Bosch BEST grants to support FPS teachers’ classroom projects

District’s digital calculator program also receives a boost

By: Maria Allard | Farmington Press | Published November 20, 2012

 Bosch Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Controlling, Finance & Administration Maximiliane Straub, left, presents Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Susan Zurvalec with a $10,000 check for the district’s digital calculator program Nov. 9. Bosch also presented $1,000 grants to 15 of the district’s teachers.

Bosch Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Controlling, Finance & Administration Maximiliane Straub, left, presents Farmington Public Schools Superintendent Susan Zurvalec with a $10,000 check for the district’s digital calculator program Nov. 9. Bosch also presented $1,000 grants to 15 of the district’s teachers.

Photo courtesy of Jeff Narozny/Jeff Charles Photo

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FARMINGTON HILLS — New science and technology adventures await Farmington Public Schools students.

Earlier this month, 15 of the district’s teachers each received a $1,000 grant as part of the Bosch Energy, Science and Technology grant program.

The teachers, recognized during a ceremony held Nov. 9 at Robert Bosch LLC, on Hills Tech Drive, will use their grant money for a variety of classroom projects, including urban-garden developments, the designing of fuel-cell cars, learning about alternate energies and building autonomous robots.

“Today’s elementary, middle and high school students are going to become the engineers and scientists of tomorrow,” said Maximiliane Straub, chief financial officer and executive vice president, Controlling, Finance and Administration for Robert Bosch LLC. “By helping to cultivate students’ interest in science and technology today, we can set them on a path toward success in these valued fields of study that lead to meaningful careers.”

Bosch Government & Community Affairs Manager Kimberly Lindsey-Feagin facilitated the ceremony. She said 28 applications were submitted for the grants.

The following teachers received BEST grants: Nanette Simmons of Dunckel Middle; Kelli Hughes of East Middle; Roxanne Mecham and Linda Valice of Farmington High; Amy Anderson and Ronnell Johnson of Gill Elementary; Steve Dail and Kevin Lashbrook of Harrison High; Michelle Aimar of Highmeadow Common Campus; Andrea Edwards of Hillside Elementary; Kathleen Murphy, Amy Donato and Sean McGuckin of North Farmington High; Deborah Wilson of Power Upper Elementary; and Rachelle Torres of Wood Creek Elementary.

“It’s been tremendous to be here this afternoon. I’m thankful to be able to congratulate the teachers here today. I can’t wait to see the results,” FPS Superintendent Susan Zurvalec said. “Thank you, Bosch. It truly makes a difference for our students. You can tell the enthusiasm and excitement we have today. With budget cuts, it’s been harder and harder for us to provide those extra things to engage students.”

The Bosch Group, a global supplier of technology and services, employs more than 23,000 associates in more than 100 locations.

“I represent more autoworkers than any other Congress member,” said District 9 Congressman Gary Peters, one of many dignitaries at the ceremony. “I want to thank Bosch for all that you do in the area. You can see all the jobs that are created because of the location here. It’s about a company that believes in giving back to the community by investing in our young people.

“The best way to spend $1,000 is to give it directly to the teachers,” Peters said. “You are in there each and every day to get the best out of your students.”

Along with the teacher grants, Bosch awarded the district an additional $10,000 for its Digital Calculator program. The digital calculators are being used in the math and science classrooms at the middle schools and high schools.

“They’re a cross between a calculator and a hand-held computer,” said Jon Manier, the FPS executive director of pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade instructional support services. “(The grant) will get the sets up and running in the schools. We bought a classroom set of 30 for each high school and sets of 10 for each middle school.

“The sets we purchased are the latest innovations in these tools,” he said. “It creates a wireless network, where teachers and students can communicate their mathematical work. Teachers can give examples and push it to everyone else.”

Manier said the digital calculators will primarily be used for mathematics, “but we have applications for science, as well.”

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