Penn Manor students will be creating virtual tours of the Fulton Opera House, building robots for competitions, using drones to study agriculture and physics, and benefitting from the expertise of a visiting book illustrator and a professional actress under projects funded with Penn Manor Education Foundation Venture Grants.
PMEF has awarded 47 grants totaling more than $55,000 for 2018-2019 – a record dollar amount – to 46 teachers, counselors and principals at all 10 of Penn Manor schools.
The projects range from $46 for models of planets for second-graders at Central Manor Elementary School to more than $5,000 for a classroom set of Google Expeditions goggles and software to enable students to create and experience lessons in virtual and augmented reality.
Other grants are funding drones to be used in experiments and research in physics and agricultural education classes and a 3D printing pen that will enable students to create and study three-dimensional molecules and cell parts.
A $3,500 grant will fund materials for the high school’s robotics club, and other grants will take students to the Gettysburg National Military Park and the Museum of the American Revolution.
For the second year in a row, the Foundation has awarded a $3,000 grant to help train a therapy dog for one of its schools – Hambright Elementary – following the success of a similar effort at Manor Middle School last year.
Grants also will pay for alternative seating – camp chairs, standing desks, yoga mats and balance balls – at several schools. And several grants will be used to purchase foreign language reading materials and graphic novels at Penn Manor schools and libraries.
Since 2000, the Education Foundation has awarded more than 800 teacher Venture Grants in excess of $850,000, providing learning opportunities that teachers and schools could not fund on their own.
“The Venture Grant program allows PMEF, with the support of our community, to fund innovative ideas for teaching and learning,” said Jan Mindish, Foundation executive director.
“The enthusiasm that can result in the classroom from these projects can make all the difference in a child’s learning. PMEF applauds the initiative of our teachers, and we are proud to support their efforts.”
Erika McLaughlin, a Marticville teacher who received $700 to equip her classroom with STEM materials, said the grants “continuously support and enhance classroom instruction for our students.”
“We are so thankful to receive PMEF Venture Grants,” she said.
In addition to its Venture Grant program, PMEF supports Penn Manor students and families experiencing financial and emotional difficulties through its Strong & Healthy Families initiative and administers more than 50 annual scholarships for graduating Penn Manor High School seniors totaling more than $60,000.
A full list of Venture Grant projects is available here.