Norwood-Fontbonne Academy is pleased to announce it has received a $3,698 STEM grant from the Toshiba America Foundation (TAF) thanks to the amazing work of Dr. Megan Stotz, Technology Integration Specialist and Media Studies teacher.
These funds will support Dr. Megan Stotz’s Interdisciplinary Project-Based Curriculum with Sustainable Development Goals, STEM, and Media Studies project. With these funds, Dr. Stotz will be able to purchase 3D printers and a hydroponic grower for The Loft, NFA’s makerspace on the Norwood Campus.
“The middle school students will use these tech pieces in their Media Advocacy classes and when our teachers use The Makerspace to support various projects in their curriculum,” said Stotz, who recently received her STEM certificate from the National Institute for STEM Education (NISE).
Dr. Stotz had a very busy summer learning and attending educational workshops. In addition to applying for a Toshiba Grant, she also attended the Garden Tenders Society at the Philadelphia Horticultural Society.
“The Philadelphia Horticultural Society training was three days of extensive hands-on learning all about school gardens,” said Dr. Stotz. “I built raised beds, learned how to design a garden that allows our students to harvest food year round, how to utilize the greenhouses on campus, and the importance of building a pollinator garden. This knowledge will help with my lessons when I take students into the Children's Garden with Sister Marjorie as well as during the content delivery and hands on experiments in our 7th Grade Media Advocacy class, which will focus on UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 and sustainable agriculture practices.
In June, Dr. Stotz attended STEM Camp EDU where she worked with educators all over Pennsylvania.
“I extended my knowledge on integrating computer-aided software into our curriculum, different ways to use our Dash robots, 3D printing, hydroponic growers, circuitry, and STEM challenges to use with our K-8 students,” said Dr. Stotz.
She also joined the Wyncote Farms CSA Educator Program where she learned all about sustainable agriculture practices, water conservation, and animal husbandry.
“I even suited up in a bee keeper uniform and helped Farmer Nick rebuild a hive box!” said Dr. Stotz. “This training has provided me with rich content to include in our middle school Media Advocacy classes.”
Dr. Stotz also took time to attend an International Society for Technology in Education program in June.
“The International Society for Technology in Education is considered one of the most important and influential societies in the field of education and technology integration,” said Dr. Stotz. “ I acquired so much knowledge about tech integration for our kindergarten-8th grade classes. Everything ranging from moviemaking, designing digital graphic novels, to coding, robotics, and the use of Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality in the school setting.
Toshiba America Foundation’s grants fund projects designed by individual classroom teachers. This “direct-to-teacher” approach brings immediate results. Teachers are able to change the way they teach Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects because the grant supports equipment for hands-on experiments and inquiry-based approaches to the curriculum. At TAF, we believe that STEM is a lot more fun than just reading a textbook. TAF grants provide teachers with the tools they need to be more effective educators. The grants make the classroom a more exciting place for both teachers and students.
Founded in 1990 with support from Toshiba Corporation and the Toshiba America Group Companies, Toshiba America Foundation (TAF) is a non-profit grant making organization dedicated to helping classroom teachers make STEM learning fun and successful for K to 12 students in U.S. schools. TAF grants support public and nonprofit private schools throughout the United States.
Norwood-Fontbonne Academy is a leading coed Catholic independent academy for preschool - eighth grade students. NFA offers a dual academic path in Montessori or Primary for students age 3 - 3rd grade. NFA has been a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph since 1920.