WILMINGTON, MA — At a specially scheduled meeting, the Wilmington School Committee recently accepted a donation of $100,000 in the form of a grant from the Cummings Foundation.
Wilmington High School AP Chemistry Teacher Julie Kim successfully applied for the grant through the Cummings Foundation’s annual “$100K For 100” charitable giving initiative. Wilmington Public Schools will be the recipient of $33,333.33 per year over the next three years.
The purpose of the grant is to provide “financial support to strengthen and build STEM extracurricular programs like the Engineering Career Club, the Science Club, and the Robotics Club at the High School and Middle School levels.”
The Engineering Career Club is run under the guidance of WHS math teacher Ms. Steph Murray, a former engineer. The club, which has approximately 20 regular members, meets twice a month for two hours after school. Club members have previously designed, built and launched catapults. They’re currently learning about solar energy and other renewal resources, while designing and building tree-like structures to harness solar energy.
The Science Club is run under the guidance of WHS science teacher Mrs. Michelle Hooper. The club meets once a month on Fridays to run experiments and investigate science phenomenon. The Club has considered joining the North Shore Science League.
The Robotics Club is attempting to start up under the guidance of WHS AP Physics Teacher Marlene King and WHS AP Chemistry Teacher Julie Kim. The idea for the club came out of a discussion that took place in Kim’s AP Chemistry class.
“Students and teachers are trying to figure out how to fundraiser for the very expensive robotics supplies and for new computers to write the codes and design the robots,” Kim wrote in her application, where she also noted that most of her AP Chemistry students are female, as are most of the science and math teachers at Wilmington High School and Middle School.
“The teachers have a passion for sharing our loves of math and science with the students of our schools, but we’d especially love to encourage more female students to pursue these fields,” added Kim.
Because of the grant Kim secured, a robotics club will, indeed, launch at Wilmington High School, and necessary supplies for the other two science clubs will be purchased. Previously, the clubs’ resources were severely limited and based solely on the amount of money fundraised or contributed by students and teachers.
“This grant is very exciting and great news for the Wilmington Public Schools,” announced Interim Superintendent Paul Ruggiero, after reading Kim’s grant application.
Kim, unfortunately, could not attend the School Committee Meeting at which she was being recognized as she was stuck in traffic returning from the 8th Grade Science Field Trip to Fenway Park. Kim will, however, be present at a reception held by the Cummings Foundation on Thursday, June 7 where she will be honored.
(Photo courtesy of School Committee member Jennifer Bryson.)
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