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  • Best Wishes to Twenty New Jersey Schools!

    BASF funds New Jersey schools with $100,000 in Science Education Grants
    BASF Corporation donated $100,000 to support science education programs in 20 schools throughout New Jersey. The BASF Science Education Grants, each totaling $5,000, will enhance science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related learning for students in grades K – 12.

    “Our goal is to engage students in creative new ways that will stimulate their interest in STEM related fields and encourage them to view science as a long-term field of study and possible career path,” said Robin Rotenberg, Vice President and Chief Communications Officer for North America at BASF Corporation. “Through the programs supported by these grants, we hope to develop the innovators and technical visionaries who will shape our future.” 

    Each year, BASF invites New Jersey schools to submit proposals summarizing their specific science education needs and how a grant would help them meet those needs. The proposals are reviewed by an internal science advisory committee composed of BASF scientists and business leaders.

    The BASF Science Education Grants were provided to the following schools during a reception at BASF’s North American headquarters in Florham Park, New Jersey:
    • Barnegat High School, Barnegat School District, Ocean County
    Flipped Classroom
    The school will implement a flipped classroom in science, to provide students with increased time in class to be involved in authentic STEM projects, research and practices. The grant will be used to purchase chrome books/laptops for use in the science classroom and teachers will use the technology to create and post the lecture/informational portion of the lessons for students to access through home computers or smartphones. The in-class technology will allow students to perform research, develop projects and proposals and access online formative assessment platforms.
    • Black River Middle School, Chester School District, Morris County
    Meteorology Club
    The primary goal of the Meteorology Club is to teach students the basics of weather forecasting, including real-time data collection, and sharing forecasts with the school community.  Members of the club will also promote weather safety within the Chester community and conduct charity drives to assist victims of severe weather events (i.e. Hurricane Sandy). The grant money will be used to purchase a weather station, offering real-time weather data. The station will be connected to the internet, allowing other teachers within the district and members of the community to access data for educational purposes.
    • Clinton Public School, Clinton-Glen Gardner School District, Hunterdon County
    The 5th grade gifted math students at Clinton Public School will participate in a long-term, project-based unit, working as teams to overcome the challenges of building in an aquatic environment. The students will gain valuable experience with the engineering design process, along with programming and electrical engineering. The grant will allow the purchase of all materials for the project, including those from LEGO and Pitsco, NXT software, and a small inflatable pool. Skills learned through this project will be applied to future projects including working as teams in DiscoverE’s National Future City competition, and using the school’s 3-D printer for building and design.
    • Dover Middle School, Dover School District, Morris County
    Engineering and Innovation in the Science Classroom
    The grant will allow the science department to purchase new technology and equipment to enhance student labs with a focus on engineering and innovation. Seventh grade teachers will develop lesson plans using purchased laboratory kits to enable students to research, design, and create a prototype of a bone plate to repair a femoral fracture. Students will also be challenged to design and construct a prosthetic arm for amputees. Students in the 8th grade will research, design and produce their own wind turbines. Eighth grade teachers will also develop lesson plans, laboratory investigations and document based questions on the concept of flight.
    • Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School, Jersey City School District, Hudson County
    Supplies for New Lab Facilities
    The Dr. Lena Edwards Academic Charter School has recently undertaken construction of a science lab which will fulfill the needs of its burgeoning middle school scientists. The lab itself is very near completion. The next critical step is supplying it with quality materials. This grant will be used to outfit the lab.
    • F.W. Holbein Middle School, Mount Holly School District, Burlington County
    Green Architecture
    The BASF Science Education Grant will be used to support a unit of STEM study for 6th grade students focused on Green Architecture using Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Curriculum. PLTW is designed to engage middle school students’ natural curiosity and imagination in creative problem solving. They will use PLTW’s architectural design software to explore dimensioning, measuring, and architectural sustainability as they design affordable housing units.
    • Grover Cleveland Middle School, Caldwell-West Caldwell School District, Essex County
    STEM 3D Printer
    The school will purchase a 3D printer to support its STEM program and offer state of the art visualization to students for product design and fabrication. This technology will allow students to design and create 3D physical models from computer designs and significantly expand their ability to rapidly fabricate and test computer generated complex forms.
    • Harrison High School, Harrison School District, Hudson County
    Hydroponic Lab Enclosed by Greenhouse
    The school will purchase equipment to build a greenhouse and hydroponic lab that will be constructed by its STEM and physics classes on school property. Upon completion, the greenhouse will be used by the Environmental Club and science students for multiple purposes. It will be used as a cross curriculum tool in various disciplines such as supplying fresh produce for the school’s lunch program and for the local senior citizen's center beautifying the school grounds with ornamental plants for landscaping and growing and selling plants and vegetables.
    • Mansfield Township Elementary School, Mansfield Township School District, Warren County
    Solar Energy:  The Bright Choice
