Chroma Technology Supports Local Schools with Science Grant and Scholarships
Bellows Falls Middle School received a more than $9,000 grant from VTTA member Chroma Technology this spring for hands-on science activities, providing a set of 15 microscopes, the associated slides, sample preparation materials, books, and other educational materials.
The Chroma Technology grant includes several phases to the program, with the first phase of the donation of the Swift Binocular Compound Microscope SW350B, with 40X-2500X magnification, camera, and software as well as Hayear 14MP digital LED microscopes that connect directly to the student’s computers.
This donation will give the students an understanding of how a microscope works and how light and optics are part of the operation of a microscope.
In addition, the microscopes will facilitate local investigations and global inquiries at the cellular level. The students will start with the ecological identification of local water and water systems. The school will travel to local water sources, gather samples, and view them immediately. From local water observations, the opportunities are limitless throughout the ecological and biological state standards of study (NGSS).
Another project will allow students to use magnifications of 40x to view local fauna vascular systems, to 2500x to view the individual organelles and the cells working systems. “The 6th grade has been able to expedite our curiosity into the cellular level and literally see cells! Not only see cells, yet see cells as they’re functioning in real-time in living things!,” said 6th-grade science teacher, Josh Ferenc.
According to the Department of Labor, more than 65 percent of today’s students will grow up having careers that do not exist yet. Today, more than ever, it is crucial to prepare our students to become future-ready and to have the confidence to invent the world they want to live in. Many schools and districts are now integrating STEM as part of their programs to prepare students for the future.
“Studies clearly show that providing students, however young they might be, with access to core STEM programs as early as elementary school increases their interest in pursuing STEM careers,” said Janette Bombardier, Chief Technology Officer at Chroma. “The program helps expose and inspire students today and for years to come in science. The grant is in line with Chroma’s core value as a science and technology company and a caring member of the community in which we live, as well as the global scientific and technical communities that we serve.”
An additional goal is to utilize the hands-on experiments as an outreach tool for Chroma with other area schools to create more STEM educational opportunities. Additionally, for the past 17 years, Chroma has been sponsoring three Bellows Falls High School scholarships. What began as a single award of $2,500 has grown over the years: the original award, dubbed the Robert B Edmonds Scholarship, now valued at $10,000 and the Chroma Technology Scholarship, valued at $10,000 for a 4-year period, and the Chroma Technology Community College Scholarship, valued at $2,500 for a 2-year period.