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MTFEE Awards Grants to Schools for Stem Enrichment Programs - February 12, 2013


STEM Education is a Critical Component in Today’s Society;
80% of the Jobs Created in the Next Decade Will Require Some Form of Math and Science

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, NJ, February 12, 2013 Millstone Township Foundation for Educational Excellence (MTFEE), a non-profit organization, awarded two grants today totaling $4,203.19 to Millstone Township Schools. Those grants included “Inspiration STEMs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) from Education” and “Eagle Engineers: Mad for Maglev (magnetic levitation)!” Both grants will apply.

STEM education. According to the Liberty Science Center (LSC), STEM education is a vital and critical component in today’s society. Furthermore, the National Science Foundation estimates that 80% of the jobs created in the next decade will require some form of math and science.

According to the California STEM Learning Network, STEM is more than just science, technology, engineering or mathematics. It is an interdisciplinary and applied approach that is coupled with real-world, problem-based learning. This bridging among the four discrete disciplines is now known as STEM. STEM education removes the traditional barriers erected between the four disciplines by integrating them into one cohesive teaching and learning paradigm. Today, new innovations and inventions tend to be made at the boundaries of these four disciplines, where they naturally overlap.

MTFEE’s mission is to fund grants for items that nurture extraordinary educational experiences for every student in Millstone Township Public Schools that are beyond the scope of the general school budget. In keeping with its mission, both grants will expose students to STEM in different ways, and build on their excitement and interest in this emerging area. According to the California STEM Learning Network, a STEM-literate student is not only an innovator and critical thinker, but is able to make meaningful connections between school, community, work and global issues. A STEM-literate high school graduate can enroll in a college-level course of study in science, technology, engineering and math without the need for remediation. STEM skills are increasingly necessary to engage in a knowledge-based economy. There is solid evidence to suggest that the fastest-growing and highest-wage jobs in future years will be in STEM fields and all employees will need to utilize STEM skills for problem solving in a wide range of industries.

Following is a listing of MTFEE grants and recipients:

Inspiration STEMs from Education Program ($2,545.00) (Pre-K through 5th grade, Michelle Falanga) As part of their STEM educational series, LSC provides traveling science exhibits in the form of assemblies or small classroom workshops. For grades 1-5, LSC offers “Science Circus,” which will give Millstone Township public school students in those grades the opportunity to explore positives and negatives of static electricity, sub-zero temperatures of liquid nitrogen, states of matter and the immense pressure of air to name a few. The show will include more than a dozen experiments, with volunteer and audience interaction. Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students will be offered smaller classroom workshops that align with the current Kindergarten curriculum. “The Skeleton Inside You” will offer students the opportunity to participate in some in-depth learning, as they craft their own “broken bone” and mend it in a cast.

Eagle Engineers: Mad for Maglev! ($1,658.19) (6th, 7th and 8th Grades, Beth Topinka)
This grant will introduce Millstone Township middle school students to the engineering design process, as they apply their understanding of electric circuits and magnetic forces to design, build, test and optimize maglev train cars. The project will optimize STEM learning—integrating science, technology, engineering and math. The 
project will begin with foundation lessons and video clips of maglev trains around the world to see technology in action. Then students will create a train car that can levitate using magnets and travel smoothly down a safely electrified 16-foot track. Students will have a materials budget to encourage careful planning. The project will be structured so students are guided and supported as they design, build and test their train cars. The students will also document their progress by keeping a design journal and recording video of their progress on iPadsTM.

Since 2002, MTFEE has awarded more than $436,200 to Millstone Township Public Schools. There are currently more than 60 MTFEE-funded grant programs running in the Millstone Township School District. Every child that matriculates through the school district will in some way benefit from an MTFEE-funded grant.

Grants are awarded every school year. Once grant applications are received and compiled, the grant committee (consists of the trustees who are nominated onto that committee) has an opportunity to review them individually and then come together as a group to discuss them before their recommendations are presented to the MTFEE board for final approval. The committee utilizes a grading system, similar to a rubric that the teachers use, during the review process to fairly evaluate the applications.

For more information about donating to MTFEE, becoming a trustee, or its fundraising activities and events, please e-mail, visit and become a Facebook friend.





From its initial conception in 1995 to its designation as a 501©3 charitable organization in 2002, the Millstone Township Foundation for Educational Excellence (MTFEE) has remained steadfast in its goal to fund grants for items that nurture extraordinary educational experiences for every student in Millstone Township Public Schools and are beyond the scope of the general school budget. Items include innovative classroom programs, educational opportunities for students, staff development, and state-of-the-art teaching materials. Through the creativity of the teaching staff’s grant applications and the fundraising efforts of MTFEE, the foundation is proud to have awarded more than $436,200 in grants to Millstone Township schools. MTFEE grants, which have been awarded at every grade level and in every discipline, have included SMARTBoards®, mobile computer and iPadTM labs, and a rock climbing wall. MTFEE was the first organization in the district to put iPadsTM into the classroom in the spring of 2011. There are currently more than 60 MTFEE-funded grant programs running. Every child that matriculates through the school district will in some way benefit from an MTFEE-funded grant. MTFEE is a member of New Jersey Education Foundation Partnership and The National Consortium of State and Local Education Foundations (NCEFS).

MTFEE Trustees


Nicole Pyhel, President & Information Officer
Beth Cotler, Vice President
Coleen Raccuglia Treasurer/180 Day Club Chairperson
Michele Stillwell Corresponding Secretary/ “Casino Night” Chairperson
Gina Whalen - Recording Secretary/Grant Chairperson
Linda Griggs - Auctions Chairperson
Kristin Morris - Website Administrator/MOA Chairperson
Natalie Biello
Sarah DelGuercio
Jennifer Feder – “Family Movie Day” Chairperson
Lisa Pado 
Jennifer Pratt
Kristen Saker - "Family Movie Day Chairperson"
Kristin Schloss
Kathy Springer Heller 
Tori Sikkema