Technology is changing at lightning speed. Many schools like St. Alexander in Palos Heights, have struggled to keep their software and equipment up-to-date, and state-wide cuts in education has further added to this issue.
Enter the Clorox Company’s “Power a Bright Future” program, which allows select schools to compete for grants up to $50,000. St. Alexander School was one of 2,500 schools across the country nominated to compete in this year’s competition.
The school plans to use the funds to update its Applied Technology Lab (the “Tech Lab”). Originally built in 2004, the Tech Lab is a highly specialized network of 16 computers and software that teaches students advanced topics in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, including forensics, rocket science, genetics, personal finance and astronomy to name a few. Students work in pairs to promote learning, communication, teamwork and social skills on all topics. The Tech Lab allows students to learn the way they are most comfortable - through trial and error.
“Studies have shown that students exposed to the Tech Lab curriculum have higher standardized test scores and show a greater interest in pursuing careers in math and science that they may have never considered,” said Principal, Cathy Biel.
While still in use by the school’s junior high students, the eight-year-old Tech Lab is in need of updates, which St. Alexander hopes will be paid for by winning one of seven Clorox grants. “What makes this grant especially important is that St. Alexander School is the only school in the Archdiocese of Chicago that has the renowned ‘Pitsco Applied Technology Lab’,” added Biel. “We need to win this grant money to update the computer modules and software so we can continue to provide our students with an exceptional learning experience.”
St. Alexander alumnae and Mother McAuley senior, Carly Bettinardi, said this about the Tech Lab. “I learned about different ways we can use computers and became more familiar with everyday life situations. This also gave me a chance to find out what I enjoy doing. High school is the time to pick a career so you can be ready for college. I feel that applied technology has made it easier for me to pick a career that I have had experience with.”
How the Grant Money is Awarded
For the fourth year, Clorox Company’s “Power A Bright Future” program is awarding seven grants in total: four based on numbers of votes, and three based on merit. The school with the most votes overall will receive a $50,000 grant. The schools with the most votes in each of the three categories will each receive a $25,000 grant. Clorox will then review all nominations and pick one from each category based on merit to award a $25,000 grant in each category.
How You Can Help St. Al's Win
Community members can help St. Alexander School win up to $50,000 by casting votes starting Nov. 12, 2012, through Dec. 19, 2012.
Adults and kids 13 and older can vote via text and online each once a day—that’s two votes per person daily.
- Text 268pbf to the number 95248.
- Log on and register to vote online at https://powerabrightfuture.clorox.com
The final seven Power A Bright Future grant winners will be announced in late December 2012.
Visit www.stalexanderschool.com for a link to the Power A Bright Future website and more information about the school. Visit www.PowerABrightFuture.com for the official rules and learn more about the grant program.