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Volume 12, Issue 1May, 2001



Ames Education Foundation News

Mini-grants Awarded

Each year the Ames Education Foundation awards funds to faculty to provide special projects in the classroom through mini-grants. Funded projects directly involve students, are innovative and incorporate matching funds or community resources.

This year we received 33 proposals requesting over $14,500. We were able to fund, either completely or partially, 18 projects, for a total of $6,900. Ames High School received awards for the following four mini-grants:

Seeing Things the Right Way with a C5+ Telescope (Russ Pixler and DeAnna Tibet) - In 1997 Ames High School received a donation of 30 telescopes from a group of anonymous donors, (Friends of Carl Sagan), thanks to the never-ending persistence of Jack Troeger. Since then, students at Ames High School have been turned on to the night sky.

In order to find an object with a telescope a smaller side telescope, a finderscope, is used to locate the object first. Looking through the finderscopes that came with the telescopes shows the view upside-down and backwards!

To make the image seen through the finderscope right side-up and left-to-right correct, 12 Correct-Image finderscopes were purchased. This makes it easier for the students to star-hop.

Reading Support System (Ann Lee) - The special needs resource room at Ames High School is designed to provide support of regular education classes in addition to pull out classes for students who have identified learning disabilities. Over 130 students are in the resource prgrams at AHS. Of these 130, approximately 30 students per semester are in need of books on tape because of an identified reading disability. Funding through a mini-grant helped purchase five audiotape walkmans and headphones along with 15 books on tape for the novels used by resource level special needs students. This helped students to participate in the discussion of the books during class and gave them opportunities to explore the world of literature.

Origami (Virginia Swenson) - Algebra I discovered the art of Origami (paper folding) thanks to a mini-grant to purchase needed materials. Algebra teachers are trying to incorporate modeling to emphasize and illustrate algebra connections to geometry, art, and history. Origami projects are rich in mathematics and help students make those connections.

Tessel Mania Deluxe (Troy Hill) - Tessel Mania Deluxe is software which combines Geometry and Art. Through the use of this software, students develop their reasoning skills as they attempt to solve real life application problems. As a result of using this software, authentic pieces will be created by students.

Funding the Track Timing System

The long awaited, new eight-lane, all-weather, Olympic Gold track was completed in Fall 2000. One thing was needed to make the Ames track venue one of the best high school facilities in the nation - an automatic timing system.

Parents and coaches set a goal to raise $20,000 to purchase a fully automatic timing system. The system features multiple cameras, unlimited capture times and simultaneous image capture and results evaluation. This system would virtually eliminate the need for the many volunteers now needed to run a meet and would eliminate inaccuracies in both timing and picking at the finish line.

Thanks to the assistance of the AHS Alumni Association, the committee was able to contact past graduates. Many former AHS track participants have helped the effort so far. As of May 1, 2001, $25,000 has been raised - exceeding the $20,000 goal! The timing system has been purchased and installed. The system is capable of creating "photo finishes" of the events and now the committee is looking at that opportunity. Additional funds would be needed to purchase the materials to print those photos. If you would like to contribute, please make your gift to the Ames Education Foundation.

Increasing the Endowment

The Ames Community School District is realizing an increase in the need for educational and technological programs while at the same time facing decreasing funding. To help build a stronger financial future for our students, the Ames Education Foundation is working to build the endowment that now has slightly more than $50,000.

The Foundation is hoping to create a wills program, making it possible for individuals to leave a portion of their estate to the endowment. We need your help in developing the program. We will be asking you to remember things about your experiences at Ames High School. We hope you can take a few minutes to respond in writing or email. If you are not a member of the Alumni Association and want to be part of creating our program, please email or write us directly.

Contact the AEF

The Ames Education Foundation is now on the Web. We can be reached through the Curriculum Department. The Curriculum address is www.ames.k12.ia.us/district/curr. Please consider leaving a gift to the Ames Education Foundation through your will, or contact the office for other ways to make a gift.

The Ames Education Foundation
920 Carroll Avenue
P.O. Box 577
Ames, IA 50010
Jean Kresse, Development Director
jkresse@ames.k12.ia.us




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©2001 Ames High Alumni Association