Moticams: Dr. Peter Ower, requested the purchase of 4 Moticams (one per classroom) to enhance the 7th grade science curriculum. Moticams are special cameras that can be mounted to the lab microscopes already in use at Wilmette Junior High School. These cameras will allow students to take pictures of their work in biology and share this work with their teachers and other students. The current practice is for students to hand draw what they view in the microscopes or in some cases attempt to photograph their findings with iPads. Moticams will eliminate this cumbersome practice, streamline the workflow during biology labs, and encourage collaboration between lab groups and science classes. The Foundation was so excited about the potential for these cameras to significantly impact students’ class work, that the board approved the requested 4 cameras plus an additional 20 cameras. This gift allows for six cameras per classroom, or approximately 1 camera per 6 students.
Raspberry Pi Boards: Connie Clark, related arts teacher at Highcrest, was awarded a grant to purchase Raspberry Pi coding boards for her Introduction to Computational Thinking Classes. The Raspberry Pi boards will be integrated into Ms. Clarks’ curriculum providing differentiated instruction for the varying coding skill levels of her students. The grant will purchase 12 Raspberry Pi programming boards, two monitors, protective cases and all required accessories to support this Highcrest course.
Multi-Sensory Equipment for Comprehensive Needs Classrooms: Betsy Crosswhite was awarded a Gripp Grant on behalf of the parent advisory committee PASS39. Mrs. Crosswhite’s grant will provide innovative multi-sensory equipment for each of the comprehensive needs classroom areas throughout the district. Often, some special needs students can become overwhelmed with the continual sensory inputs during a regular school day and finding a quiet place to re-group is required. The elementary schools will each receive two bubble water tubes that can be used to calm and re-center students through soothing sounds and soft lights. Highcrest and WJHS will each receive a back-lit LED marble wall panel. This large-scale sensory tool with soothing lights and marbles will assist students in their efforts to calm themselves. The purchase of these tools for all the schools will provide a unique experience to help these students stay at their ideal regulatory state. The equipment will be placed in the classrooms in Dr. Denise Thrasher’s name as appreciation for all she has done in the past 18 years to make education and learning more accessible for this population of students.