Immaculate High School Receives Innovation Grants

DANBURY—Two Immaculate High School teachers recently received Innovation Grants from Foundations in Education that will enhance student opportunities in the Fine Arts and STEAM programs at the school.

Art teacher Leslie Quinn received a $5,700 grant for a Pop-Up Art Program. She plans to use the grant monies to have a “pop-up” display to exhibit artwork both in and out of the school. “These modular pop-up towers will allow the school and general communities to see what wonderful work is being created by our Fine Arts students. With these towers, students can set up displays at local events, venues and fundraisers,” Mrs. Quinn said. “Our AP Portfolio students will also use these as a mini gallery to display and talk about their work,” she added.

Mrs. Quinn will also use the Pop-Up Art Program to prepare students for the college level, and help them to articulate their ideas and respond to viewers. The display will consist of six display towers, two portable screens and two document cameras with microphones. The cameras will allow for large demonstrations of real-time techniques projected on a screen for drawing and watercolor techniques and instructional learning.

Math and Engineering teacher Jeanine Antonios received a $3,000 grant to purchase a 3D printer for use in her Introduction to Engineering Design and Principles of Engineering courses and for the school’s award-winning Engineering Club. In those classes, students advance from completing structured activities to solving open-ended projects and real-world design problems that require planning, documentation and technical drawings. They use Autodesk Inventor to create technical drawings, and the 3D printer will help them to not only have the opportunity to design and invent, but also permit them to build their prototype using the 3D printer and then evaluate their solution, which is an important step in the design process.

“The 3D printer will also provide students an additional opportunity to develop college-level project skills and students will be able to have access to a wider variety of projects that are meaningful for engineering students, the school’s cross-curricular STEAM programs and the local community,” said Mrs. Antonios. “For example, they could create an automata toy project on Autodesk Inventor and, using the 3D printer, build the toys and then donate them to local social service organizations,” she noted.  Additionally, the 3D printer will be adopted as a “cross curricular” tool, helping in the implementation of Immaculate’s STEAM curriculum.

Foundations in Education is a non-profit initiative that “promotes excellence in the Diocese of Bridgeport by providing educators with grant opportunities that fund innovation in classroom teaching and provide support for professional development and leadership formation.”  The Innovation Grants Program promotes innovation in Catholic school education by supporting a teacher’s creative project or initiative for the classroom or school. Grants through this program are intended for innovative projects or initiatives that benefit multiple grade levels and have a long-term impact on student learning.

Immaculate High School encourages students to find success in academics, athletics, fine arts and clubs and is ranked in the top ten of all Catholic high schools in the State of Connecticut by NICHE. One of the more affordable private high schools, Immaculate High School is also among the highest ranked Catholic high schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport and continues to attain the highest SAT scores in the Diocese. Immaculate High School students, a representation of area public, private and Catholic schools, seek academic challenges, discover leadership and engage in progressive learning opportunities and have high success rates: 100% of the Class of 2019 were accepted to choice colleges and universities and were awarded college scholarships and grants totaling $27 million.

In addition to a college-preparatory academic program that offers over 33 Advanced Placement classes and a STEAM curriculum featuring advanced technology, a CISCO certification program, renovated science labs and engineering classes and a Certified Nursing Associate program, Immaculate High School has an award-winning Fine Arts program, a student career internship program, athletic teams that have won SWC and State Championships, 44 clubs and a Campus Ministry and community service program that instills faith, compassion and reverence for others. Immaculate High School, founded in 1962, is a private, non-profit Catholic college-preparatory institution serving students from 28 communities in Connecticut and New York.