Elizabeth Public Schools To Receive Innovations Grant

ELIZABETH – Elizabeth Public Schools was selected as one of 25 school systems nationwide to receive a 2009 HP Innovations in Education grant. Targeted at school systems serving students in grades 6 through 12, the grant program is designed to help educators address the need for raising student achievement in math and science and increase student awareness in high-tech college and career opportunities.  

John E. Dwyer House of Elizabeth High School will receive an HP Innovations in Education award package of HP technology, cash, and professional services valued at more than $265,000. Technologies such as wireless HP tablet PCs, wide-format HP DesignJet printers, high-power mobile workstations, mini-notebook PCs, and HP graphing calculators, will be used in innovative ways to fundamentally redesign the student learning experience.  

The award package will support the Oyster Project, which is a multi-disciplinary approach to learning science and mathematics, while using technology to accelerate the learning process.  A select group of at-risk ninth graders will participate in the project in September 2009.  This group will work with the Elizabeth River/Arthur Kill Watershed Association to create an oyster farm and learn about the history of the waterways around the New York/New Jersey metropolitan areas, the relationship between nature and science, and the impact of a community on natural resources.  They will cultivate the oyster farm, monitor growth, document water and ecosystem changes, collect data, and share information with fellow students, community groups and legislators.  

The research obtained from this project will engage the participants in the use of data collection and analysis processes, mathematical equations, biology, chemistry, and history.  It will also help to rebalance and restore Elizabeth’s waterway ecosystem, while creating a new curriculum for future ninth grade students. 

Superintendent of Schools, Pablo Muñoz said, “We believe that The Oyster Project is sustainable beyond the two-year grant period.  It is intended to serve as a part of the curriculum for selected students, and with each entering freshman class, a new cohort will support the research and restoration of our waterways.” 

 “Innovation is key to expanding education opportunity – and HP is privileged to collaborate with educators around the world who are committed to exploring the exciting possibilities that exist at the intersection of teaching, learning, and technology,” said Jim Vanides, Worldwide Program Manager for HP Global Social Investments. “Emerging evidence from the last five years is very positive – excellent instruction combined with the right technologies is measurably improving student academic success.”

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