Sparta Education Foundation approves three new grants totaling 25k
SPARTA — The Sparta Education Foundation recently approved three new grants totaling over $25,000 to fund new programs for the upcoming school year.
The first grant will provide funding to begin a biodiesel production program at Sparta High School. Students will learn the chemical processes to safely produce biodiesel from clean vegetable oil, which can be used to run any equipment using a diesel motor. Eventually the program will expand by obtaining used vegetable oil from local restaurants in the community that can be filtered and used to produce biodiesel.
With enough support from local restaurants, the biodiesel program hopes to be able to produce enough fuel to help run the school furnace, school buses, or be donated to local low-income residents to heat their homes. The program will include students in environmental science, physics, chemistry, business, social studies and art classes and will help Sparta students become problem-solving, civic-minded, environmentally aware citizens.
The SEF's second grant will be used to purchase four audience response systems for use in science classrooms at Sparta High School. The systems consist of hardware and software that collect student responses and allow a teacher to immediately assess comprehension and adjust instruction accordingly. The response system increases student participation allows teachers to instantly see if students truly understand the concept at hand.
The third grant will expand the sound field amplification system at the Helen Morgan School, a successful program that has received past funding from the SEF. While the district is required to provide sound fields in classrooms for students identified with specific disabilities, research has shown the academic benefits of classroom sound fields for all students. The latest funding will be used to equip ten more classrooms with sound field amplification systems for HMS classrooms.