$58,000 from Phillips 66 funds science kits for all second-graders

second-graders raising their hands

Linden Public Schools have received a $58,000 donation from Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery to support the district’s science curriculum. The funds will be used to purchase science kits for all of the district’s 400 second-graders.

“Phillips 66 and our colleagues at the Bayway Refinery support our local Linden school community in so many ways,” said Cynthia Apalinski, the district’s elementary science specialist. “Their generous donation is one in a long line of us joining together as partners to provide the strongest science learning opportunities possible to our students.

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“This most recent support is representative of our partnership to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers. We are extremely grateful for their continuous support and with these funds we are able to purchase new science materials for our second-grade classrooms.”

Representatives of Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery visited School No. 6 to see science kits in use by second-graders. A $58,000 donation from Phillips 66 is funding science kits throughout the district. Back row from left are School No. 6 Principal William Mastriano, second-grade teacher Kimberly Zagaja, Bayway Refinery Community Relations Coordinator Mary Phillips, Bayway Refinery Manager of Public Affairs Nancy Sadlon, and Linden Public School Elementary Science Specialist Cynthia Apalinski, with Mrs. Zagaja’s class.

The Full Option Science System (FOSS) kits supply students with materials to study and investigate unites on Insects and Plants; Solids and Liquids; and Pebbles, Sand, and Silt. In all three units, students spend significant time outdoors exploring their schoolyards and local community to make real-life connections with the science concepts they are grappling with in their classrooms.

“Thank you to our neighbors at Phillips 66 for their generous support for our science curriculum,” said Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton. “They say it takes a village to educate a child and this kind of financial backing from one of our vital community partners puts that mantra into action.”

Access to high quality instructional materials allows Linden’s elementary teachers to provide students with rich and engaging experiences as they investigate phenomena in science and solve problems in engineering.

“At Phillips 66, one of our key focus areas for our philanthropic giving is Education and Literacy. We are very proud to support the purchase of required curriculum materials that will help the development of local Linden students,” said Chris Gallo, general manager of Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery. “We have supported this community need over the past six years, annually addressing a different grade level. With Bayway’s contribution this year, Grades 2 through 8 in the Linden Public Schools will have state-required science kits.”

“These materials allow our student scientists to develop a love of science, learn how science and engineering can improve our world and solve its most challenging problems, and help them envision a potential trajectory into a science-related career,” Apalinski said.

The FOSS program gives students in-depth exposure to life, physical, and earth and space sciences while engaging them in the engineering design process:

Insects and Plants: Young biologists study the biodiversity of plants and animals by investigating firsthand the life cycles and behaviors of common insects and plants. They observe and care for mealworms, milkweed bugs, and painted lady butterflies live in their classrooms. They also plant their own seeds and collect and analyze data about their growth.

Solids and Liquids: Students explore solid and liquid materials by observing, describing, and sorting them according to their properties. Next, they investigate interactions between solids and water, liquids and water, and the melting and freezing of familiar liquids.

Pebbles, Sand, and Silt: Student geologists observe the properties of rocks of various sizes and study the components of soil. They study and analyze the results of weathering and erosion and work collaboratively to locate natural sources of water. They discover various earth materials’ important role as natural resources and uses as building materials.

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