    Through various projects, students will learn what solar energy is and how it can be used. Sixth graders will research, plan and construct small solar-powered devices, such as solar-powered cell-phone chargers. Their activities will include research and construction of simple solar panels including construction design, organizing supply lists and price comparisons for components, building prototypes and serving as group leaders in adult-supervised lab groups. More advanced students will participate in guided construction of solar panels, which will then be incorporated into simple devices to capture and use solar power. The concepts of solar power will also be introduced to the fourth and fifth grade classes.
    • Millington School, Long Hill Township, Morris County
    GoPro Physics
    The school will purchase 13 GoPro cameras and child harnesses to be used by the fifth grade science classes.  Students will physically participate in playground and field activities to demonstrate all aspects of physics (force, speed, motion, velocity, gravity, inertia, friction). The cameras will record these activities. Students will then present their observations via a SMARTBoard, allowing for real-world application of the scientific method and generating active discussion on these principles.
    • Morristown High School, Morris Township, Morris County
    Laboratory Equipment and Class Material
    The Science Education Grant will be used to introduce visible spectroscopy to students in all levels of chemistry and research. The school will purchase three wireless Spectrometers that will provide the absorption/transmission profile of compounds and reactions throughout the entire visible range as well as fluorescence excitation wavelengths.  The school will increase the inventory of laboratory equipment for AP-focused labs in order to handle the largest AP Chemistry class at Morristown High School in recent memory, and purchase Organic Chemistry books for a 6-week organic chemistry course.
    • Mountain Lakes High School, Mountain Lakes School District, Morris County
    Aquaponics: A Sustainable Food Source
    Aquaponics is a methodology for bringing a continuous, sustainable supply of food to disenfranchised communities. Through the development and implementation of an integrated Aquaponics system, students will learn the chemistry, biology and environmental systems controlling & affecting a sustainably developed food supply. They will also become better global citizens as they prepare ways to sustainably feed the undernourished world.
    • North Warren Regional High School, North Warren Regional School District, Warren County
    COWS Blasting into Science Classrooms!
    The Science Department of North Warren Regional High School will purchase a Computer on Wheels (COW) cart with twenty laptops. Currently, the high school shares a COW that contains eighteen mini laptops with the middle school. An additional COW will allow greater student access to enhance learning and achievement. 
    • Union High School, Union Township, Union County
    Using Recycled Plastic for 3D Printing
    The grant will be used to purchase a 3D printer for the Physics and Engineering Classes. In addition, the school will purchase two small plastic shredders, so that students can collect plastic water bottles in the cafeteria and recycle them into filament that will be used in 3D printed objects.
    • Veterans Memorial Middle School, Brick Township Public School District, Ocean County
    Innovation Inside: STEM Students “MaKey MaKey” for the 21st Century
    The BASF Science Education Grant will be used purchase MaKey MaKey technology and iPads which will be used to create a whole new STEM curriculum for computer coding and vitally enhance the existing curriculum by allowing students to collect and analyze data outside the classroom environment. This technology will be employed by all of the STEM students, at every ability level, thereby making STEM accessible and highly engaging for every learner.
    • Watchung Hills Regional High School, Watchung Hills Regional School District, Somerset County
    Experimental Research Program Expansion
    The BASF grant will be used to purchase a high quality microscope with >1000x magnification, fluorescence, transmission imaging and phase contrast allowing students to work with live specimens and image structurally modified materials. The equipment purchased for ERD will be used (under supervision) in Biology and other classes.
    • Watchung Hills Regional High School, Watchung Hills Regional School District, Somerset County
    Robotics Equipment
    The BASF Science Education Grant will be used to support the school’s robotics team by replacing an antiquated milling machine. A new, modern milling machine will allow the students to work faster, be more productive, and produce higher quality parts; enhancing their overall team learning experience. In addition, newer milling machines are built to higher safety standards which will provide greater overall safety for the students.
    • West Morris Central High School, West Morris Regional High School District, Morris County
    Christmas Tree Phenomenon
    Students in the Advanced Placement Biology class at West Morris Central High School designed an experiment to investigate whether the increase in winter asthma symptoms could be related to an increase in fungal mold spores around that time. The students suspect that mold is being brought into houses via trees and named this idea the "Christmas Tree Phenomenon." All 22 students wrote research proposals, 7 of which were submitted as part of the school’s grant request.
    • Woodbridge High School, Woodbridge School District, Middlesex County
    Using Technology for Chemistry as the Central Science Project
    This grant will allow the school to purchase three Lab Quest Chemistry packages, six iPads and other instruments that will support the Chemistry program and also be used by Biology, Forensic Science, AP Biology, and AP Environmental Science classes.
    • Woodbury High School, Woodbury City Public School District, Gloucester County
    Studying the Physics of Athletic Gear for Safety
    The school will use the BASF grant to purchase Vernier Lab Quest Minis, and a full range of sensors with needed software to furnish six complete lab stations. With this equipment, students will be able to perform experiments that relate to sports science; specifically on helmets and athletic safety. Motion sensors will be used to determine the force and impact on equipment; force sensors inside equipment will be used to determine force actually felt by players. Data will be compared to accepted values of what the human body can withstand to learn precisely how protective gear impacts athletes and to consider the need for different gear in all sports.

    Editor’s Note:
    BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has nearly 17,000 employees in North America, and had sales of $19.3 billion in 2013. For more information about BASF’s North American operations, visit  www.basf.us.