Vermont’s schools are home to some of the most creative and innovative teachers in the country. They care about their students and know what they need. To prepare students for the ever changing word, teachers and schools working with all ages of students have added STEAM programs (Science, Technology, Engineers, Arts, and Mathematics). The Vermont Technology Alliance wants to offer its support to the teachers of Vermont through the newly created Bentley Award.
Bentley Davis Seifer, the 12-year-old child of Bruce Seifer and Julie Davis died on July 12, 2011, while enjoying the natural surroundings of Bolton potholes. Bruce was a founding member of the Vermont Software Developers' Alliance and both Bruce and Julie were very supportive of our mission and member companies.
Bentley was a very inquisitive child, with an outgoing nature. He loved the visual arts almost as much as he enjoyed taking apart and rebuilding machines and robots. The members of the vtTA will honor Bentley by supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, or Mathematics (STEAM) offerings in Vermont schools. In this first round of the Bentley Award, the support will include a $3000 cash prize, a set of three iPads, and technical assistance from member companies of the vtSDA.
The abrupt end of Bentley's life is a shock to the many family, friends and acquaintances who were fortunate enough to know this special child. We were pleased to receive twenty-one applications from around Vermont in Bentley's honor. We were so excited about the quality of the 21 proposals we received that we expanded the scope of the awards. We launched a fundraising drive to fund all of the projects, and raised more than $23,000. As a result, we are giving the full prize to three schools, and splitting the remaining funds among the other 18 applicants.
The Winning Proposals
Mount Abraham Union High School, Bristol
Proposal: Integrate physics, industrial technology and CAD
"Produce tangible student projects using computer modeling, graphic design and computer-controlled fabrication. Projects include a low-cost pellet stove for heating, wooden-truss structures fabricated with a computer-controlled router, and sports equipment."
Hinesburg Community School
Proposal: iPads to teach astronomy
"My sixth-grade science classes focus on the solar system. The iPads provided by the Bentley Award would augment our current curriculum, thanks to the many wonderful applications that help students understand the solar system and the night sky."
Grafton Elementary School
"Geocaching is an adventure game for GPS users where students will set up caches all over their community and then share these locations on the internet. They will learn to use GPS technology and will further document their travels using iPads and digital cameras."