Aiming to provide hands-on learning, the Lawrence Intermediate School has established a year-long partnership with the Watershed Institute – formerly known as the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association – in Hopewell Township.
Each class in the grades 4-6 school will go on a field trip to the Watershed Institute, thanks to a $35,000 contribution to the Lawrence Township Education Foundation from the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
The Watershed Institute works to protect and restore water and the natural environment in central New Jersey through conservation, advocacy, science and education.
“This is a new project,” said Karen Faiman, the Lawrence Township Education Foundation’s executive director.
The original plan was to have one field trip for one grade. But to enable more classes to go on a field trip to the Watershed Institute, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. increased its initial contribution from $20,000 to $35,000, Faiman said.
The Watershed Institute staff will work with Lawrence Intermediate School teachers to create lessons that involve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It will promote best science practices and the use of hands-on, inquiry-based activities, Faiman said.
It will provide teachers and students with a deeper understanding of the environment, Faiman said. It will bring science to life and encourage students to do things with the science they are learning, she said.
But perhaps the highlight of the partnership is a field trip to the Watershed Institute, based on one new lesson that will be modeled during that field trip, Faiman said. The field trip is being made possible by the pharmaceutical company’s grant.
“The Watershed Institute is a wonderful resource in Lawrence Township’s own back yard. The field trip is an experience that many students would not get outside of school,” she said.
Amy Davis, president of the Lawrence Township Education Foundation’s board of trustees, praised Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., which has its headquarters in Lawrence Township. The company has been a strong supporter of the education foundation and the public school district, she said.
“As part of its mission, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. continues to seek to give back to the community,” Davis said.
“It has achieved this by funding this extraordinary grant that will benefit every student at Lawrence Intermediate School. It will have an everlasting effect on helping to enhance STEM learning in the classroom and beyond,” Davis said.