SERF funded enhancements to enrich the 2019-20 school year

Sudbury Education Resource Fund members are preparing for another year of funding grants dedicated to enriching, enhancing and supporting public education across Sudbury Public Schools and at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School.

SERF grants are initiated by teachers, administrators and specialists throughout the school year, and members look forward to funding projects that will enhance the learning experience for students during the 2019-20 academic year and beyond.

“Since 1991, SERF has been supporting innovation and enrichment in our schools. In the last school year SERF granted nearly $65,000 for projects at the elementary, middle and high school level. We’re looking forward to the exciting and innovative ideas from our talented educators this year,” said SERF co-President Rena Kams.

In the 2018-19 school year, SERF funded a wide variety of grants designed to enhance SPS and LSRHS student learning experiences. For example, SERF funded a grant to provide seventh grade students at Ephraim Curtis Middle School with virtual reality headsets and related materials, including Google Expeditions, to explore and learn about Ancient China through virtual travel. Also at Curtis, a SERF grant funded the purchase of a full set of reproduction Hominid skulls to be used by students to investigate and evaluate Hominid evolution.

Another grant, at the elementary level, provided funding to kick off the new “Catch the Wind 4 Energy” project-based learning experience for SPS fourth graders. Integrating science, engineering, math, writing and social-emotional learning, students ultimately design blades for a wind turbine capable of generating electrical energy. Also at the elementary level, a SERF grant funded sensory walk installations at Peter Noyes Elementary School, allowing all students access to movement activities throughout the day. These activities help with self-regulation and concentration and as well as motivation and overall well being.

And for LSRHS students, a SERF grant provided for the purchase of one MIT Edgerton Center DNA/RNA set, which will allow students to experience the molecular basis of DNA structure and replication. The set is designed to teach how molecules work in addition to their structure. A SERF grant also provided funding for the purchase of a Kelvin Shake Table and Data Collection Interface, which lets students use engineering methods to design original structures which will then be tested on the Kelvin unit.

And new for this year, the SERF board announced the launch of a Student Grants Initiative. Just as educators have ideas for innovative programs and activities, students often have ideas that can be put in place to enrich their school communities.

SERF will award up to $1,000 for a grant from each of the four Sudbury elementary schools and Curtis. Working with a mentor teacher, students should submit their ideas by Oct. 25.

“Students often have creative ideas for ways to make their school even better. The SERF board is looking forward to seeing all the great submissions from Sudbury students, and we’re pleased that we are able to support these innovative ideas,” said SERF co-President Laura Porter.

Grant awards will be announced in December.

For more information, visit www.serfsudbury.org.