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Hurlbutt Elementary School


“Straw Rockets”

Applicant: Linda Froschauer, Math and Science Curriculum Leader Beneficiary:: Hurlbutt Elementary and Weston Intermediate Schools Grant: $6305 Purchase of: Materials to create straw rockets Project: Ms. Forschauer demonstrated the concepts of physics through the use of straw rockets constructed by students.


“Math on the Move”

Applicants: Lisbeth Dizney and Jane Pinciaro Beneficiary: grade 3 Grant: $999 Purchase of: three extra-large storage tubs filled with English literature and math manipulatives Project: Movable math resource kits to be shared among the nine third-grade classes on a scheduled basis. Students used the contents of each math kit to join literature and math manipulatives into specific, high-order mathematical explorations within strand of mathematics. The themes of the kits included problem solving, place value/estimation, fractions, and geometry.


“100% Environmentally Smart”

Applicant: Cathy Wilcox Beneficiary: Ms. Wilcox’s second-grade class Grant: $474 Purchase of: a recycled plastic NOVAWOOD park bench, plaque, transportation Project: Students collected and graphed various types of plastics for recycling. They delivered the plastic to NOVAWOOD Products in Stamford where it was recycled into a “100% environmentally safe” park bench. The project involved students in three curriculum areas: science (recycling), math (graphing), and writing (explanation of project in a class scrapbook). The bench was delivered and placed outside on Hurlbutt’s grounds.


“The Hartford Courant”

Applicant: Ellie Core Beneficiary: Ms. Core’s third-grade class Grant: $252 Purchase of: 25 copies of the Hartford Courant newspaper per week and 25 journals Project: The Hartford Courant was used as a daily up-to-date “textbook” in all areas of Ms. Core’s curriculum to stimulate interest in current events, gain exposure to report-style journalism, learn note-taking skills, and create their own news journal. Students also held class discussions on articles.


“Puppets in the Classroom”

Applicants: Janis Anderson-Laraby and Lois Perlah Beneficiary: Ms. Laraby’s first-grade class Grant: $494.33 Purchase of: hand puppets, theater, props, and books Project: The use of the puppet theater allowed students to transform stories into plays and perform the works using puppets, costumes, and sets. This project allowed the students to express themselves creatively as individuals and as members of a small group. It supported reading and encouraged higher-level thinking skills.

“PowerPoint for Math”

Applicant: Diane Boesch Beneficiary: Hurlbutt math enrichment students Grant: $385.94 Purchase of: PowerPoint software Project: to use in math enrichment courses for Hurlbutt students. This program allowed students to summarize steps to construct logical arguments, rearrange sequence, and use technology for editing and presentation.

 Weston Middle School


“Computer Software for History”

Applicant: Barbara George / Ed Demchuk Beneficiary: Weston Middle School Grant: $1500 Purchase of: Computer software Project: Through computer simulations, students apply the lessons of history. This program is designed to enhance critical thinking skills and to facilitate informed decisions on the important global issues impacting our world.

“Lego Mindstorm Rockets”

Applicant: Lorraine Westervelt, Technology Education Teacher Beneficiary: Weston Middle School Grant: $2300 Purchase of: Lego Mindstorm Robots Project: Weston Middle School students built remote-controlled Lego Mindstorm robots then programmed them. This program cross-pollinates science concepts and technology applications.


“General Music Pilot Course”

Applicant: Rebecca Merrick Beneficiary: WMS 8 th grade general music students Grant: $1,335.00 Purchase of: 10 Acoustic Guitars (full size) 4 Acoustic Guitars (3/4 size), 10 full size guitar bags, 4 ¾ size guitar bags Project: Students will learn fundamental principles of Western music theory including keys and scales, intervals, chord construction, and harmonic progressions. The course will also focus on the development of aural skills (ear training) and the comprehension of written musical notation through the hands-on, experience of playing the guitar.


“Integrated World Drumming Ensemble”

Applicant: Danielle Tusch Beneficiary: grade 7 in integrated arts Grant: $980 Purchase of: four large ethnic drums to enhance the Integrated Arts program Project: In order to provide an opportunity for creative expression to 7 th graders (those not schedules for band, orchestra, or chorus) who are uncomfortable in a performance-oriented music class, as well as to launch musical rhythmic practice techniques, drums were introduced to engage students in active learning. The physicality of drumming helped accommodate “fidgety 12-year-old boys.” The drumming course targeted skills including language, discipline, improvising teamwork, self-esteem, respect, security, memory, tolerance, community, and coordination.

“Robotic Rocket Remote Sensing”

Applicants: Mark Evans and Tom Grace Beneficiary: grade 8 Grant: $999 Purchase of: complete starter package of rocket boards, launchers, and consumables from AC Supply Company Project: Math and technology education collaboration. In order to cover the physics linear motion principles of velocity and acceleration vs. time, the teachers incorporated the use of model rockets to record g-force once every .01 seconds while mounted inside the model rocket. The circuit recorded 2,000 measurements and could download them to a Windows PC for printing graphs of position and other measurements. The activity was incorporated into the 8 th grade science curriculum as well as the math/physics unit to find and interpret, among others, apogee and velocity of curves.


