| - BCF funds eight projects in 2014, including three initiatives linked to the nationally acclaimed Project Lead the Way |
- Projects in 2013 included building an urban garden, advancing computer science learning; exploring hands-on environmental concepts, among others
- Local videographer documents student learning in three BCF-funded projects and memorializes leader and paraprofessional Roxanne Mecham, who exemplified a steadfast commitment to her students, community and education
- In 2013 and 2014, BCF granted to Farmington Public Schools total more than $109,000
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – The Bosch Community Fund (BCF) presented the Farmington/Farmington Hills Education Foundation with $84,300 in grants today for use in 2014, to assist Farmington Public Schools in advancing education in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), as well as further pursuing environmental education. The grants were presented by Kathleen Bushnell Owsley, executive director of the Bosch Community Fund at a ceremony held at Farmington High School.
In addition, administrators, teachers, students and Bosch representatives reviewed highlights of some of the projects implemented in 2013, for which $25,000 in grants were previously given. As part of this review, the group paid tribute to Roxanne Mecham, who passed away in June 2013 as she and her student group neared completion of creating an urban garden in Highland Park.
“In the second year of collaboration between the Bosch Community Fund and the Farmington Public School District, we are now in a position to review the work that has been done – which is phenomenal – and eagerly look forward to continued creativity and applied education that will help teachers, students and parents enrich their appreciation for STEM education and sustainable living,” said Mike Mansuetti, president of Robert Bosch LLC. “In reviewing the projects, we celebrate the commitment of educators like Roxanne Mecham, who inspire us all to make a positive and lasting contribution.”
“The grants from the Bosch Community Fund help teachers bring added excitement and fun to the total learning experience,” said Susan Zurvalec, superintendent of Farmington Public Schools. “Bosch’s commitment to advancing STEM education and environmental sustainability support what our teaching staff strives to bring to the classroom – and to make real for their students – each and every day.”
Mansuetti points out that Bosch’s extensive product portfolio and global presence is linked by the company’s strategic imperative of “Invented for life.” In its more than 125-year history, Bosch has always been committed to the communities in which it does business and the BCF allows the company to bring that commitment to life in tangible and meaningful ways.
Grants for 2014 focus on STEM and sustainability Awards for 2014, which were jointly selected by representatives from the school system and the Bosch Community Fund, included $70,000 for three projects that support Project Lead the Way, a nationally recognized program that involves teachers and students in hands-on learning in a STEM-based curriculum. As part of the $70,000 total, a grant of $25,000 was given to support Project Lead the Way at the District’s three comprehensive high schools; a $10,000 grant will expand the curriculum to the middle and elementary school levels; and a $35,000 grant will go toward the purchase of a 3D printer to be used as part of the program. Students will use the 3D modeling software to design solutions to proposed problems, document their work in engineering notebooks and manipulate their plans for testing and design evaluation.
In addition, grants ranging from $1,500 to $5,000 were given to projects that: support robotics programming; promote girls’ interest and retain their enrollment in science and math classes; advance professional development among teachers to support the Next Generation of Science Standards; fund an afterschool program that assists students with algebra as they transition from 8th to 9th grade; and add two more water-bottle filling stations to help the school system reduce the number of water bottles entering the landfill and promote the use of reusable bottles and other environmentally sound practices for students.
BCF Grants applied in 2013 promote experiential learning
“Using BCF grants gifted in December 2012, the students of Farmington Public Schools planted seeds literally and figuratively. In the process they touched many lives and as a result, they immortalized another,” Mansuetti said.
In November 2012, the Bosch Community Fund awarded $25,000 in grants to Farmington Public Schools as part of its Bosch Energy, Science and Technology (BEST) program, which funded 15 classroom projects. Each of the classroom projects received $1,000 and the additional $10,000 was used for the Farmington Public Schools’ digital calculator program.
As part of the BEST program, teachers apply for the $1,000 awards that are granted to projects that encourage and develop student learning about science, technology and the environment. Teachers are asked to submit proposals about their project, its goals and objectives, and how it will impact the school, students and or community in both the short and long term. The recipients are chosen by a committee of community members and Bosch associates.
BEST was founded under the Bosch Community Fund, which gives up to $3 million in grants annually, providing further support for charitable and community efforts within the U.S., with a focus on science, technology and environmental initiatives.
The 2012 grants funded projects that included designing fuel cell cars and learning about potential alternative energies to creating an urban garden and building autonomous robots. Three of the projects were featured in a documentary, The Concrete Garden, created by local videographer Paul Sutherland, and can be viewed via YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ufskhzd_hoU&list=PLklztPYKM23Gi3MVLFKEd3AwoLZnLBXOY. Three of the BEST awardees featured in the documentary, include:
Roxanne Mecham – Farmington High School
Ms. Mecham’s grant provided supplies and materials to launch an urban garden project. The students planted seedlings and nurtured their growth in the school greenhouse. The project was managed by Mecham and Chris Skellenger, executive director of Buckets of Rain, a non-profit organization that creates sustainable gardens in areas that need them most.
After the students grew the seedlings into plants, the plants were transported and planted in an urban garden in Highland Park, Mich., adjacent to a soup kitchen that is frequented by many veterans and others in the community.
The fresh, healthy food from the garden became part of the soup kitchen’s daily menu. The project taught students skills necessary to grow organic food in an urban environment and promote awareness and understanding of agriculture as well as how one individual can make a meaningful difference. Mecham was battling cancer, but continued to want to be involved in the project. Regrettably, she lost her battle near the end of this program. Many of her students expressed their admiration of her spirit and enthusiasm, and others cited her many personal sacrifices.
Rachel Torres, Wood Creek Elementary School
Ms. Torres teaches second grade at Wood Creek Elementary School, where her grant supported the return of an environmental learning program. More than 75 second graders went to Shiawassee Park and conducted a variety of hands-on environmental projects at the Park. Students made observations about pollution, measured water current, observed and recorded data on wildlife, insects and rocks. The learning done at the Park complemented the concepts introduced in the classroom.
Linda Valice – Farmington High School
Ms. Valice, a computer science teacher at Farmington High School, used her grant to purchase 10 Finch robots that were used to enhance learning and foster student interest in computer science. The Finch robot was designed by Carnegie Mellon's CREATE (Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment) lab for computer science education. Students, who programmed the robots to do a variety of tasks, said the experience was hands-on, experiential and fun.
About the Bosch Community Fund:
The Bosch Community Fund, a U.S.-based foundation established in September 2011, awards up to $3 million annually in grants to various 501(c)(3) organizations and educational institutions. The BCF focuses primarily on the enrichment of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education and the advancement of environmental sustainability initiatives.
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, its roughly 281,000 associates generated sales of 46.4 billion euros ($61.6 billion) in 2013*. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Automotive Technology, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. In 2013, Bosch applied for some 5,000 patents worldwide. The Bosch Group’s products and services are designed to fascinate, and to improve the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial. In this way, the company offers technology worldwide that is “Invented for life.” Additional information on the global organization is available online at www.bosch.com, www.bosch-press.com, and http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.
In the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the Bosch Group manufactures and markets automotive original equipment and aftermarket products, industrial drives and control technology, power tools, security and communication systems, packaging technology, thermotechnology, household appliances, healthcare telemedicine and software solutions. For more information, please visit www.boschusa.com, www.bosch.com.mx and www.bosch.ca.
*Due to a change in legal rules governing consolidation, 2013 figures can only be compared to a limited extent with 2012 figures. Exchange rate: 1 EUR = $1.32812
BCF grants $84,300 to Farmington Public Schools - March 2014