The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 23, 2005

News

CEF grants $94,030 to CCHS science department

The Concord Education Fund (CEF) has donated $94,030 to the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School science department. This gift went to the purchase and installation of new technology (including laptops, desktops, microscopes and Activboards) in each of the 12 science classrooms at CCHS. Art Dulong, principal of CCHS, said that the new equipment and software "will revolutionize the educational opportunities we are able to offer our kids."

Planning for the gift began late in the school year after the annual spring grants had been allocated. It came to CEF's attention that the science department had a long range technology plan to bring the school up to par with neighboring towns and prepare students for the technology they may face at the college level. When asked about implementing this plan, Ray Pavlik, CCHS science chair, explained that it would take years to fully fund it through the normal budget process.

The CEF board members met with school administrators to discuss the feasibility of undertaking a fundraising effort to implement the plan immediately. In addition to ensuring that the high school had the physical capacity to install the new technology, CEF also wanted to be sure that timely teacher training could be scheduled so that the equipment could be used in the fall. Once the logistics were settled, the CEF initiated a fundraising effort.

This summer Brenda Finn, Superintendent of Schools, said, "The CEF gift supports the acquisition of additional technology promoting more interactive and dynamic opportunities for learning in science classrooms. From the schools, we offer our heartfelt thank you to those who contributed to this investment in the science program."

Pavlik explained the new teaching tools. "These Activboards make the curriculum much more visual — and we're able to save every note taken in class and print them out for kids who are absent or who aren't adept or thorough note-takers," he said. Pavlik also explained that by using the new microscopes and Activboards together, teachers are able to project photos of the exact images students should look for when studying organisms under their own microscopes. Instead of referring to a photo in a textbook, they can look at a fresh, enlarged image that will match what they should see through the scope.

"With the new desktops," Pavlik continued, "we can move to more inquiry-based labs, which is what the National Science Board recommends. The old cookbook labs merely required students to follow directions. Now we can challenge them; we can say here is the problem, here are your resources, now design an experiment to solve the problem. We can simulate scientific-based thinking. Kids will be forced to engage in the concepts, which will strengthen understanding for everybody."


2005 The Carlisle Mosquito