FACTORY TEAMS UP WITH HOWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOL
East Dorset, VT. May 22, 2002- Tool Factory, Inc. is pleased to announce its partnership
with Howard County Public Schools in Maryland. This educational partnership became official
on March 21, when a ceremonial signing took place at the Wilde Lake
Middle School. Attending the ceremony were coordinating teacher Bob
Keddell, Tool Factory company president Heather Chirtea, school administrators,
and esteemed members of the professional community.
The Wilde Lake Middle School is located in downtown
Columbia in a neighborhood of great multicultural and socio-economic
diversity. The school’s student
body reflects such diversity, and teacher Bob Keddell has a vision
of helping his students to become leaders in their community by involving
them in innovative projects that integrate science curriculum and
technology. His vision has attracted and involved university
academics, professionals in the science field, The Toshiba Foundation
of America, and Tool Factory, Inc.
With the support of these partners, Keddell hopes to help his
students explore their individual heritages and strengthen their self-esteem
as they conduct exciting research projects and build websites.
Tool Factory, Inc.
has provided Wilde Lake Middle School with an unlimited site license
of the cutting-edge software MultiMedia
Lab V, and is committed to training students and offering
technical support and advice as students with a wide range of computer
skills learn to build websites. A team of five students has already been trained, and these students
will take on leadership roles as they in turn train over 80 other
classmates on MultiMedia Lab V.
The goal is to produce websites where the international community
can view them, and share in the success of the Wilde Lake Middle School
In addition to building
a general website for the school, Bob Keddell and his team of students
and staff are excited to begin an impressive project called Aqua Havens for Education, in which students will build natural aquatic
ecosystems with the support of three scientific partners: Artificial
Reefs, Inc., the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and scientists at
Princeton University. Students
will choose what kind of ecosystem to create based on their personal
interests and heritage. Tool
Factory Database software will be used to collect and organize
data as students observe fish behavior in their aquariums.
Hypotheses, observations, and conclusions will be posted on
the website created with MultiMedia Lab V.
This website will allow student to share scientific findings
with their partners and the larger community, and will help to establish
the Wilde Lake Middle School as a reference site for other schools
who may want to follow their lead. The project is already underway, and Wilde
Lake Middle School has recently received incubators with eggs from
a threatened Lake Victoria species of fish, as well as another shipment
of rare African fish.
ceremony took place May 14, when a check from Toshiba American Foundation
was presented to Keddell and his students.
Wilde Lake Middle School applied for and won a coveted $9,000+
Toshiba Foundation Grant for the Aqua
Haven for Education project. Students will be using Toshiba digital cameras
to take pictures of the fish in their aquariums and collect data for
their research. These photographs
will be integrated into the website along with other research data
on animal behavior and water quality in the aquariums.
Heather Chirtea attended the presentation of the Toshiba Foundation
grant check. Tool Factory
already works closely with Toshiba as a digital camera reseller into
education, and has held many successful training labs using Toshiba
digital cameras. Keddell, who has worked tirelessly to bring
modern technology into Wilde Lake Middle School, welcomes these partnerships
and is pleased to see that his students will soon have the resources
they need to get underway with innovative projects like Aqua Havens for Education.
plans to work with students in an after school program to build a
website for another project called Shared
Summits. Wilde Lake Middle School is also partnered
with Chris Warner, a mountaineering
guide and owner of the Earth Treks’ Climbing Centers, who will be
climbing K2 this summer. In 1999, on an expedition to Tibet, Chris
started to send dispatches to school students. In the Spring of 2001,
over 20,000 school kids followed his Everest expedition on line. The Shared Summits Program
aims to introduce school-aged children to the importance of making
our dreams come true, and uses lesson plans, factual contests in the
earth sciences and world cultures, and digital technology to allow
student to become virtual participants in mountaineering expeditions. Through such pursuits, the program leaders believe students will
“gain a true appreciation for the value of teamwork, trust, perseverance,
and goal achievement.” Students
in the Shared Summits program will be using MultiMedia
Lab V to build a website and an online trivia contest based on
the upcoming K2 expedition.
press inquiries, please contact Kendra Ericson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tool Factory, Inc. 3336 Sunderland Hill Road,
Sunderland, Vermont 05250, USA.
Keddell at Wilde Lake Middle School at BKeddell@aol.com