Richmond Hill Middle School has received a $4,876 STEM grant from the Toshiba America Foundation (TAF) that will support ecological studies in Robert Hodgdon’s seventh-grade life science class.
The funds will be used to purchase six additional wildlife cameras, giving the class a total of 18, which will enable students to collect data on the movement and populations of megafauna, particularly in response to development.
Other funds will be used to purchase additional Vernier ecological monitoring technology, which will be used in the school’s 5,000-square-foot research garden and during wetland and estuary surveys and monitoring.
RHMS Principal Dr. William J. McGrath said he is very appreciative of Hodgdon’s efforts and accomplishments.
“Words cannot describe the environmental and educational impact that Bob Hodgdon and the Fields Study Program has had on Richmond Hill Middle School, its students and the Richmond Hill community,” McGrath said. “Mr. Hodgdon’s creativity and ability to think outside the box has helped our students grow tremendously in the field of science.”
Grants from the nonprofit Toshiba America Foundation fund projects designed by individual classroom teachers. This “direct-to-teacher” enables teachers to change the way they teach science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects because the grant supports equipment for hands-on experiments and inquiry-based approaches to the curriculum, according to the foundation.
The ecological studies that take place in Hodgdon’s class and as part of the extracurricular Field Studies Program have been recognized with multiple state and national science awards.
According to the school, stakeholders who support the program have raised more than $60,000 since 2013 to purchase equipment and technology to support a wide range of ecological and agricultural projects.