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WHS teacher receives Orange & Rockland STEM Grant

WHS teacher receives Orange & Rockland STEM Grant

Melissa Benjamin, the Technical Math and Computer Science teacher at Washingtonville High School was recently awarded the 2024 Orange & Rockland STEM Grant. The grant is offered for any creative classroom project in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The grant offers up to $1,000 to educators at schools (pre-K-12th grade) and youth groups located within the Orange & Rockland service area. 

“This class was designed to allow students to learn math in a different way,” Ms. Benjamin said. “We want students to participate in hands-on, team-based projects that apply math concepts rather than direct instruction like your traditional math class.

Those applying for grants must follow a specific set of guidelines and projects that incorporate the following are encouraged:

Designed to improve, advance, and enrich student learning. 
Targeted at a specific stage of student development
A range from formative ideas that explore learning concepts, to fully tested models that are ready to be adopted and disseminated. 
The study of electricity and electricity production, natural gas exploration, renewables, and clean energy. 

Ms. Benjamin’s proposed and accepted project will be to build a prototype of a solar-powered car. For this project, her class will be receiving products like solar panels, stainless steel metal rods, power tools to cut through the stainless steel metal, safety goggles, and two 3D printers.

“There’s also an online platform called Thingiverse.” Ms. Benjamin said. “People who have designed 3D things to print, they upload their files. So, you can go on the website and pull out the frame for the car and print it. But then there will definitely be other kids that are going to be totally into it and want to design their own using TinkerCad.”

TinkerCad is an app used for 3D design, electronics, and coding. 

Ms. Benjamin plans to start the project with her students next year where they will be able to apply the techniques learned in the classroom to their project. 

Stay tuned for their progress next year!

solar powered car