The Needham Education Foundation (NEF) announced the recipients of its 2012-2013 large grants cycle at a recent meeting of the Needham School Committee. Two grants totaling over $20,000 were awarded to Needham High School initiatives. One supports the Needham Public School district goal to expand STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) offerings at Needham High School. The other addresses a commitment at the high school to nurture social/emotional wellness among Needham teens.

NHS Robotics Course
This grant of $13,250 funds the materials required to launch a new robotics class at Needham High School. An elective course proposed by Needham High School math teacher and robotics coach Hans Batra, the semester-long class will be offered twice a year. It enjoys strong support from Needham High School administration and faculty including Principal, Dr. Jonathan Pizzi, Science Department Chair, Bob Lockhart and Director of Technology, Deb Gammerman. 

Own Your Peace Sculpture
The “Own Your Peace” sculpture proposed for display on the Needham High School campus will be a bold and permanent reminder of the community’s commitment to support each other’s well being. The $8,250 NEF grant is one component of the $180,000 project to design, create and install this compelling work by local artist, Ted Clausen. It funds Clausen’s time instructing students as they interview community members for text to be incorporated into the art—which will highlight inspiring thoughts on wellness, resilience and challenge. During the process, Clausen will teach students valuable skills in interviewing and historical research, as well as editing.