34 Innovative STEM Projects Win O&R Grants Totaling More Than $30,000; 10 Orange Classrooms Awarded Nearly $10,000 in Annual Competition


The STEM project proposals were dazzling.


Talented, hard-working, thoughtful teachers have crafted ambitious, interesting, ingenious, sparkling lesson plans that sizzle. These out-of-the-box proposals are designed to challenge students to think, plan, act and achieve --- and have fun doing it.


And O&R is supporting those proposals to an unprecedented degree.


Today, O&R awarded grants throughout its service area totaling over $30,000 to support 34 cutting-edge classroom projects that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).


This year’s winning proposals were designed to engage, entertain and inspire as well as educate, guide and train. They included projects featuring robotics, hydroponics, solar studies and research on sustainability and algal biofuels. Follow this link to view a video of the Classroom Grant Program in action. When you land on the page, scroll to the bottom for the video. 2017 O&R STEM VIDEOS


In Orange, O&R made 10 grants totaling nearly $10,000. The winners are:

  • Anna S. Kuhl School – Port Jervis – Scott Reichert - $1,000
  • Circleville Elementary School – Circleville - Kathryn Dowling - $1,000
  • Middletown Day Nursery – Middletown - Sandra Wittens - $926.93  
  • Monroe-Woodbury Middle School – Central Valley – Jodi Cavanaugh - $899.85
  • Monroe Woodbury CSD North Main Street Elementary School – Monroe - Katie Oppelt – $999.80.
  • Otisville Elementary School – Otisville - Chris Bennington - $860.85
  • S. S. Seward Institute – Florida – Lynn McGovern - $1,000
  • Thevenent Montessori School – Highland Mills – Susan Avenengo - $902.50
  • Tuxedo Park School – Tuxedo Park – Emily Bryk - $1,000
  • Tuxedo UFDS – Tuxedo Park - Marco Margotta - $999

“It’s not just the application of science and technology in these projects that is so striking,” O&R President and CEO Tim Cawley, who has visited classrooms where previous years’ projects were funded, said. “It’s more the subject knowledge that the individual students absorb from the experience. They’re obviously very much at home with some challenging concepts. That comes from engagement, enthusiasm and a real understanding of the science. That’s a successful project.”


Since the program’s inception three years ago, O&R has awarded 89 grants totaling $85,000.This year’s competition was open for STEM Classroom Grants of up to $1,000 each to educators at schools (pre-kindergarten through grade 12) and youth group leaders for the 2017-2018 school year in communities located within O&R’s service area. That encompasses: Rockland and parts of Orange and Sullivan counties in New York and parts of Bergen, Passaic and Sussex counties in New Jersey.


Any creative classroom project designed to improve, advance and enrich student learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics was considered. Grants were awarded based on a review by the O&R STEM Education Advisory Council, a panel of educators and engineers assembled by O&R expressly for this process.


So, teachers there’s no time like the present to start thinking about your proposal to capture that “Oh, Wow” moment in your classroom next year. For more information about O&R’s STEM Classroom Grants program, and an application, go to www.oru.com/STEM. The program re-opens for applications on Jan. 1, 2018.

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