The Bedford Education Foundation (BEF) has awarded its 2013 grants totaling $14,000 to teachers and specialists in the Bedford School District. Over the last several years, the foundation has awarded more than $90,000 to fund advanced training, enrichment, and special programs for the benefit of district students. The foundation is also hosting its Spring Fundraising Event at the LaBelle Winery on May 31st.

2013 BEF grants include $3,800 for the purchase of a Structural Stress Analyzer for the Technology Education department, $3200 in support of Challenge Day for high school students, $2,355 for attendance at the Columbia University Writer’s Workshop, and $1080 for the purchase of BrainCogs software to aid elementary and middle school students develop executive function skills such as goal setting, planning, prioritizing, and organizing.

Technology Education teacher Daniel Caron submitted the Structural Stress Analyzer grant application. The Structural Stress Analyzer will allow High School and Middle School students to test a variety of metals (aluminum, steel, brass, etc.) and structures they have designed such as bridges and towers. According to Caron, “An important part of the design process is building and testing prototypes. With the analyzer connected to a computer, students will be able to analyze the graphic output of their test to examine the failure process and make suggestions for redesign of their structures.” This capability will bring the learning to life and spark interest in Engineering and Technology careers. This grant takes advantage of state matching funds in support of engineering programs, which increases the benefit to the school district.

Additional approved grants include funding for Reading Specialist Kate Schoedinger to attend the Columbia Writer’s Workshop at Columbia University. Andrew Mezeske has been funded to attend the National Council of Teachers of English Annual Convention in Boston. Angelia Dearborn and Michelle King have been funded to bring an author to visit K-2 students.

The many generous supporters of the Bedford Education Foundation have funded these grants, which make a significant difference in the level of quality and innovation in the school system.