Further, the organization offers staff training and a network
of support for educators. All modules are linked to NGSS science standards. We
started with the PLTW Design and Modeling module f or our Gr. 5 students, and the
course was a hit. Students loved their experience and we were clearly able to see
their understanding through the products they created and the presentations they
offered at the end of the semester. In 2020, we expanded our PLTW programming to
the rest of our middle school and the positive trend has continued.
Our experience at Miscoe Hill has convinced us that we now need to expand our
programming down to our Pre. K - Gr. 4 students. Our goal is to provide each of our
students with the opportunity to engage in two 10-hour PLTW modules each year. By
the end of each module, students will have successfully completed a design
challenge that requires the application of STEM concepts in order to solve the
proposed problem. For example, in Gr. 2, students learn about insulators and
conductors and then are challenged to design a container that would keep popsicles
cold at a soccer game if they forgot their cooler at home. Students select their
materials and improve their designs based on their knowledge from the unit and the
feedback they receive from peers. This project alone meets NGSS standards 2-PS1-1,
2-PS1-2 & 2PS1-3 as well as the K-2-ETS1-3 Engineering Design standards. Students
learn science by doing actual science.
For this grant, we are seeking $1,000 to address the cost of durable materials for the
PreK - Gr. 2 modules. Below we have identified all of the modules that we plan to
implement for our elementary-level Launch programming.We see the BVEF
contribution helping us to build the program up by targeting the funds to our
We may revise the modules this summer based on additional educator reflection, but
the general costs and budget will remain in the area. A full listing of module
descriptions can be found by clicking here or visiting:
Grade Level Proposed Module
Pre-K Matter: Floating and Sinking
Pre-K Healthy Habits
Kindergarten Pushes and Pulls
Kindergarten Sunlight and Weather
Grade 1 Light and Sound
Grade 1 Animal Adaptations
Grade 2 Materials Science: Properties of Matter
Grade 2 Grids and Games
Grade 3 Stability and Motion: Science of Flight
Grade 3 Variation of Traits
Grade 4 Waves and Properties of Light
Grade 4 Earth: Past, Present, and Future
2) See above proposal for Miscoe Elementary. Same $1500 funded proposal for Clough Elementary School.
Vocational Place Based Education Project
Students served: 30
Students Participating in the Vocational Community Place-Based Education Project will be able to make three or more connections between academic preparation in the school setting to career readiness in the community and transfer their understanding in a conversation with an adult. Students will have five supervised and interactive field trip opportunities to collaborate with community and local businesses between November 2021 and April 2022. For example, businesses may include Amazon, Waters Corporation, EMC/DELL, Imperial Cars, Milford Hospital, etc.Student involvement with the project experience will be extensive. It will include pre-teaching to prepare for workplace field trips, expectations and guided practice, creating sentence starters for introduction conversations, and developing questions to pose company representatives. Students will participate in a post-field trip survey to measure their ability to make three or more connections between academic preparation in the school setting to career readiness in the community. Students will also work with Milford High School Video Production class student(s) to develop a Google Slide presentation for the BVEF Foundation to showcase the Vocational Place-Based Education Project.
Math Games for Math Fluency
Students served: 500
Over the summer, the Millbury High School Honor Society students will be invited to the Elmwood Street School to prepare and assemble over 500 Math Fluency Kits. The kits will be subsequently distributed to families at a Math Fluency Night to be held at some point in the month of September. Parents and their students will be invited to attend the special event where they will be introduced to the math fluency games in the fluency kits. The students and their parents will be given periodic reminders from their classroom teachers to play the games to build their math fluency. Math fact fluency is critically necessary for student success in mathematics. When students struggle with fact fluency it tends to impact how they feel about mathematics. Over time, students get bogged down due to their lack of fact fluency. Students who lack fluency tend to feel as though they are "bad at math." These negative beliefs tend to limit their likelihood of pursuing STEM careers. Ideally, if students display math fluency and if they become strong problem-solvers, they are more likely to find STEM options in school to be more accessible.
Weather Station at Northbridge Middle School
Students served: 450
Students will be able to monitor, analyze, predict, and share weather events. This will be shown through enrichment activities such as local weather school forecasts, GLOBE data collection, and RAMSTV Jr broadcasts.
Programmable drones for computer science class. Fine and Applied Arts Department, NHS
Students served: 14
My goal for this project is to increase interest in the field of computer science. My expectation is that adding drones to my introductory computer science class will increase student engagement and consequently cause the program to grow. The introductory computer science course is open to all 500+ Northbridge High students with no prerequisite. The course runs with one or two sections per year, but this can be expanded to meet student demand. Each section has a 24 student capacity. Historically, the numbers have been lower than I want, averaging 14 students per year, but my belief is that this project will generate a lot of student interest and expand this significantly.
Science & STEM Via Visiting or Virtual Programming; SCEL
Students served: 600+
To complement individual grade curriculums, we would like to offer visiting or virtual STEM and Science programs for Grades K-5. In the past, examples of such programs have included Museum of Science visiting programs on such topics as Dig into Dinosaurs (Grade K), States & Matter (Grade 1), Animal Habitats (Grade 2), Weather & Climate (Grade 3), Motion, Forces & Energy (Grade 4), and Star Lab (Grade 5). We have also hosted programs by the New England Aquarium and have looked into inviting Bolton Animal Adventures and Southwick’s Zoo. Because of the COVID 19-pandemic, the options available for our students in the 2021-2022 school year still remain up in the air. However, we need to help secure the funding now to continue to investigate the various STEM and Science programs that can be offered to our students - either through visiting programs or virtually (such as Southwick’s virtual offerings). These programs provide an extra enrichment for our students and nicely complement each grade’s curriculum.
Deep Space Sparkle Membership, Whitin Intermediate School
Students served: 100+
The membership with Deep Space Sparkle provides an Art Educator with a treasure trove of new Art Curriculum and Lesson Plans that are well structured and appropriate for my students in Grades 4, 5, 6 & 7. Units of Study include painting, collage, drawing, printmaking and Ceramic explorations, to name a few. Many lessons are based on Art History, while others offer new explorations in Mixed Media. Students will be exposed to lessons that enable them to use materials on hand in new and exciting ways. Upon completion of a project, students will be able to assess their work and the experience or process used to create the art. What was successful? What could you do to improve the item? If you were to do a second piece in this style or using this technique, what would you do differently? How does an artist prepare artworks for presentation? By learning to create and display Art that they are passionate about, students will gain confidence in their creative thinking and problem solving skills, both in and out of the Art Room. These critical thinking skills will serve the student well in High School, College and later in their professions.