The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program
The Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program authorizes tax credits for businesses that make contributions to Educational Improvement Organizations or Scholarship Organizations. The program is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (PA DCED).
Businesses can significantly reduce their liability for Pennsylvania taxes while they support organizations, like the East Penn School District Education Foundation. Companies can get a dollar-for-dollar credit for an EITC donation. Eligible companies may take up to $300,000 in tax credits per year.
You can read more about the EITC Program at the PA DCED Website.
EAST PENN SCHOOL DISTRICT EDUCATION FOUNDATION
2018-2019 EITC APPROVED PROGRAMS
Project Lead the Way and Middle Level STEM Program
The goal of Project Lead the Way at Emmaus High School as well as Technology Education and Computer coursework at the middle schools is to empower students to step into the role of an engineer, adopt a problem-solving mindset, and make the leap from dreamers to doers. The program courses engage students in compelling, real-world challenges that help them become better collaborators and thinkers. Students take from the courses in-demand knowledge and skills they will use in high school and for the rest of their lives, on any career path they take.
The East Penn School District is participating in the Project Lead the Way Program (PLTW) during the 2018/2019 school year. Project Lead the Way is the top high school STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) program in the country. This program will offer our students a strong STEM curriculum that will make them better prepared for post-secondary studies and careers as scientists, technology experts, engineers, and mathematicians.
We currently offer six Project Lead the Way courses at Emmaus High School to students in grades 9-12 that include Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Computer Integrated Manufacturing, Civil Engineering and Architecture, Digital Electronics, Environmental Sustainability. We would like to add the capstone course Engineering Design and Development in the future.
Students are introduced to the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to identify and design solutions to a variety of real problems. They work both individually and in collaborative teams to develop and document design solutions using engineering notebooks and 3D modeling software. Utilizing the activity-project-problem-based (APB) teaching and learning pedagogy, students will progress from completing structured activities to solving open-ended projects and problems that require them to develop planning, documentation, communication, and other professional skills. Through both individual and collaborative team activities, projects, and problems, students will solve problems as they practice common engineering design and development protocols such as project management and peer review. Students will develop skill in technical representation and documentation of design solutions according to accepted technical standards, and they will use current 3D design and modeling software to represent and communicate solutions. In addition the development of computational methods that are commonly used in engineering problem solving, including statistical analysis and mathematical modeling, are emphasized. Ethical issues related to professional practice and product development are also presented.
Introduction to Engineering Design
Students dig deep into the engineering design process, applying math, science, and engineering standards to hands-on projects like designing a new toy or improving an existing product.
Principles of Engineering
Students explore a broad range of engineering topics including mechanisms, strength of structure and materials, and automation, and then they apply what they know to take on challenges like designing a self-powered car.
Civil Engineering and Architecture
Students learn important aspects of building and site design and development, and then they apply what they know to design a commercial building.
Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Students discover and explore manufacturing processes, product design, robotics, and automation, and then they apply what they have learned to design solutions for real-world manufacturing problems.
Students explore the foundations of computing by engaging in circuit design processes to create combinational logic and sequential logic (memory) as electrical engineers do in industry.
Students investigate and design solutions in response to real-world challenges related to clean and abundant drinking water, food supply, and renewable energy.
Engineering Design and Development - to be added at EHS
Students identify a real-world challenge and then research, design, and test a solution, ultimately presenting their unique solutions to a panel of engineers.
The middle level technology education has been revised to include technology and engineering experiences to introduce middle level students to project based learning that is integral to Project Lead The Way at the high school. This STEM experience touches every student in grades 6-8. This is also true of the newly revised Computers curriculum that provide computer science experience that feeds Project Lead The Way coursework as well as Computer Science at EHS.
After School Middle School Motorsports Engineering Club
The overall goal of the Motorsports Engineering Club and Hornets Racing Team is to take a donor vehicle and turn it into a fully prepped race car in one school year. The culmination of all of the student efforts will be the team competing in the Pennsylvania Hill Climb Association events in the spring and summer of 2017.
The middle school Motorsports Engineering Club was established to help students get real, hands on, meaningful exposure to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. The club, which is made up of approximately (15) 8t h grade students, operates just as a true life race team. This opens the world of motorsports up to students with a multitude of different talents and interests. Students take on different roles on the team ranging from mechanics working on the car to front office personnel trying to secure sponsorships, even data analysts.
Students are expected to learn about a variety of STEM concepts. The club has been divided up into sub groups which encourage students to specialize in a point of interest. However, they are still required to pass this information throughout the entire team much like a real race team. The subgroups are listed below:
• Mechanical Engineer: Students will be working on the mechanical systems of the car engine, brakes, suspension, and safety equipment.
• Body and Aero: Students will be working on the body of the car. Students will be responsible for making sure all body panels are smoothed and aligned. They will also be responsible for creating the look and design of the car, as well as making sure all sponsors are represented appropriately.
• Data Analyst: Students will be responsible for tracking data that is collected off of the car and using that data to make decisions on how to make the car go faster. Students will work closely with the other members of the team to coordinate a plan of attack.
• Public Relations: Students will be responsible for spreading the word about the Hornets Racing Team. They will also be responsible for contacting potential sponsors for donations or help with working on the car. The public relations staff is one of the most important aspects of any racing team.
The goal is to have ALL of the research, design, and fabrication conducted at the school. Students will then be entering the car in events run by the PA Hillclimb Association ( www.PAhillclimb.org ). This is 100% a multi-disciplinary approach. It is a true Engineering and STEM opportunity for students that will draw from a range of knowledge from other classes such as Math, Science, and even Art for design, and language arts for contacting local companies and groups.
