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At their January 7 board meeting, the Sparta Education Foundation (SEF) approved a grant for VEX Robotics equipment and a Makerbot Education 3D printer starter kit. Requested by Cherie Shefferman, a Gifted and Talented, Coding, STEM and Computer Science teacher at Sparta Middle School, this $9,343 grant brings design, building, 3D printing and robotic programming capabilities to the school.

“The Helen Morgan School and Sparta High School both have inspiring, successful robotics programs, and now the middle school will bridge the gap so that students continue with their hand’s on experience and are better prepared for the High School program,” said SEF President Donna West. “The expected result of this grant will be a fully operational middle school robotics club with collaborative teams, real world problem-solving and in school/out-of-school competitions.”

Middle school teacher Cherie Shefferman said this new high-tech grant will encourage students to learn more about programming and robotics. “The entire middle school population will benefit from the equipment. All interested students will have access to the after school club, and all teachers will be given the opportunity to borrow the equipment to enhance their classroom instruction.”

Since 2006, the Sparta Education Foundation has funded over $1 million in grants to all five of Sparta’s public schools. The Foundation is an all-volunteer, independent 501 (c) (3) NJ Non-Profit Corporation whose mission is to engage the entire community in philanthropic giving. Visit for more information about joining or volunteering.