Twice a year, fall and spring, MTEF disburses contributions from area businesses and individuals to implement educational programs that are applied for by school district educators. The projects selected are targeted towards enhancing the existing curriculum in ways that excite students and broaden their experiences in the arts, athletics or academics. MTEF is celebrating its 22nd anniversary and has distributed nearly $1 million dollars since its establishment in 1993.
The goal of this project is to expand the amount of science the students are able to do with the current telescopes and other astronomy gear at the high school planetarium through the purchase of dedicated astrophotography and spectrophotometry equipment. Spectroscopy is the key means by which professional astronomers make discoveries today. The telescope will shorten the amount of time it takes to take an astrophotography image, improve the size of the image we can take in a single shot from a very small place in the sky to a much larger field of view, and provide students with the ability to obtain extremely detailed images of celestial objects in a way not possible with a traditional telescope.
The spectroscopy equipment will amplify the understanding of our universe by revealing to students the hidden properties of light that are seen through the separation of light into its component colors. The rigor of the curriculum will be instantly increased while providing a more hands-on and more interesting approach to a very difficult to understand concept. MTAC and astronomy students will also use these images to excite elementary grade students and the community through planetarium shows, star watches, public shows, and our MT Planetarium Facebook page. Students will be able to share their work with their friends and family, and will gain lifelong memories of the learning that took place to achieve their results.
The goal of this Athletic department initiative is to unite the school by bringing together teams, coaches, and faculty members for a tailgate prior to athletic events. The school body benefits by strengthening relationships with all stakeholders. MTEF supported the tailgate for one event during the fall sports season.
Learning about nature builds unity between students and their community. Students who understand their environment and learn to appreciate nature take better care of it than those who do not. Students are taught the “One Rule at Bucher” which is to Take Care of Your Community. This includes the classroom they are in, the students they work with, the neighborhood where they reside, and the Bucher stream and property. By using a variety of hands-on science activities, presentations from local conservationists and a multitude of other resources, the program embeds science lessons, new knowledge, and provides community by learning more about each. These EITC approved programs have had a proven, strong positive academic impact on the students involved.
Safety is traditionally the focus of post prom events. For 2016, the post prom will also have the purpose of honoring the Police, Fire, and EMT’s of Manheim Township. This program will demonstrate to the students the satisfaction found in giving back to a cause that in this case benefits the entire local community. Local businesses and residents will continue to support post prom but by working with MTEF Community Partners, the Post Prom committee is able to offer tax deductible donations and advertising incentives to sponsors at the MTHS campus. The committee wants to demonstrate that whether we are a business, restaurant, student, household or school, we come together to strengthen the place we live – our CommUNITY. The Foundation is working with the committee to provide the advertising at the MTHS campus through MTEF Community Partners. No MTEF funds were allocated to this project.
Digital texts will offer students access to a variety of texts including biographies, mentor texts, and other texts aligned with the curriculum while reducing the cost of repurchasing hardcopies of the materials. Students will be able to interact with texts while reading with the use of iBooks. With iBooks, students have the capability to highlight words or sections of text along with the ability to add notes with built-in bookmarks. Students can also have words or phrases read to them which can assist with comprehension and understanding. Using the iPad application, iBooks, can lead to higher-order thinking skills, increased levels of comprehension and a deeper understanding of text features.
Many Life Skills students have limited expressive language. However, they understand a great deal of material. Educational apps for iPads are cutting edge technology that can be used to enhance traditional delivery of material. For Life Skills students that are moving to CP Social Studies classes, having iPads with curricular applications available within the classroom will enable them to be further included in the course. The non-verbal students will benefit from assistive technology which will allow them to be a part of class discussions. The available applications will help educators assess retention and make necessary adaptations for the students.
Mobile learning and handheld devices engage students through the use of a simple touch screen interface that allows them to easily manipulate content through rich multimedia and date visualization techniques. When presented with this new technology, students are more eager to learn and are highly engaged in the process. This program will provide students at Nitrauer Elementary School an innovative way of learning that inspires creativity and offers opportunity for hands-on learning using iPad® technology.
The Biology Stream Study is designed to give 10th grade biology students the opportunity to incorporate what they are learning about the environment, watershed management, and conservation within the watershed of their local community. The program reinforces concepts learned in class and encourages better understanding, and ownership for, their local watershed. The project is a continuation of the stream study the District conducted for the past five years at MTHS.
Taking students to institutions of postsecondary education help students make the connection between the careers they aspire towards and the role of a postsecondary degree. Schools that take students to local intuitions have found that the visit helps students envision a future for themselves. These visits will help students understand why building a strong academic record starting in 9th grade is important. Students will also be introduced to major and career options which will help them in their course selection throughout high school. This experience will be open to all ninth grade students at MTHS.
The Schaeffer Garden has grown over the years with personal dedication of parents, neighbors, teachers, and students. The garden is a learning tool, curriculum tie-in and outdoor classroom. This grant allocated funding to provide continued maintenance and upkeep to the garden. The goal is also to create a more sustainable environment in the pond area. With appropriate maintenance, the garden is able to be used by teachers and students as a learning environment where students participate in a variety of science related activities, reading and writing opportunities, and real-life application of learned math skills.
Scholastic Reading Inventory is a research based, computer adaptive assessment for grades K-12 that allows educators to inform instruction and match students to text using the Lexile Framework for reading. SRI allows educators to set growth goals, monitor progress, forecast performance, and place students at the best reading level that will allow them to read with success. This grant was funded through an MTEF Memorial Fund.
The goal of this program is to allow all students that would like to attend their Senior Prom the opportunity to do so without the additional financial burden of purchasing a prom ticket. By working with the MTEF, sponsors can make a tax deductible donation directed toward the SOS campaign. Once the students reach their financial goal, additional funds raised will be donated back to MTEF for grant funding. MTEF Community Partners in agreement with the Senior Class Officers, will work with qualifying donors to provide advertising at the MTHS campus and online. No MTEF funds were allocated to this project.
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