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May 30, 2019

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MRH Middle Lands Sizable Grant for Expeditionary Learning

Expeditionary learning at MRH MS gets major financial boost.The Maplewood Richmond Heights Middle School has received a sizable grant to advance its field science investigations and improve cross-curricular work.  The $20,000 grant from the Williams S. Anheuser Family Foundation will give MRH MS teachers more of the tools they need to deliver enriching field experiences.

In his appeal to the Foundation, MRH MS principal Mike Dittrich wrote that the grant would address three distinct needs:

Expeditionary learning at MRH MS gets major financial boost.Tree Climbing Program
In 2014, MRH MS was honored to receive funding to build its tree climbing program for teaching
physics, biology, and chemistry. This program has now been presented and two national
conferences and highlighted on NPR radio and the Green Schools Catalyst publication. After four
successful years of training and implementing this program with staff and students several
needs arose around the program.
- Additional funds for this program to increase capacity with staff by training an additional three people to assist in learning and maintaining safety on site.
- In addition, it will provide full one-day training for a current facilitator.
- Additional funds requested for the tree climbing program are to purchase one set of
safety supervision equipment for facilitators.
- Additional funds will increase the number of helmets on site for students learning on the
ground.
- Purchase of additional super system which allows climbing for students with disabilities.

Water Investigation Unit
For the past 5 years, MRH MS has worked with a community member to provide canoes to the water
unit study to investigate our local watershed and streams and creeks across Missouri. This has helped the school build this unit but often constricts the students' schedules based on availability and then
rescheduling due to weather. This new grant will pay for:
- Purchase of 10 canoes with trailer.
- Purchase of 35 variable size life jackets.
- Purchase of 35 paddles.

- Purchase of 15 sets of knee waders
- Purchase of assorted nets, water collection devices, and sample collection devices.
- Purchase of 5 field microscopes

Weather Investigation
Weather plays an important part in grades 7-8 curriculum and how it is related to climate
and also the history of our country and where people have settled. To increase the opportunity
for students to understand whether and provide more authentic experiences, MRH MS will purchase a weather station on campus to provide up to the minute information on location weather data. Access to this data will help across multiple other units including water study, pollinator units, and garden integration units.
The purchase of an internet-ready weather station will assist MRH MS to communicate weather
data to national services and improve the predictability of weather models and local weather
emergencies. 

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.