“Video Scrapbook”

Applicant: Bruce Simon Beneficiary: two-fourth-grade classes, one fifth-grade class Grant: $675 Purchase of: $225 per teacher for support services Project: Students had the fun and challenge of planning and creating scrapbook video documentaries to be shared with an exchange student in a foreign country. Each video contained individual taped responses to each partner’s questions and written/illustrated presentations of aspects of each student’s life that were unique to his/her culture. The topics in the videos included foods, dress, holiday celebrations, songs, dance, and a video tour of WMS and classrooms.

“Bottle Rocket Construction and Launch”

Applicant: Linda Froschauer Beneficiary: grade 5 Grant: $1,000 Purchase of: bottle rocket launcher, port pumps, and bottle rocket kits Project: This project was done in conjunction with the fifth grade science unit “Beyond our Solar System.” Through the use of hands-on learning, students understood that gravity holds us to the earth’s surface. They considered constraints (such as time, trade-offs, and materials). Constructed a model, designed a solution/product, and implemented a proposed design. Bottle rockets (opposed to the solid fuel rockets of prior years) are easy to assemble safely and allow individual teachers to launch them on their own schedules.


“Calculator Based Math”

Applicant: Kevin Buckley Beneficiary: grade 7 and 8 pre-algebra and algebra students Grant: $730 Purchase of: math calculator-based laboratory physics package Project: The purpose of this grant was to create a more challenging and engaging way to teach students physics with calculator-based labs. Through the use of motion detectors, sensor detectors, microphones, magnetic field sensors, and CBL data collection materials, students were able to actively participate in learning while mastering the difficult concepts of physics.


“Flower Boxes”

Applicant: Mark Evans and Sharon Dominci Beneficiary: Ms. Dominci’s fifth-grade class Grant: $350 Purchase of: flower box materials: wood, nails, assorted plants, lexan Project: The two teachers collaborated to help students build flower boxes and incorporate the current “Plant Science” unit with math and woodworking. Students designed, built, and painted boxes that were attached to the outside of room B5. Boxes were designed to be removed so they could be reused year after year.


“Ancient Civilizations”

Applicant: Jan Trent-Fraser Beneficiary: grades 5-8 Grant: $1,000 Purchase of: CD-ROMs on ancient civilizations and earth sciences Project: In order to make the current program more exciting, current, and challenging, two CD-ROMs units were to be used to integrate technology directly into the content area curriculum. Check was returned to WEF when further investigation revealed the CD-ROMs were of sub-standard quality and did not fulfill the original intent of the grant.

“The Better Mousetrap”

Applicants: Peter Stern and Mark Evans Beneficiary: grade 8 science and technology education students Grant: $429 Purchase of: 12 mousetrap kits, glue guns, design video, and X-Acto knives Project: A project designed to explain Newton’s law of motion (F=MA). Students designed, assembled, and tested a mousetrap-powered vehicle that was used in competition with other students. Distance and speed of the vehicle were the criteria for the successful design. Students also presented a detailed analysis of their solution to the class.

“Art in the 20 th Century”

Applicant: Michele Raffaele Beneficiary: WMS students Grant: $140 Purchase of: art CD-ROMs for the computer Project: Using these CD-ROMs helped students understand 20 th century art and the evolution of abstract painting. The CD-ROMs served as a springboard for discussion, written reports, and production of student art.

“Art Links”

Applicant: Holly Hawthorn Beneficiary: grade 5 Grant: $200 Purchase of: enrollment in Creative Connection Program, supplies to construct a scrapbook, postage to China, and film processing Project: An endorsement and enrollment in an international arts exchange program that involved fifth graders in creating art work based on the theme “Windows…Looking Out/Looking In.” The theme corresponded with several curriculum areas. The students created a scrapbook about Weston Middle School, our community, and America, as well as a video on the fifth grade art class, and then sent the package to a partner school in China.



Applicant: Peter Stern Beneficiary: WMS science students Grant: $200 Purchase of: equipment to collect scientific energy data Project: Energy analysis in WMS, culminating in a presentation of ideas to the school and the BOE. Students developed research, reporting, and presentation skills. This project helped to promote civic awareness and citizenship. **$100 was unspent and returned to WEF

“Eureka Electricity”

Applicants: Patti Belkin-Falber, Sharon Dominici, Kristin Rafferty Beneficiary: grade 5 Grant: $500 Purchase of: electrical reference books, voltage meters, and various electrical materials Project: Creation of experiments that allowed students to create an electricity exhibition by building models that apply knowledge gained in static electricity, current electricity, electrical energy, and energy conservation.


