Education/Technology Project Forum Held
February 17, 2000; Manchester, NH -- An education/technology project forum for recipients of Peter J. Stulgis Memorial Fund Grants was held yesterday by the Unitil Charitable Foundation at FIRST Place in Manchester, NH. Grant recipients, who receive up to $5,000 for projects involving innovative technology applications in the secondary education environment, gathered to share their projects, explore different learning concepts and exchange ideas on how to use technology in the classroom.
The forum began with a demonstration from FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) of Lego League, a unique interactive learning program designed to involve 9-14 year olds in science and technology.
Educators and students from three Stulgis Grant winners discussed their projects and presented some of the results:
- Lyn Pudloski and Scott Duprat of Sanborn Regional High School Kingston, NH) reported on two programs they have instituted with Stulgis grants over the past two years: the History Project and Project World/Wetlands Project, both involving the application of sophisticated technology, including professional desktop publishing and printing, Internet access and communications, and digital video production. The presentation highlighted a student-produced television documentary on the Sanborn wetlands.
- Barbara Hopkins of the New Hampshire Science Instrumentation Program (NHSIP) and Oyster River Cooperative School District (Durham, NH), with assistance from Ken Robbins-Monteith, Rebecca Rigden and Angela Lennox, demonstrated the use of a reflectance accessory (purchased with a Stulgis grant) for high-tech spectroscopic measurement equipment which is now available under the NHSIP program to science teachers and students throughout the state of New Hampshire.
- Elaine Nichols and students Jim Galdos and Matt McGonigle from Austin Preparatory School (Reading, MA), presented results from an interdisciplinary, technology enabled project on issues of prejudice, including student-produced multimedia projects and documentation of Internet communication with several communities around the world.
George Gantz, president of the Unitil Charitable Foundation, said, "FIRST Place was the perfect location to hold our Second Annual Stulgis Grant Recipient Forum and we are very grateful for their hospitality. The projects undertaken by these schools, their teachers and the students are excellent examples of innovative technology in the classroom, and FIRST embodies the spirit of finding new ways to engage students in the sciences. I’m thrilled with the results."
Since its inception, the Peter J. Stulgis Memorial Fund has committed over $62,000 to a total of 14 innovative electronic and computer technology projects in local high schools. Recipients include Austin Preparatory School (Reading, MA), Concord High School (Concord, NH), Exeter High School (Exeter, NH), Fitchburg Public High School (Fitchburg, MA), North Middlesex Regional High School (Townsend, MA), Oyster River Cooperative School District (Durham, NH), Pembroke Academy (Pembroke, NH), Pinkerton Academy (Derry, NH), Sanborn Regional High School (Kingston, NH), St. Thomas Aquinas High School (Dover, NH), Timberlane Regional High School (Plaistow, NH).
FIRST (www.usfirst.org) stands for "For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology" and was founded by inventor / philanthropist Dean Kamen almost ten years ago. FIRST is best known for its high profile, nationally acclaimed high school robotics competition, in which corporations and/or universities team up with high schools in a hi-tech sporting event, pitting gladiator robots against each other. In 1999, FIRST opened FIRST Place as training facility and science education "incubator."
The Peter J. Stulgis Memorial Fund was established in 1997 to provide charitable grants and awards promoting the development and implementation of advanced electronic and computer technology applications for educational purposes in secondary schools. The Fund honors the late Peter J. Stulgis, who was the Chairman and CEO of Unitil Corporation until his death in May 1997. Private and public secondary schools in the Fitchburg and Lawrence areas in Massachusetts and the Capital and Seacoast regions of New Hampshire are eligible for the award.
The Unitil Charitable Foundation is an independent private foundation created to facilitate tax deductible contributions to the Peter J. Stulgis Memorial Fund, to administer the Fund and to conduct other charitable activities.
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