10th grade Challenge Day – $5000 (funded by Janssen Pharmaceuticals)
Since 1987, Challenge Day has been providing schools, both nationally an internationally, with an experiential workshop that focuses on ending helplessness, fear, isolation, separation, stereotyping and loneliness, which Challenge Day founders believe is the root to destructive and hurtful behaviors often exhibited by students in a the high school environment. Challenge Day successfully addresses some common issues experienced by most schools, including rumors, cliques, negative comments and judgments, gossiping, teasing, bullying, harassment, stereotypes, racism, homophobia, helplessness, apathy, and the hidden pressure to create an image that will live up to the expectations of others.
At the end of the one day workshop for approximately 100 students over three days, the goal for participants will be to understand the ramifications of hurtful comments and judgments, share and express their true self instead of hiding who they are to “fit in”, be provided with tools for healthy expression of feelings, be challenged to celebrate and appreciate the diversity of others, and finally…have the courage and commitment it takes to be the “change agent”.
McCarter Theatre playwriting workshop: “YouthInk!” - $3900
The YouthInk! Independent Study Project provided an opportunity for students interested in theater to independently direct, perform, and stage their own productions. The program was open to a maximum of 25 student playwrights from grades 10-12 who met approximately twice a week from October to December under the guidance of educators from McCarter Theatre and teacher Tery Solomon. Each student wrote a 10-minute play that wasl then produced for the public at CHS using student actors and directors from HVCHS. Additionally, each play was entered in McCarter’s YouthInk! play competition and one play was chosen for production at McCarter Theatre. Students participating in the program attended the YouthInk! festival in June.
Dan Gutman, Author-in-Residence – $5000 (funded by HVEF Booklovers’ Luncheon), additional funds provided by elementary school PTOs
Author Dan Gutman visited all the 5th grade classes at Bear Tavern, Stony Brook Elementary, and Toll Gate Grammar schools, funded by the HVEF and elementary school PTOs.
“Gizmos” curriculum for TMS science classes – $875
The purpose of the project is to enable students to build 21st Century Skills using the inquiry-based, state standard-correlated Gizmos with virtual lab experiments and features. Gizmos can be used for classroom whiteboards, SMART boards, small group or individual interactions. School and home use is possible for both teachers and students.
Art enrichment program: “Art with Recyclables” - $500
Students in the 5thgrade Art Enrichment class at Bear Tavern School worked with Katie Truk, art teacher Joslyn Johnson and skilled parent volunteers to discuss risk taking in art and how to create amazing works of art via non-traditional materials. This enrichment program involved an artists’ lecture on how Ms. Truk became inspired to create her art, a discussion of environmentally friendly art, and a demonstration of how to use materials for students to create their own works of art using wire frames and nylons. Students worked on their sculptures with assistance from Ms. Truk.
National Writing Project: Professional Development for 3rd grade writing curriculum – $5700
Building upon the gains seen in grades four and five during the 2010-2011 academic year, a comprehensive, cost-effective professional development package was executed by teacher consultants from the National Writing Project (NWP) at Rutgers University for grade three teachers.
Computer Numeric Control router system for Robotics Team- $1500
Computer Numeric Control (CNC) systems integrate Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs with a wide variety of machine tools. The Central High School Robotics Team constructed a CNC router using materials and techniques similar to those used in the annual FIRST robotics competition. The completed machine allows the design of objects with a CAD program and automatically. This capability enhances the team’s ability to build their FIRST robot and enables a wide range of additional applications as well.
Big Tent Conference – $500
Five Central High School students from the newly formed L.E.A.D. Club (Learn the Essential Assets of Development) have been identified and chosen to attend the annual Search Conference with the expectation of returning to school and engage their peers, teachers, community members in asset-building training and activities.
Flip video cameras – $1400
The Flip video cameras are shared by all teachers in the science department. They are a multipurpose tool in and out of the classroom for students. Students use the Flip video cameras to record lab data during labs, easily upload projects, and for teachers to record lessons for absent students. The cameras are used in lab assignments, allowing students to capture data that they can reflect on during discussions and while analyzing the data in the labs. Students can film plants, animals, and landscapes to be studied without interrupting the ecosystem.
Blues Musician Joe Becton – $1200
Mr. Joseph Becton, a blues musician and historian with 40 year of experience, presented a musical/historical program about how blues music, a true American art form, evolved and developed from the time of slavery to the present. This was part of the American poetry unit in English 2. The purpose of the American poetry unit is to provide important historical and cultural contexts for American poetry; to directly connect blues music and poetry (for example, Langston Hughes wrote many blues poems); and to provide new appreciations for what cultural diversity truly means in America.
High Tower – $2500 (HVEF), additional funds provided by HVRSD and NJ Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance
The Wellness Department at Central High School continued to expand the Outdoor Education component and the high ropes course. The High Tower is a powerful challenge that creates a hands-on lesson in teamwork, fitness, risk taking and communication.
Conqueror of the Hill prize money – $525
Conqueror of the Hill (COH) is a firmly established tradition within Hopewell Valley. Students participate while they are enrolled in physics. As a part of COH, students are asked to design and build a device that can perform specific tasks. The devices are built from common household items and compete against each other on a plywood hill, which serves as a “playing field.” Funding was provided for scholarships for the winning teams of the school-wide competition.
Livescribe pens – $320
The Livescribe Smartpen is a new technology that allows students to record audio as they take written notes. Students can then review their notes and easily access the audio that corresponds to the exact moment they wrote their note. Students can also export their notes for public viewing in the form of “pencasts”. The purposes of this project are to 1) teach students effective note-taking skills via modeling, 2) provide supplemental notes for struggling students or students whose IEPs require them, and 3) to teach students 21st Century skills involved in uploading/downloading notes and audio, interacting with electronic notes and audio, and using the technology for creative purposes. Read more about the Livescribe pens and their use in Mr. Paull’s classroom here.