Course Enhancement Grants

#UConnECEgrant

UConn Early College Experience has set aside $10,000 in grant money for the UConn ECE community. The purpose of these grants is to create opportunities for classroom and community development for UConn ECE courses. We provide flexible funding to help classrooms complete projects addressing a wide variety of goals and objectives through two types of project grants: classroom or community development.

Instructors currently teaching courses at their high school are able to submit proposals for books, technology, equipment, or other materials that enhance the subject matter taught in the classroom. Community Development applications solicit funds for projects that have a large impact on the surrounding community, including plans to eliminate an eyesore, make communities healthier, or to foster creativity and research.

Applications opened May 30, 2019, and the deadline to apply is August 30, 2019. If you have any questions, please contact Nella Quasnitschka.

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Grant Winners 2018-2019

Christian Heritage High School Instructor: Jamie Cosgrove. UConn Course: BIOL 1107

Description: Two CRISPR kits will be purchased to expose UConn ECE students to this new DNA sequencing technology. Students in Professor Cosgrove’s class will use the CRIS-PR kits to grow bacteria on a medium that contains streptomycin which binds ribosome and prevents it from biding, not allowing the bacteria to replicate and grow colonies.

Civic Leadership High School Instructor: Kelly Woodard. UConn Course: EDLR 1162

Description: Students will create a nature trail for the local Enfield and greater Hartford community. The goal is to create a natural trail in the wooded area adjacent to the school building and to advocate for access via municipal transportation from the greater Hartford area. The benefits of exposure to wooded, natural spaces has been proven and additional studies show that access to these spaces is often limited in urban areas.

E.O. Smith High School Instructor: Beth Daitch. UConn Course: HDFS 1070

Description: Professor Diatch has been funded to purchase two active learning experience simulators that will help students to appreciate the many challenges and obstacles faced in both pregnancy and later adulthood/elderhood stages of development. e simulators will replicate the third trimester of pregnancy as well as what hearing loss, tremors, and arthritis feels like. ese experiences will help students gain real life exposure to these stages of life.

Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Instructor: Taylor Bacon. UConn Course: STAT 1100Q

Description: UConn ECE Statistics students in Professor Bacon’s class are working with calculating descriptive statistics as well as creating histograms and boxplots to describe shape, center, and spread for distributions. Later in the course, students will need to create scatterplots, generate linear regression equations, calculate binomial and geometric probabilities, and run hypothesis tests, which requires the use of a graphing calculator. is grant will fund the purchase of graphing calculators so all current students, and future students will have access to the tools needed to practice problems both inside and outside the classroom.

Masuk High School Instructor: Mari O’Rourke & Peter Schmitt. UConn Courses: MATH 1131Q, PHYS1201Q, PHYS 1202Q

Description: A 3D printer will be purchased to provide hands on technology experience as well as allow students to do more science activities and experiments. The addition of a 3D printer in the classroom will increase students’ under-standing of the concepts being taught and will spark interest in the areas of math and science by providing a hands-on experience in programming and engineering tasks.

New Britain High School Instructor: Keith Ontko. UConn Courses: PHYS 1201Q, PHYS 1202Q

Description: High school students taking UConn Physics courses face a great challenge in learning the concepts of a fast-paced college-level course, which most students nd dicult in nature. To enhance learning opportunities for his students, Professor Ontko has created a website where he provides tutorials using different types of media including textual media and videos to match the textual tutorials. To help capture the video and audio a screen drawing tablet will be purchased. Presenting the physics concepts and solved example problems in a video format will complement the instruction provided in the classroom.

New Canaan High School Instructors: Michael Staaroni & Donna Sapienza. UConn Courses: ECON 1201, ECON 1202, HDFS 1070

Description: Students will set up a financial literacy and economics knowledge program at the local elementary school by using children’s literature to teach economic concepts and financial literacy to 2nd grade students. Students in the economics course will use what they learn in class to determine the appropriate content goals and objectives for each book. Students in the childhood development course will use their knowledge to analyze available resources, develop new ones, and ensure the correct and most effective pedagogical approaches are used.

Stamford High School Instructor: Anne Runge & Ella Kraiz. UConn Courses: CHEM 1127Q, CHEM 1128Q

Description: Spectrophotometers will be purchased to increase students’ access to a central piece of equipment in all chemistry and biology courses. is increased access will allow students to become more engaged, and better understand how the principles of spectroscopy can be applied in a real scientific experiment. In addition, the ability to collect their data more eefficiently means that they will have more time in which to analyze their results.

Vinal Technical High School Instructor: Cheryl Lee. UConn Course: ECON 1000

Description: is grant will provide the materials students in ECON 1000 need to build modified ride-on cars for young children who experience limited mobility. Research has shown that the interaction provided to children who are able to use the cars help development, physical, social, language, and cognitive skills. Students will build the cars while in shop and then conduct research on the economic impact of people with disabilities in the workforce. Professor Lee and her students seek to contribute to the growth and development of people in their community by allowing them to blossom into productive members of the workforce.

