Congratulations to our 2017-2018 Classroom Grant Winners!


By Nella Quasnitschka


UConn Early College Experience (ECE) continues to offer Small Classroom and Community Development Grants to courses taught in partner high schools. Faculty currently teaching courses at their high school were 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. This year the office received sixteen competitive applications for innovative enhancement and projects from schools all over Connecticut.


The Office of Early College Programs >will award ECE Classroom Grants again next year. The deadline to apply will be October 19, 2018. We encourage all schools to apply. To be eligible for a grant, applicants must be instructors of an ECE Course running during the 2018-2019 academic year. Please see our website
for more details on Classroom Grant Applications.


Enfield High School
ECE Instructors: David Lenn &amp Melanie Finn-Scofield
ECE 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
ECE Instructor: Amy Bigelow
ECE 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
ECE Instructor: Laura Faga
ECE 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
ECE Instructors: Laura Maher
& Kevin Mariano
ECE 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
ECE Instructor: Christopher Tait
ECE 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
ECE Course: ENGL 1010 & ENGL 1011

Description: Professor McKenna willreceive funding to support a new reading initiative in ECE ENGL 1010 & 1011. She has redesigned her course syllabi to support 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
ECE Instructor: Karen Redanz
ECE 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
ECE Instructor: George Marrash
ECE Course: PHYS 1201Q

Description: To enhance the accuracy of measurements taken in physics labs, Professor Marrash will receive funding to purchase PASCO Computer Data Collec tion 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
ECE Instructor: Michael Fromerth
ECE Course: 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
ECE Instructors: Kara Papa
& Leslie Czerwinski
ECE Course: 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
ECE Instructors: Linda Charpentier
& David Applegate
ECE Course: 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.