According to Stacy Hughes, executive board member of the George Washington Home and School Association, the grant could not have come at a better time.
"It's a generous gift for some well-deserving schools. It's exciting to have the opportunity to create a hands-on, interactive learning environment for the kids," Hughes said. "At GW, the classroom environment is a little antiquated, so this will be a huge and exciting change for the kids."
Classroom upgrades are essentially required in Ridgewood and across New Jersey as the state prepares implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which go into effect for students in grades six and higher starting in 2016-17.
The new standards provide students with benchmarks based on the National Research Council's "Framework for K to 12 Science Education" and are not the results of a federal mandate, unlike the much-maligned Common Core State Standards or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers testing. The NGSS are known to have been written by science teachers, engineers and scientists from more than 25 states and are intended to prepare students for employment in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields.
Citing a recent Harvard University study, Hughes indicated that STEM jobs represent the fastest grouping sector of the economy, with an estimated 17 percent growth between now and 2020. That percentage is three times the rate of non-STEM jobs.
In anticipation of the NGSS and the STEM job market growth, the GWHSA has spearheaded an aggressive fundraising campaign designed to raise $175,000 over a three-year period. Funding will be put toward the purchase of six enhanced science classrooms with new lab tables, 30 to 60 new video microscopes, licenses for graphing calculator emulators and six new physical science models.
For the full story: http://www.northjersey.com/news/education/upgrade-project-gets-boost-in-funding-1.1361827