The NJEA Frederick L. Hipp Foundation for Excellence in Education has awarded a $3,600 grant to Danita Guarino of the Linwood Middle School in North Brunswick (Middlesex) for her project Come Fly With Us, which was also designated as a Dolores T. Corona Grant for Mathematics. The Dolores T. Corona grant was created to encourage children to explore mathematical concepts. Approximately 45 percent of the 100 middle-school students participating in the program are female.
A group of county and community professionals serve as mentors and advisors for students as they test and fly model aircraft. The local aeronautics club volunteered to mentor students one to two times a month in the classroom on basic principles of flight and solving design challenges. After designing a solution, students create drawings and diagrams for their prototypes.
The program compliments the physical science curriculum, introduces students to the study of spaceflight, and is integrated in the classroom. Through participation in the project, more female and minority students may become interested and motivated to pursue classes in science, technology, engineering, and math.
The program concludes with students demonstrating each aircraft’s flying abilities. Students also create a team manual detailing construction and operating instructions.
Materials, assessments, surveys, curriculum, and mentor presentations are collected and documented so that the program can continue in the future.
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