Applicant: Mark Evans Beneficiary: WMS technology education students Grant: $410 Purchase of: supplies to create small robots Project: The supplies allowed students to build a working, computer-controlled robot arm of their own design that could pick up an object and transport it over a small wall.


“Shoe Mural”

Applicant: Holly Hawthorn Beneficiary: WMS art students Grant: $500 Purchase of: material and an artist-in-residence Project: With the guidance of Ms. Hawthorn and an artist-in-residence, the students at WMS created an oversized wall mural that currently hangs in the WMS library.


Applicant: Linda Froschauer Beneficiary: WMS science students Grant: $404 Purchase of: Iomega Zip Drive Project: The Zip Drive is a computer memory device that helps students take what they have learned from their own research, present it graphically, and share it with others.

 Weston High School


“AP Studio Slide Work”

Applicants: Elaine Pawlowski and Bob Mitchell Beneficiary: grades 11 and 12 AP Art students Grant: $1,320 or $660 (depending on which proposal we accepted) Purchase of: film, processing, all camera and lighting equipment Project: The purchase of photographic material and instruction on using the equipment enabled AP Art students to submit an advanced-level portfolio to the AP Testing Board (a recognized national program with guidelines set up by the Educational Testing Service) that reflected their high level of artistic accomplishment. Students in this class are expected to adhere to AP guidelines. Since the cost of producing this quality slide is prohibitive, many of these students cannot meet AP testing guidelines. This grant helped to ensure their equal evaluation compared to other art students.


“Historical Document Book for U.S. History”

Applicant: Jean Bennett Beneficiary: grade 11 AP History/American Studies students Grant: $998.64 Purchase of: materials to create 76 custom-made, professionally-bound, history books through “Bibliobase” Project: In order to incorporate more relevant primary source documents into AP History/American Studies classes (rather than generalized standard textbooks), Ms. Bennett created her own “books” that included actual documents for a database called Bibliobase (Houghton Mifflin). This program enabled the teacher to select documents that were most integral to her specific course and the ones she felt were most appropriate for her students. The books were professionally bound to help preserve them for use year after year.

“Inspiration Writing Program”

Applicant: Michael Maffucci Beneficiary: grade 9 Special Education students Grant: $715 Purchase of: Inspiration software for 26 computers Project: This computer program provided software to benfit all students, especially those who struggle to write papers and essays. Many students already used the program at home. The installation of the program at school provided a necessary link to continue their success. The program allowed students to brainstorm and list ideas with a visual organizer.

“Classical International Films Archive”

Applicant: Larry Schackner Beneficiary: grade 9-12 in TAG, Language Arts, Social Studies, World Language, Fine Arts Grant: $1,000 Purchase of: various DVD titles to create a library of “50 American and foreign film classics” Project: A collection of “World Classic” DVDs provided the students with the resources to analyze films for content as well as technique. The examination of creativity used in production helped to encourage and develop self expression. Probing questions enhanced independent learning with discussions of films, directors, cinematographers, writers, and languages. The foreign films helped students with foreign language skills and understanding cultural differences and similarities.



Applicant: J. Erhard Beneficiary: grade 9-10 Honors Biology students Grant: $895 Purchase of: one “Flexcam,” an electronic instrument that allows an image from a microscope to be projected onto a screen or TV monitor Project: The Flexcam enabled students to compare the structure of a cell and its function in the body (a cellular biology class) and helped them to identify and distinguish between ground-positive and ground-negative staining ( microbiology). Students in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, and other classes were able to visualize and present the micro-world of living and non-living objects. The Flexcam could also allow teachers to demonstrate the micro-world without the time-consuming and difficult use of microscopes.

“Energy of Life Systems”

Applicant: Sue Pastor Beneficiary: grade 10 Biology students Grant: $975 Purchase of: 15 interactive CD-ROMs for the computers on cellular respiration Project: The CD-ROMs focused on a unit of biology that is specific for energy systems of living organisms. The CD-ROMs provided a boost to a tired curriculum. They not only explained the conversion of food to energy, ATP and ADP, lycolytic pathways, the Krebs cycle, and the electron transport chain but also made the concept more exciting for the students. The program enhanced independent learning by interaction, reinforcement, and review.


“Spanish II Technology”

Applicant: Lisa Wolak Beneficiary: WHS Spanish students Grant: $980 Purchase of: 24 interactive computer CD-ROMs to aid in Spanish Language classes Project: In order to accommodate the growing enrollment of Spanish language students (due to the new curriculum of Spanish education beginning in the third grade), the Spanish department revamped their curriculum to include new texts, audio tapes, and video tapes. This software complimented these improvements. It included a video presentation tool, slide presentation maker, word-processing tool, Spanish/English dictionary, songs, maps, and a vocabulary builder. The software engaged students in interactive tasks involving them in producing a telenovela or mini-drama. The purpose was to expose the students to culture and language in an intriguing, creative way using a young heroine they could relate to.