Foundation at Work
The MSSM Foundation raises funds for the following purposes:
- Need-based financial aid to ensure that all students can participate fully in MSSM’s programs.
- One-time costs to start, expand, or improve extra-curricular or co-curricular activities.
- One-time costs to expand or improve facilities in ways that directly benefit students or allow for the creation of new programs.
- Support for student and faculty original research, undertaken outside of the core curriculum.
- Faculty professional development.
- Occasional expenses for which the use of state appropriations is not appropriate.
- Urgent, unforeseen needs or opportunities brought to the Foundation by the school’s administration.
- Student Assistance
- Co-curricular Activities
- Program Development
- Student Activities
During the 2015-2016 school year, generous donors quietly provided room and board assistance to MSSM students whose needs could not be met by traditional financial aid. As one student wrote:
“I am writing to thank the MSSM Foundation for the award granted to me to go towards my education. This money will help to take the financial burden off of my family while aiding me in my endeavors to get the best education the state has to offer.”-Aspires to be an Astronaut-
Over the past year, donors have supported MSSM’s popular summer camps for middle schoolers, allowing the next generation of scientists, mathematicians, and innovators to explore and accelerate their pursuit of greatness.The Foundation continues to support international travel through our Quest Fund, reducing the cost of MSSM International travel to allow more students to participate in this unique experience.
The Foundation sponsored the Maine Robotics Competition and paid for twelve MSSM students to attend the Maine State Science Fair, where Heather Brown, Kathryn Peterson, and Judy Yau won first place in Biochemistry, Biology, Medicine, and Plant Science for their research project “Good Vibrations: The Effect of Movement on Plant Development.” In May, Foundation funds paid for an exciting two-day, school-wide field trip to the Schoodic Educational Research Center, where students interacted with scientists from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, the National Park Service, The Jackson Laboratory, and the Bigelow Laboratory. Ardrianna McClane, National Park Service scientist and MSSM alumna (Class of 1998), speaks to students about the geological and ecological attributes of Schoodic Point.
MSSM Spanish Instructor James Torruellas has developed a unique new J-Term course that combines science and Spanish immersion through an exchange with Escuela Secundaria Especializada en Ciencias, Matemáticas y Tecnología (CIMATEC), a Puerto Rican magnet high school similar to MSSM. While studying at CIMATEC, MSSM students will visit the nearby Arecibo Observatory and its 1,000-foot radio telescope. A group of CIMATEC students will visit MSSM in March 2013. Sr. Torruellas began cultivating this partnership last summer and finalized it when he visited CIMATEC in July, a trip financed by the Foundation.
Last spring, students in AP Physics C celebrated the course’s completion by building underwater robots and deploying them to the depths of the MSSM pool. Another Foundation grant allowed Mrs. Jessica Bartlett, chair of MSSM’s Humanities Department, to prepare for the first use of Kindles in an MSSM English course. This year, she and her colleagues will assess the integration of that technology into the classroom, ascertaining whether certain learning styles are better accommodated with a Kindle than a traditional text. The Foundation also supported MSSM’s growing robotics program by purchasing a large storage cabinet for students and instructors to safely organize and protect their equipment.
In August, MSSM held the first STEM Collaborative Educator’s Week - a free professional development opportunity for Maine teachers of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The program was so well attended and well received that MSSM plans to make it an annual event. The Foundation supported this new venture by hiring Dan Meyer, an internationally-known innovator in math education, as the keynote speaker.
In April, MSSM celebrated the dormitory kitchen’s spectacular renovation. This project was made possible by a lead donation from the SW Collins Co., contributions from other local businesses and the MSSM Student Senate, parent donations of labor, appliances, supplies, and furnishing, and staff volunteers. MSSM students now have a warm, inviting space in which to gather in their home away from home. Parent donations also paid for new rugs and furniture in other areas of the dorm.
Last year, MSSM’s Residential Life program placed new emphasis on opportunities for students to stretch their legs and clear their minds in the outdoors. Key to doing that was one board member’s generous donation that funded the purchase of twelve sets of backpacking and camping equipment. A grant from the Teens to Trails (T3) Foundation provided additional snowshoes and skis. The Foundation was also pleased to sponsor a special appearance by the Castlebay Players at MSSM’s annual Medieval Feast.