Northern School: July 28

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FES students break records to fight heart disease

Falmouth Elementary was one of several schools that broke their all-time fundraising records through the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart programs July 20. Falmouth students raised $23,000, which helped push the total fundraising level to over the half million dollar mark for the first time.

Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart are fundraising events that take place in elementary schools and middle schools all over the nation; 180 schools in Maine participated. Students learn jump rope and basketball skills and raise money for the American Heart Association while learning how to develop heart-healthy habits like being physically active.

Innovative lab to be ready for Yarmouth Academy students this fall

North Yarmouth Academy is installing a state-of-the-art innovation lab to be ready at the start of the 2016-17 school year. NYA raised $80,000 for the project. The lab will be located in the Mertz Science Center on NYA’s campus. The space will contain resources to promote innovation and integration of technology across the curriculum in grades kindergarten through 12th grade. There will be a space to work on individual and group projects within the lab and resources that can be checked out for use outside the lab. The innovation lab will enhance existing courses, provide resources for new courses, including NYA’s Diploma with Distinction in STEM program, and provide developmentally-appropriate resources to cultivate exploration and discovery.

“If you can dream it, you can build it,” said Chris Mazzurco, NYA’s director of information technology, whose team is managing the installation. “If there is a project you are thinking about – the resources to make it happen will exist in NYA’s innovation lab.”

Educational tools in the new lab will include 3D printers, design software, new Dell Precision desktops, film making and music recording equipment, robotics hardware, and more. In January, NYA received a $25,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation in support of the lab. The remaining funds and more were raised through the generosity of the NYA community at the 32nd Annual Soirée in April. Significant professional development for faculty is also included as part of this project, so there will be knowledgeable teachers to maximize these new tools.

“This lab is going to add a great deal of value to NYA’s overall program,” said Head of School Ben Jackson. “It’s not just about the technology,” he said. “It’s about the design thinking from the students, and it’s about collaborating on projects. This is a space where students will be able to learn and discover on their own.”

MSAD 51 freshmen, from left, Evan Wyman, Aiden Smith and Jacob Whiting, led a mini-fundraising drive at the end of the school year, collecting can tabs to support the local Ronald McDonald House. The funds gained from recycling the aluminum tabs are used to defray the cost for families impacted by medical issues to stay at Ronald McDonald House. Led by Smith, the boys undertook the project with a few of their friends from the baseball and soccer teams to show support for families in need in the greater Portland community.