FEF IN ACTION, OCT. 3: Grantees to Discuss Innovative New Projects
The community is invited to “FEF in Action,” a showcase of Falmouth Education Foundation grantee projects in the Falmouth Public Schools, on Tuesday, October 3 at 6:30 p.m.. in the Hermann Foundation Room at Falmouth Public Library, 300 Main Street.
FEF Board President Ellen Barol believes the event offers a valuable opportunity to learn about the tangible results of FEF’s mission.
“FEF in Action is a chance for the public to hear first-hand from some of our grantees about the impact of their FEF projects, and it's wonderful to hear teachers talk with such excitement about their work,” she said.
“This year, the six featured projects span grade levels and subject areas, from creating a business to building a vernal pool. The event is a tribute to our dedicated teachers and our generous community.”
The following projects made possible through FEF grants will be featured:
Good Readers Make Good Writers: Awarded to Diana Clark, Kim Carder, and Mary Ann McMenamy at Teaticket Elementary School, the grant resulted in the creation of dedicated and inviting reading spaces in adjoining first-grade classrooms. The quiet, comfortable setting, which features bean bag seating, is conducive to productivity and allows students to achieve weekly reading and writing goals, with the ultimate goal of creating their own illustrated stories.
Observing Migration Patterns on Cape Cod: Jane Baker, Lauren Kenny, and Maura Baxter. This cross-disciplinary project brought together FHS English and art classes and Teaticket Elementary School students, along with naturalists, writers, artists, and scientists. The groups visited local migration sites to experience the connection between art and nature, and culminated with an exhibit at Highfield Hall and Gardens, a permanent installment in Teaticket Park, a bound book featuring the elementary school students' work, and a chance to compete in the Eco-Arts festival in Provincetown.
FHS Popcorn Sales: Michelle Duguay Martinez. With the support of FEF and the FHS woodworking classes, students in the school’s Learning Center established a popcorn cart business to manage at FHS, and were required to learn about a business model, money management, and safe-serve techniques, while developing social communication skills which will support the students (ages 18-22) as they make the transition out of the Falmouth Public Schools.
Chris Brothers, head of the Falmouth High School science department, and Lawrence School science teacher Kristina Woods, are part of a multi-school project that received funding for the construction of vernal pools at both schools which are used as outdoor living laboratories.
Lawrence School English teacher Krista Hennessey teamed up with Janice Lewis of the Science Department for Robotic Poetry. Seventh-grade engineering students used hummingbird robotics kits to design and build interactive robotic displays to represent the meanings of poems they studied in English class. The use of open-ended physical computing materials allowed students to exercise their creative and artistic sides, collaborate, and make choices in the planning and building phase. The project culminated with an open house at which students displayed their projects.
Mrs. Hennessey used Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” to illustrate the intent.
“Ms. Lewis and I wanted the students to translate their ideas from English class, from reading a story or poem and writing about it, to another modality,” Mrs. Hennessy said. “For example, if the student wrote about how Ebenezer Scrooge felt regret for his actions when he visited his past, we wanted them to explore how that feeling could be revealed using the tools and skills practiced in Engineering class, such as circuits, wiring, lights, and coding.”
Ryan Webber, educational access TV coordinator and video production teacher at Falmouth High School, was awarded a grant for Don’t Watch TV: Make it Yourself,” which provided funding for Final Cut Pro-X video editing software, which enabled them to become better storytellers and share their projects with the Falmouth community, including FHS and Falmouth Community Television.
“Editing video is a integral component of video production, for every completed project is finalized with editing software. Until the FEF grant in 2016, older video editing software had been used to complete projects at FHS, which at one point had worked well but had become buggy with newer formats and did not align with currently available technologies,” Mr. Webber said.
“With the purchase of Final Cut Pro X, FHS video classes have been able to use industry-standard software to work with their projects. Students have also utilized the skills that they have learned to complete video projects in other classes at FHS.”
Additionally, the students produced segments that aired on the FHS Morning News, which featured activities and events throughout the school year, and were also broadcast on FCTV. Other videos were created and showcased at FHS’s annual high school animation and film festival, and students produced projects outside of class, such as school concerts, seminars, and sporting events.
“Without the generous support of the FEF, the amazing work that students do sharing their school with the community would have not been possible,” he said.