Every dollar given to the Otsego Public Schools Foundation goes back to the district in some way. In a year when the Foundation was not seeing the typical requests from teachers, yet an increase in donations, they opted to look at a different plan. “We wanted to look at what we could do to benefit the entire district,” says OPS Foundation president, Larry Collier. Instead of another round of teacher mini grants - of which they had two already in 2020-21 - they looked at the big picture and needs of the district.
With great emphasis on STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and the possibilities for students that come with enhancements in those programs (such as the launch of our STREAM school a few years ago), the Foundation decided to focus efforts on that subject area. They reached out to science teachers and asked them what they would want if cost wasn’t a factor.
Our teachers answered the request and created a great list of enhancements to their science programs and many of their wishes will come true with this incredible gift.
- High school science programs will get almost $20,000
- Middle school science programs will get $40,000
- Each elementary will receive $1,500
“The OPS Foundation grant will allow the OHS Science Department to purchase a variety of laboratory sensors. The sensors will enable students to collect laboratory data in real time, transmit that data to the student Chromebooks, and immediately analyze the results with computer software,” explains OHS Biology teacher Science Department Chair, Kristin Alkire. “The sensors will help make data collection more precise and authentic, and because they will be used throughout the science courses at OHS, they will have a tremendously positive impact on all students.”
Along with the Foundation grants, the OPS Curriculum budget will add $15,000 to the middle school Tech Ed programs, creating a total gift of a little over $79,000.
“With the support and generosity of the OPS Foundation, students will be provided with additional opportunities and new experiences as we expand the OMS Tech Ed program to include woodworking machinery,” explains OMS Tech Ed teacher, Dave McCallum. “The additional equipment will take our Engineering, Design & Modeling and Lean Manufacturing classes to the next level as students build life-long skills and the confidence that comes along with completing projects.”
Collier said this money is available immediately, so teachers can start creating orders now to get these new opportunities in place for students in the fall.