Two-thirds of children entering elementary school today will work in jobs not yet created, using tools not yet invented, solving problems not yet understood. Opportunities for them to engage new technology is an imperative for future careers and a priority for IPSD204.
IPSD204’s STEM programs transform students from users to creators of technology. IPEF sponsors many of these programs. Explore the ones that fit your family, and that you would like to help support. ➤
“After this robotics experience, I told my dad I want to be an engineer.”
– Kendall Elementary student
Competitive Robotics teaches students electro-mechanics, structures, programming and more, and makes it fun. It’s a great ‘hands-on’ introduction to engineering principles involving design, prototyping and testing. Just as important, it teaches students time management, problem solving, teamwork and how to accept both failure and success.
Nearly 700 students in grades 4-12 participate in IPSD204’s STEM robotics clubs. IPEF and its key partners fund the program’s equipment and software purchases, plus travel and tournament expenses. But we need to do more:
- Some elementary schools are still without clubs.
- Clubs turn away more students than they accept due to limited space.
- We want to hold more tournaments
Interested in STEM Robotics?
IPSD204 Robotics Tournament
Elementary School Robotics
High School Robotics
In 2015, the Dunham Fund matched ‘2 for 1’ each dollar IPEF raised for STEM programs. $165,000 was raised in total. Part of that funded expansion of STEM robotics: more teams per school and the first middle school clubs.
2019 – 2020 Sponsors
Become A Sponsor
The STEM Robotics program has ongoing expenses of new and replacement equipment, tournaments and travel. We also wish to add clubs to more elementary schools and expand participation in existing clubs. Help us reach these goals:
STEM Teacher Grants
“We bring it to life so students go beyond reading paper in a classroom.”
– Invited subject matter expert
IPEF has been funding innovative teacher initiatives for over 30 years. Teachers and staff propose novel approaches to enhance classroom curricula, and IPEF funds the most promising ones – anywhere from $500 to $5000. Some of these ideas go on to become permanent parts of the curriculum in a process that refreshes classroom learning.
Each year, several of the proposals, at every grade level, fall under the category of STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math). IPEF now ‘bundles’ these STEM proposals together in our efforts to seek sponsorships. Sponsors like this approach:
- they see an immediate impact – a program’s duration is one year,
- their investment touches all grades and groups of students,
- sponsors can sometimes come into the classroom and see their dollars at work.
Crime Scene Investigation
Saved By A Scientist
2019 – 2020 STEM Teacher Grants
|Alice Iwinski||Brookdale Elementary||Raspberry Pi Coding Club|
|Christina Ensign||Gombert Elementary||Magnets on the Move|
|Christina Messerschmidt||Gombert Elementary||Open Ended Morning Work STEM Bins|
|Glenda Gustafson||Gregory Middle School||Order Up|
|Rhonda Jenkins||Kendall Elementary||Podcasting Power:Student Voices|
|Nicholas Marasco||Metea Valley High||Innovative Agriculture STEAM Challenge|
|Adrianne Toomey||Neuqua Valley High||Biofuels-Saved by a Scientist, Again|
|Adrianne Toomey||Neuqua Valley High||DNA Demystified|
|Julie Slade||Owen Elementary||STEM Robots|
|Dawn Pope||Spring Brook Elementary||Electricity is a Snap!|
|Dawn Pope||Spring Brook Elementary||Helping Hand Design|
|Amy Scott||Still Middle School||First-Hand Science for 8th Graders|
|Katherine Wickert||Still Middle School||First-Hand Science|
“PLTW takes things you learn in Science and Math and really applies them.”
– Neuqua Valley High School student
Project Lead The Way (PLTW) is a nationally recognized engineering-track curriculum first adopted by IPSD204 in 2014. PLTW elective classes, offered at both middle school and high school levels, teach students design, functional evaluation, prototyping, testing and documentation. They are ‘hands-on’ classes that apply principles learned in other STEM classes, helping students build the ‘mental bridge’ between theory and application.
When IPSD204 wanted to introduce the PLTW high school capstone class, a year-long product design class, it turned to IPEF. Purchase of curriculum, equipment, supplies and the culminating student design exhibition all benefited from IPEF support.
IPSD204 will be introducing new PLTW classes and there is an on-going need for workstations, 3D printers, design competitions and field trips. IPEF is ready to support these needs as part of its commitment to STEM excellence.
In 2015, the Dunham Fund matched ‘2 for 1’ each dollar IPEF raised for STEM programs. $165,000 was raised in total – the largest single campaign in IPEF history. Part of that sum was used to fund the startup of the the PLTW ‘Engineering Design and Development’ capstone class in all three district high schools. Neuqua Valley is one of only 64 US high schools to be designated a Project Lead The Way Distinguished School.
“We’ve had hundreds of students doing research in high school. How exciting!”
– Elaine Modine, Awarded WVHS Teacher
- The annual district Science Fair features projects by 1600 students.
- Elementary and middle school STEM Family nights attract 2200 families.
- MakerSpaces in school libraries bring 3D printing to all IPSD204 students.
- Coding clubs and Girls in Engineering, Math & Science (GEMS) focus on girls’ STEM.
IPEF has supported the district Science Fair for 20 years, while other programs just need one time ‘seed funding’ to get started until they become self-sustaining.
These diverse programs are supported through IPEF’s general fund which is, in turn, funded by direct parent donations and the TEAM IPEF fundraiser. Help us keep them going: