The Girard School District Foundation awarded eight innovative grants in 2019-2020. The grants are designed to encourage faculty to develop and implement projects which will enhance and enrich educational programs and be a direct benefit to our students.
Congratulations to the following faculty and staff:
PA Business Week, Ms. Antonella Spinelli (GHS)
With the support of community businesses, volunteer mentors, faculty advisors and a little help from the GSD Foundation, students embarked on a week-long business venture. Business Week is an in-school program that teaches students about the American Economic system. Students are divided into management teams that run their own companies through a computer simulation for the equivalent of 12 business quarters. They make all of the management decisions dealing with product pricing, investing, marketing and production, research and development, and human resources. Volunteer advisors from the local business community along with education advisors were on hand to offer guidance and assistance throughout the week. Simulating real-world business decision-making helps students learn leadership skills, teamwork, time management, analytical thinking, problem solving, and people skills.
Biography Studies, Ms. Erin Pizzo (EVES)
Fourth grade students (122 students) will use the requested Who Wasâ€¦? biography series to read about a notable person and develop a written and oral report about that person. The books lend themselves to developing timelines as well as identifying school-appropriate events from early childhood to major events in that person's life. The students have over 150 titles to choose from. The series of biographies are illustrated, age-appropriate, and feature significant historical figures and a myriad of careers, such as artists, scientists, musicians, writers and world leaders.
VEX Robotics Initiative, Mr. John Bochicchio (GHS)
The VEX Robotics Initiative exposes GHS students to robotics, computer programing, engineering, Artificial Intelligence, ethics, business and hands-on applications of math, science, electronics and circuit building. The students build robots for, and participate in, regional competitions. Student involvement in these competitions allows the students to experience why soft skills, such as working in teams and presenting professional presentations, are also important. In addition to the competitions, the VEX Robotic kits will be used in the STEM lab and in courses, such as Emerging Technologies and Introduction to Engineering. In addition, the students are introduced to high paying tech jobs, hopefully making them more employable upon graduation.
Classroom Set of TI-84 Plus CE Calculators, Ms. Alicia Hricz (GHS)
Thirty outdated graphing calculators will be replaced with the latest technology at Girard High School. Classes benefitting are statistics and algebra I and II. The previous calculators are 15 years old, and are no longer a useful tool for these math courses (but will still have use in lower level math classes). The new calculators will be used on a nearly daily basis by 100 â€“ 150 students. The students will become skilled in the latest graphing calculator technology, which will be important to them as high school students and in the future at college.
STeAM in The Outdoors, Mr. Scott Russell (GHS)
Outdoor Adventure is a Physical Education elective that has been in place at Girard High School for the past 12 years. This course allows students (40) to explore local and regional resources as they participate in a variety of outdoor activities such as rock climbing, backpacking and snowshoeing. Until now, STEAM has been only a byproduct of the Outdoor Adventure class. The STeAM in the Outdoors grant project intentionally utilizes Science, Technology and the Arts as part of the outdoor experiences in which students take part. For example, on the rock climbing trips, with the help of the GSD biology teacher, students identify species of fungus, plants, invasive species and living organisms. Students use GoPro equipment to capture and edit video and photos utilizing digital arts technology. The GSD Foundation was able to assist the District with sustaining this important initiative.
Behrend Engineering Field Trip, Ms. Ashley Church (EVES)
The entire fourth-grade class (120 students) from Elk Valley Elementary School will visit Behrend's School of Engineering to learn about what engineers do and what type of education they need, and to participate in hands-on problem-solving activities. This field trip closely aligns with the "Engineers' Journals" classroom curriculum that the students will be working on throughout the school year. The students are exploring civil, mechanical, biomedical, aerospace, and environmental engineering. The May trip to Behrend will demonstrate real-world examples of those types of engineering principles. It will also expose the students to a highly ranked regional college to learn more about higher education opportunities.
Children's Water Festival, Mrs. Amy Coughlin (RAMS)
The GSD Foundation will provide funds for transportation and lunch enabling the RAMS 5th grade class to attend the Children's Water Festival at Edinboro University of PA. This water festival educates students about the importance of water, including ground water, surface water, watersheds, water quality and water conservation through dynamic, interactive activities. It is never too early to learn that everyone has a role in water conservation and environmental protection.
Girls Who Code, Mr. David Koma (RAMS)
Girls Who Code is an extra-curricular activity, in the form of an after-school club, for female students at Rice Avenue Middle School. Girls will be guided to use Computer Science to learn from fun and simple online tutorials, build community through interactive activities, and learn from inspiring role models. They will also work in teams to design and build a project that solves real world problems.