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Special Projects

Student Leadership Corps

The Student Leadership Corp is a program at the Hillsborough Middle School that focuses on peer-to-peer communication and education. The program began in the Fall of 1998 with 14 seventh grade student leaders and 3 teacher advisors, Mr. Davis, Ms. Bauersachs and Ms. Mahler. In 1999 the program grew to include the original members, 14 new seventh graders, and an additional advisor, Mr. Collins.

Participants are selected through nominations by other students and faculty members. Team members meet twice a week before school to learn about tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana. They also work on strategies to improve communication with peers, teachers, and families. Throughout the year the student leaders develop presentations on substance abuse that are then shared with sixth graders. An open meeting for middle school students and their parents is also presented.

The Hillsborough Education Foundation along with the HMS Home & School Association and New Jersey Breathes is supporting the Student Leadership Corps. The program is sponsored by the departments of Health, Education, and Public Safety, the Princeton Center for Leadership Training, and the Governor’s Council.

Netday '97

During the months of March and April, 1997, over 125 community volunteers led by the Hillsborough Education Foundation participated in Netday ‘97. Netday is part of a nationwide effort to increase the use of technology in the classroom.

Working closely with the Hillsborough Township Board of Education Technology Supervisor, Jennifer Hunsinger, the HEF coordinated community volunteers to train others and install wiring in the classrooms, raise funds to purchase wiring and associated materials and receive donations of Netday kits from local businesses. The response of the community volunteers and local businesses was outstanding. In total, over 100 classrooms were connected to the Hillsborough Township Board of Education Network and the Internet.

In achieving this goal, the HEF raised over $13,000 for materials, received over 20,000 feet of donated wire and helped coordinate more than 125 community volunteers. In total, over 100,000 feet of wire was installed thanks to the donations from businesses, Home and School Associations, and individuals.

Since Netday ‘97 the HEF has continued to support and fund the wiring of additional classrooms in the District during Netday ‘98 and ‘99.

Hillsborough High School Robotics Team

The “Robo Raiders” robotics team at Hillsborough High School is a national competitor in an engineering competition. The match is sponsored by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization that works to encourage the development of engineering.

Every high school team in the country gets its building kits and taped instructions at the same time, and has six weeks to assemble and test its robot. Each year, student teams from around the country work with teams of professionals in engineering and other fields. This provides the opportunity for an exchange of resources and talents, builds cooperation and exposes students to new career options. At the end of six weeks, and before the first competition, the completed robots are returned to ensure that no extra work is done on them.

The robots are matched in games requiring them to move objects to specific goals to score points. The Hillsborough robotics team won the sixth annual FIRST Mid-Atlantic competition at Rutgers University in  1997 and in 1999 and has taken its robot to the nationals at Disney World in Florida the last several years.

While the team may have a vision, it could not become a reality without the generous donations from businesses, corporations, clubs, and individuals. The HEF has supported the "Robo Raiders" and encourages anyone interested in obtaining more information or wishing to help to contact Mr. Grabowski at 908-874-4200.

Distant Learning Station

The Foundation has provided funds to the Hillsborough Middle School for setting up a distant learning station in the media center. The station will be accessible to all students and staff.

Visual Arts Across the Grades

A donation from the Sprint United Telephone helping the township school district conduct a video-conference-driven "Visual Arts Across the Grades" project. The project gives students in Triangle Elementary School, Hillsborough Middle School, and Hillsborough High School the opportunity to videoconference with each other and professional artists during art classes.

Diane Vernam, the school district's supervisor of visual and performing arts and co-coordinator of the project with district  technology supervisor Jennifer Hunsinger, said the project has two main objectives. "We want the elementary school children to be able to discuss their work with students at the high school and middle school to give them added experience in critiquing artworks. We also want to reach out to professionals in cartooning and animation to provide the students with a view of how professionals work and to give the students a clearer awareness of careers in these fields."

The grant for the "Arts" project was presented by Gary J. Gatyas Jr., a Sprint public affairs manager to the Hillsborough Education Foundation with the school district as the designated recipient. The Foundation has played a role in identifying, securing and distributing grant money since its inception in the spring of 1996. 

Endangered Species Website

A Sprint grant administered by the Foundation supported Rob Richard’s high school Biology classes in producing an endangered species database website. Every year Biology classes research additional endangered species. Students scan images and capture videos to incorporate into their web pages along with information on each endangered species. The profiles are then loaded onto the school's server and available to all on the Internet.

One unanticipated benefit has been that the same equipment purchased through the grant has allowed A.P. Biology classes to produce web pages on cell biology and histology. Web pages on cell division, plant tissues and animal tissues are being created and feature digitized microscope slide images. This will allow students to study images at home in addition to class time.