District receives nearly $200K grant for science equipment

Allied Health Senior Savannah Shay (WTA SUBMITTED PHOTO)

WESTFIELD – Superintendent Stefan Czaporowski and Joanne Lemelin, grants manager and business analyst for Westfield Public Schools, announced that Westfield has received a $194,742 Life Science grant for science and technology (STEM) equipment for grades 7 to 12.

The grant is competitive from the Mass Life Science Center, and this is the first time in five years that the district has received it, Lemelin said.

“The district is very fortunate to have received the grant, which will enhance the science curriculum,” said Czaporowski, adding that the funds are especially timely this year because grades 6 to 8 are getting a new science curriculum this year..

Lemelin said that when she and Science, Technology and Engineering Supervisor Lauren Figy Cadigan teamed up to write the grant, Cadigan worked with the teachers to find out the needs in their classrooms.

Approximately $40,000 will go to Westfield Middle School for digital stereo microscopes, microscopic equipment and other assorted supplies. Westfield High School will get $82,700 worth of 3-D printers, muscular torso models, skeleton models, storage units, beakers and chemistry equipment.

Westfield Technical Academy will get $72,300 for a 3-D printer cart, chemistry equipment including beakers and flasks, thermometers, electrode sensors, a torso model and DNA manipulatives.

Czaporowski said the equipment will be used for classes in biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, forensics, environmental science, and core subjects in the Allied Health programs of both high schools.

The grant will now go to the School Committee meeting on July 19 for approval. Once approved and accepted, the district can go ahead and put in orders for equipment this summer to ramp up for the next school year, Lemelin said.

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