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Milton Foundation For Education Newsletter
February 14, 2014

Monster Dash 2013, a big success in October, is now taking our elementary schools by storm.

Thanks to the generosity of many local sponsors and the participation of close to 500 runners and their families within our wonderful community, MFE's Monster Dash held on October 27 raised more than $17,000!  

Monster Dash 2013 raised over $17,000 in loving memory of Sam Cichello.
All proceeds from Monster Dash benefit Sam's Fund, which was created in 1999 in loving memory of Sam Cichello, a Tucker Elementary School student who died tragically following a playground accident.  To honor Sam's love of and passion for science, Sam's Fund supports science enrichment in our elementary schools.

The MFE recently approved Sam's Fund monies to support the following riveting and thought-provoking science programming in ALL classrooms in each of our elementary schools!  

Not only will this year's students and teachers gain tremendous advantages from these initiatives, but some of these purchases will also carry over for many years to come and will, therefore, be enjoyed by countless future students.  


2,045 elementary school students, 
in 91 classrooms, 
will directly benefit from Sam's Fund this year.
Kindergarten Discovery Ramps

Kindergarteners need to have as many hands-on, student-led experiences as possible.  With unlimited opportunities to experiment, Discovery Ramps cultivate problem solving and creative thinking skills.  Children will gain an understanding of force and motion through building and experimenting with physics-based concepts such as gravity, mass, and slope.  These can be used year after year. 


First Grade Wind Tunnels

Enhancing the Air Unit, Wind Tunnels allow first graders to explore the natural elements of air and wind through a hands-on learning experience.  The clear, pivoting tube is a unique teaching tool which supports deep exploration and rich prediction.  Children will explore relationships with natural wind currents by adjusting the speed and direction of the air flow, and examine drag and force using various materials within the wind tunnel.  These can be used year after year.


Second Grade Weather Books

These books will enhance both the Science and Reader's Workshop initiatives the district is working towards.  The books will also tie into the Weatherbug Achieve software (see below). 


Third Grade Owl Talks

This very popular activity, hosted by the local Trailside Museum, teaches students about organisms and life cycles. Massachusetts is home to seven different species of owls. During this program, students will explore the adaptations owls have that make them unique nocturnal birds of prey.  They'll handle touchable nature artifacts and meet two live owls, which are native to the Commonwealth.  Dissecting owl pellets is a fantastic follow-up activity that will teach students more about owl life and the food chain.


Fourth Grade STEM Learning Kits

Students become part of the scientific process with these innovative STEM labs as they design roller coasters, complete electrical circuits, explore gravitational forces, and more!  Students will work in small groups to complete various activities, from designing and creating real-working roller coasters to researching and building their own pencil box alarms.  These materials can be used year after year.


Fifth Grade Einstein's Workshop Experience

This will be an experience the fifth graders will never forget!  Einstein's Workshop is an amazing space for kids to experience and be exposed to the creative side of science, technology, engineering, and math. During this field trip, students will experience a demonstration of an engineering/programming skill. Afterward they will then be able to explore all the workshop has to offer for the remainder of the visit, with guidance and support from staff members.   

WeatherBug Site License for all MPS elementary schools

As you may have read in The Milton Times, the WeatherBug was installed at Glover thanks to a generous grant from Blue Hills Bank.  
The WeatherBug provides teachers with interactive lessons to use on the Smartboard that students can also access at home. This new site license, a one-time purchase by Sam's Fund, will expand the use of the WeatherBug to all Milton elementary schools. The WeatherBug will not only enhance learning in science, but also in mathematics and geography.  It will surely benefit students and teachers across the district for years to come.  

"These programs look wonderful. They represent a blend of funding for some one-time activities and also use of funds to purchase equipment or materials that can be used year after year which, over time, will build up the store of hands-on activity materials for our elementary science programs." 

- The Cichello Family

A look back on a great day: 
Monster Dash 2013 
The whole town came out for spooktacular fun.

All Hail the Winners!
One of many wonder women on race day.
Hands-on science experiments added
to the fun.

Shark sighting at Cunningham Park. (Maybe the pirate will catch him.)

Cheesehead Gandalf? Anything goes 
(and runs) at Monster Dash!

"The MFE is honored to be able to remember Sam in such a wonderful way.  Thank you to the Cichello Family, for their continued support of the MFE and Sam's Fund, and to Bernadette Moonan, our new Elementary Science Coordinator, for her thoughtful recommendations on the best use of Sam's Fund this year." 
- Margaret Eberhardt, MFE President

Must have been purchased in the 
"wicking ball gown" department.