FCSD Offers Space Themed STEAM Summer Camp with $1M Grant

Photo: Project Fibonacci http://projectfibonacci.org/wp/

FULTON, NY – The Fulton City School District was recently awarded the Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment (SSAE) grant in the sum of $1 million.

The 15-month grant allows FCSD to offer a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) summer camp from August 13 – August 24 as well as an after school program through the duration of the 2018-2019 school year and a summer camp in 2019.

The STEAM summer camp will be project-based learning following a space theme complete with drones, Lego robotics, and even a presentation from a visiting astronaut.

Camp will be led by The Project Fibonacci Foundation out of Rome with FCSD teachers on site to help guide students while additionally learning and understanding practices in teaching STEAM as a form of professional development.

Michelle Briggs will serve as the director of the program. Additionally, the grant allowed FCSD the opportunity to hire Brad DePoint and Jessica Somers as SSAE technology coaches.

The two-week camp is open for students entering fourth through sixth grades at no charge. Camp runs from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at G. Ray Bodley High School with free transportation, breakfast, and lunch for all participating students.

Parents of participating students will be invited at the culmination of the camp to see what students have worked on during the program.

Registration for the STEAM summer camp is still ongoing. Permission slips can be found on the district website (here) and returned to the FCSD Education Center at 167 S. Fourth St.

Questions can be directed to the email [email protected]

“With the opportunities my team has pursued this year, this was a shot in the dark but wow, what an opportunity,” Superintendent of Schools, Brian Pulvino said.

Director of Instruction and Assessment, Betsy Conners credited her team of Dominick Lisi, Director of Technology, Daniel Carroll, Director of Instructional Support Services, and Geri Geitner, Director of Student Support Services, as well as Carri Waloven, former Director of Universal Pre-Kindergarten and Literacy for their work in writing and editing the grant.

The grant selection was “very competitive,” she added, with more than 200 applicants state-wide.

“We are elated,” Conners said. “We are so thrilled for this opportunity for our students and our staff to learn together.”

Cited as “perfect timing,” the STEAM camp and after-school program will align with the district’s ongoing 1-to-1 Digital Learning Initiative which will provide each student in grades third through twelfth with a Chromebook beginning in the 2018-2019 school year.

The grant will then continue to fund an after-school program held four days a week, Monday – Thursday for students in grades fourth through sixth.

A west side program at Granby Elementary School and an east side program at Fairgrieve Elementary School will run from 3:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. utilizing the district’s transfer buses to transport students within schools and providing free transportation home.

The after-school program will follow a five-week module schedule with different themes for each module to allow students flexibility to join in any or all sessions.

Conners is reaching out to local businesses to discuss future funding opportunities to sustain the program once the grant expires in September 2019.

The $1 million SSAE grant is the second grant the district received within one week.

FCSD was awarded an Early College High School grant from the New York State Education Department of which FCSD will pair with Cayuga Community College to offer 25 students dual enrollment in Cayuga Advantage Courses taught by FCSD staff and college courses taught by Cayuga faculty.

Participating students can earn a total of 48 college credits during their four years in the program, and can graduate with a High School Regents diploma and sufficient credits to complete an associate’s degree in information technology at Cayuga Community College after one year of college.

The program will be directed by Sean Broderick.

“We are about to blow the walls off some things for our kids!” an excited Conners said.