Wilbur Cross High School Instructor: Moira Cassell. UConn Course: ENGL 1004

Description: Professor Cassell will take students to the Newport Mansions to support and enhance the students’ cultural comprehension and analysis of the Great Gatsby. Students will identify and evaluate the lifestyle of 1920’s-era mansion-dwellers, which will inform their analysis of characters’ lives and motives in e Great Gatsby—a book they will be reading for class at the same time of the trip. e students will then use their notes and experience to write an analysis of the setting, characters, and characters’ flaws and motives with respect to the American dream.

Woodstock Academy Instructor: Sara Dziedzic. UConn Courses: HRTS 1007, POLS 1402

Description: Funds for this grant will go towards a human rights leadership conference that is open to all high school and middle school students in Northern CT and Southern MA. Topics will focus on human rights and include a keynote speaker and breakout sessions focusing on a variety of topics such as LGBTQ rights in schools, immigration rights, women in the workplace, etc. Students enrolled in Professor Dziedzic’s courses will help facilitate breakout sessions and discussions, as well as research relevant topics to high school and middle school students. Students will also be tasked with developing promotional materials and visiting area schools to explain the event.

Grant Winners 2017-2018

Enfield High School UConn ECE Instructors: David Lenn & Melanie Finn-Scofield. UConn Course: BIOL 1107 & 1108

Description: Students at Enfield High School demonstrated a strong interest in dissections while in their biology courses. As an extension of this topic, Professor Lenn and Professor Finn-Scofield would like to organize a dissection club to expand the number of species the students dissect and continue their engagement in the subject. They will receive funding for different types of species along with equipment needed for dissection.

Franklin Academy UConn ECE Instructor: Amy Bigelow. UConn Course: MATH 1030Q

Description: Franklin Academy serves students on the autism spectrum and with non-verbal learning disabilities. Individuals carrying these diagnoses tend to have slower processing speeds, difficulty with planning and organization, and frequently struggle to interpret information presented visually. Much of the analytical reasoning taught in MATH 1030Q is based on analyzing presented data. In order to provide students with an easier way to read and follow data associated calculations in class, Professor Bigelow requested to purchase an LCD projector and document camera to aid instruction and visual transfer of large data sets, graphs, and tables.

Lewis Mills High School UConn ECE Instructor: Laura Faga. UConn Course: FREN 3250

Description: In collaboration with the Crosby Fund for Haitian education, students will create French language science activities for students in Haiti. Students will better understand the Haitian culture, use the French language in authentic ways, and provide Haitian students with needed learning resources. Professor Faga has requested funding to cover the cost of materials for educational activities and her initial travel to Haiti to personally deliver materials and provide professional development. With the approval of the Board of Education, Professor Faga plans to take students to Haiti during the 2018-2019 academic year to allow them the opportunity to implement the educational activities they create.

Plainfield High School UConn ECE Instructors: Laura Maher & Kevin Mariano. UConn Course: AMST 1201

Description: As they study the history and evolution of the American Experience, Professor Maher and Professor Mariano believe it is important for students to be engaged with the diversity of the nation. To do this in meaningful ways, they would like to expose their students to individuals different from themselves and challenge students to discuss the issues our country has faced and their implications to today’s world. This grant will fund student transportation to work in collaboration with ECE professors and students at Kennedy High School. The project will expand students diversity and create an authentic learning experience outside of their usual classroom.

Ridgefield High School UConn ECE Instructor: Christopher Tait. UConn Course: NRE 1000

Description: Ridgefield High School is working on a project called “Barcode Ridgefield.” Barcode Ridgefield will teach students about biodiversity in their local area through the process of DNA barcoding. Students will be trained on how to DNA barcode, collect field specimen, develop relationships with park managers, and develop a database platform to share information to the public. The funding they receive will go directly to the materials needed for students to perform DNA barcoding. This project will enhance the NRE 1000 students understanding of biodiversity, which is one of the essential understandings of the course.

Robert E. Fitch Senior High School ECE Instructor: Amy Turo McKenna. UConn Courses: ENGL 1010 & ENGL 1011

Description: Professor McKenna will receive funding to support a new reading initiative in ECE ENGL 1010 & 1011. She has redesigned her course syllabi to sup- port student choice in the course reading selection in order to encourage more authentic lifelong reading and writing experiences. The money received will go directly to the purchase of various books to back the choice of text selection for her students.

Rocky Hill High School UConn ECE Instructor: Karen Redanz. UConn Course: HDFS 1070

Description: Rocky Hill High School students in HDFS 1070 will travel to Heifer International in Rutland, MA, which is an organization working to end world hunger and poverty. Students will experience the Global Village representing countries around the world, and will partake in a service project. Once the students return to school, they will create projects showcasing what they have learned and developed. The money received will go directly to the field study materials, transportation, post-activity materials, and the purchase of a goat for a Heifer family.