The Emmaus High School Broadcasting Program (ETV)
The goal of the Emmaus High School TV studio (ETV) is to provide students with an authentic experience working in a television studio to produce a live broadcast each morning. Approximately 15 students each year take Communications 2 which focuses on film theory and practice. Communications 2/ETV is a two semester course offered to students in grade 10-12 who have successfully completed Communications 1. Our broadcast includes school announcements, weather, sports, local and national news events, and student-created features involving our school and community. Students write and produce all segments of the broadcast, and run the technical aspects of our show as well. As members of our ETV Crew, students use our TriCaster broadcast computer to set up and switch between multiple camera angles. They integrate this technology with the use of virtual sets and a studio controller which allows them to chroma key weather maps and photos for use during our broadcast. Additionally, they play student-produced packages including video and interviews as part of our broadcast. To produce these packages, studio members propose ideas and complete treatments and storyboards, gather necessary equipment and personnel, and record footage and interviews on location. They edit their footage and interviews together into broadcast-ready “packages”. During our broadcast each morning, students run sound, lights, cameras, and teleprompter in addition to the TriCaster and studio controller. Our tech team and on-air team work together to produce a high-quality show each day. Our status as a cutting-edge television studio within the walls of our great high school is dependent upon our ability to provide our students with state-of-the-art equipment and technology.
The East Penn School District Elementary Gifted Program
The goal of the East Penn School District’s Elementary Gifted Robotics/Coding Program is to maximize the development of the intellectually gifted learner by providing an atmosphere that promotes intellectual challenge. Our K-5 Robotics/Coding Program focuses on classroom activities that teach STEM content while developing important skills like collaboration, problem solving, and project management. Our robotics program is designed to foster sensory learning, improve socialization, encourage hands-on innovation, and increase high level thinking. Gifted students need the time, space and equipment to brainstorm, problem solve, design and create products that develop their place and voice in the burgeoning field of science and technology. Within this explorative environment, student-inquiry is focused on the inherent interests, gifts and talents of our top students. This K-5 population encompasses girls, as well as boys. Students attend three, 45 minute, pull out sessions a week. Gifted fifth grade students have been taught how to code geometric, culturally-inspired designs, using Turtle Art and then print files as stamps, using an outsourced 3D printer. Designs are then stamped on actual clay slabs and fired in a kiln to create a mosaic. Students are motivated by the artistic aspects of a project like this, which naturally integrates math, science and technology skills as meaningful tools of creation. In order to further this hands-on, creation oriented, student-driven mindset, we would love to see the gifted program become the hub of creative fabrication, complete with 3D printer and laser cutter. From there, we can utilize gifted students, who have learned how to use cutting edge technology, to act as ambassadors, training other students and teachers throughout the school in grades K-5. The 3D printer and laser cutter could be used to promote the entire curriculum across grade levels, bettering our entire school community.
Emmaus High School Robotics Program
The Emmaus High School Robotics Program is designed to inspire students to become science and technology focused young adults. Using the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) program as its fundamental base, the program involves students in the FIRST Vex Robotics Challenge, offering them a new and exciting platform for learning about science, computer programming, mechanical engineering, math and physics along with teamwork, project management and problem solving in groups. First Tech Challenge (FTC) requires students to design, build, and program a robot that can perform a set of prescribed tasks. It is a worldwide league with teams from over 40 countries participating. FTC is designed to mimic the engineering experience via collaboration, design, construction, journaling (engineering notebook), maintaining a web presence (marketing), and to prove its value in a competitive setting (tournaments), where teams need to strategize together. An often used quote to describe its similarity to the engineering process: “Build a product, by a deadline, with too many people, staying under budget, sharing your progress with the world, and prove its value in a competitive environment.”
This after school Robotics Program is offered to students in grades 9-12. The season starts the first week of September with each state having qualifying tournaments leading up to a state championship event. The season culminates with the World Championship event in April with 125 of the best teams from around the world. EHS’ team, the Steel Hornets, meets four afternoons per week for ninety minutes, and some Saturdays, to build the most competitive robot they can. Their season starts in early September and ends in March, but could extend to April if they qualify for the World event which they have done four times in ten years. They participate in five to six tournaments per year with the possibility of more if they advance to higher levels. At tournaments, students submit their Engineering Notebook to a panel of judges, participate in an interview with that panel where they field questions without the coach’s input, network and strategize with other teams, and compete in a league-led atmosphere of “Gracious Professionalism”, where teams are competitive but still sharing resources and information. Emmaus High School has hosted a tournament for four years and will again this year.
In the future, if staffing permits, Emmaus High School would embrace the opportunity to run a robotics semester course as part of the Emmaus High School Program of Studies. This investment could then also be used to introduce more students to robotics as well as increase participation in the after school club.
Emmaus High School is looking to run a robotics semester course as part of the Emmaus High School Program of Studies. This investment could then also be used to introduce more students to robotics as well as increase participation in the after school club.
The goal of Library 2.0 is to better serve all students at East Penn School District with access to innovative, tech-driven spaces that we currently do not have in our building libraries.
Our libraries will be a shared building space for new and emerging technologies composed of computers, Augmented Reality equipment, Virtual Reality equipment, 360 Video Conferencing, Coding Systems, etc. The library will also include a makerspace for students to tinker, build, and connect research to learning to making. We would also like to add a space students can access to create content, such as a green screen area and possibly a sound recording studio in a segment of the room. In order to create flexible collaborative spaces, we need furniture that can be rearranged and reorganized into a number of different configurations as well and provide flat screen televisions access for group work and mobile device hookups.
This Library 2.0 redesign will consistently avail itself to all 8,000 EPSD students. The library model from 1960 no longer serves students. Students need collaborative spaces to execute project based learning, conduct personal inquiry, and gain uniform access to technologies of the 21st century.