Stratford High School UConn ECE Instructor: George Marrash. UConn Course: PHYS 1201Q

Description: To enhance the accuracy of measurements taken in physics labs, Professor Marrash will receive funding to purchase PASCO Computer Data Collection 550 Interfaces. The new technology will improve students’ laboratory skills and expose them to real-world physics lab techniques. Students will be confident about their data collection and more engaged with topics they are studying.

University High School of Science and Engineering UConn ECE Instructor: Michael Fromerth. UConn Courses: CHEM 1127Q & CHEM 1128Q

Description: University High School is in need of equipment and supplies to run the ECE Chemistry course. Materials needed include burets, separatory funnels, non-graphing calculators, and paper towels. The money will go directly to the purchase of these supplies. Wilbur Cross High School ECE Instructor: Kristin O’ Lynnger ECE Course: ENGL 1004 Description: Professor O’Lynnger will take her students to the Newport Mansions where they will look at the opulence seen in The Great Gatsby and then volunteer at a local organization to demonstrate the experiences of people with different economic status. These visits will correspond to literature about the American Dream. Students will reflect on these experiences with journal entries and ultimately with a book of pictures and essays. The final product will be sold and proceeds will go to the local organization with which they work.

Wilcox Technical High School Uconn ECE Instructors: Kara Papa & Leslie Czerwinski. UConn Courses: BIOL 1107 & PHYS 1201Q

Description: Wilcox High School is starting a project based on the summer reading of The Martian where student groups will have to problem solve using different techniques from their biology and physics courses. Professor Papa and Professor Czerwinski have requested equipment that will help students solve the problems one would encounter if trapped on Mars. Once the project is completed, the results will be showcased in a “Martian Day” that will be open to students and the com- munity. They will continue to use the equipment purchased for their biology and physics problems after this project is complete.

Xavier High School Uconn ECE Instructors: Linda Charpentier & David Applegate. UConn Courses: NRE 1000 & STAT 1100Q

Description: In an effort to be more conservation minded and environmental friendly, students in the Environmental Science course will place recycling bins in all classrooms and offices then work with the entire student body to increase recycling efforts at the school. Teams of students will collect and weigh the contents for students in STAT 1100Q to analyze and determine the success of this program.

Grant Winners 2016-2017

The office received fifteen incredibly competitive applications from schools all over Connecticut. Out of these incredible proposals, nine winners were fully funded and two applications were partially funded. A total of about $5,570 was awarded.

William Schultz (CHEM) and several other instructors of Enfield High School

Description: Applied for the purchase of a solar panel system and additional physical outputs to be used in the classroom and in community outreach events for demonstrations and experiments relating to renewable energy conversations. Experiments will include electrical, chemical, and mechanical energy conversions in the UConn ECE Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Science, and Physics courses.

April Kelley (NRE) of Laurelton Hall at Academy of Our Lady of Mercy

Description: Applied for funds to build a hoop-style greenhouse in the corner of the campus designated for green learning. The intention is to use the greenhouse as an outdoor classroom, to let students to participate in a farm-to-table experience and to allow community gardening, fostering stronger ties between students and senior citizens living in the senior complex next door. Students of UConn ECE Environmental Science will construct the greenhouse.

Lisa-Brit Wahlberg (POLI) and Sarah King (ENGL) of the Master’s School

Description: Proposed a collaborative community-based learning project designed to address the psychosocial effects of war and resettlement on Syrian refugees in Connecticut. UConn ECE Political Science and English students will be instructed in journal making, journal writing, and art activities to foster and develop global citizenship, social justice and diverse cultural awareness. Students will be trained through IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services) of New Haven about the Syrian crisis and plan community activities involving Syrian refugees.

Jan Frazier (CAMS) of Waterford High School

Description: Received funding for the publication of a mini-textbook, edited and put together by students of UConn ECE Latin.

Jane Carey Lyon (BIOL) of Windham High School 

Description: Equipment purchases of spectrophotometers to upgrade laboratory facilities.

Sharon Geyer (CHEM) of Woodstock Academy 

Description: Equipment purchases of spectrophotometers to upgrade laboratory facilities.

A joint application of Jennifer Gampel (BIOL) at Masuk High School and Jamie Cosgrove (BIOL) at Christian Heritage Academy

Description: Purchase of a miniPCR and a PTC Taster Lab was also approved.

Natisha Vidal (HDFS)

Description: Receiving a donation of UConn memorabilia to be used in her classroom for student motivation.

Mimi Fluharty (HDFS)

Description: Running a hygiene products drive  with the help of UConn and ECSU.


University of Connecticut Early College Experience (UConn ECE) Concurrent Enrollment – Two female high schools students conducting science experiment University of Connecticut Early College Experience (UConn ECE) Concurrent Enrollment – Three male students smiling at the camera at the Grant Exchange University of Connecticut Early College Experience (UConn ECE) Concurrent Enrollment – Two students conducting a science experiment University of Connecticut Early College Experience (UConn ECE) Concurrent Enrollment – Two females students in Newport