Nature Lab

Throughout history, artists and designers have looked to nature to inspire and inform their creations. Access to nature enhances student learning, resulting in a more active creative process and encourage exploration and integration of STEAM thinking (Science Technology Engineering Art Math).

The Somers High School Nature Lab consists of specimen from the natural world, as well as reference books and was inspired by the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) Nature Lab, whose intent was to “open students eyes to the marvels of beauty in nature…of forms, space, color, texture, design, and structure”.

The SHS Nature Lab was made possible by a generous Somers Education Foundation (SEF) grant and is now prominently displayed and has been put to good use, as multiple Visual Arts classes investigate and illustrate objects from the collection. The installation of the SHS Nature Lab is just in time to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the RISD Lab that inspired it! It is our hope that the labs collection continues to grow and allow nature to inspire student creativity.

Framed-Nature Nature-Display Jessica-Clayton-Student-Work

Awarded Grant: Innovation is a “SNAP” with SEF

A group of teachers, including Janet Antonucci, Andrea Hayden, Robert Heller, Danyelle Ostrye, Jenna Schettino and Dawn Stanczuk, received a grant to fund a “SNAP” project in which students used photography as well as  essays and poetry to highlight issues related to sustainability and diversity. The project was also partially funded through Assemblyman Greg Ball and a New York State education grant. The students’ work was featured at a “SNAP” expo.

Awarded Grant: Green Power Club “fueled” by SEF

Michael Fry and Dames Boire, along with Green Power Club, received an SEF grant to design, construct and maintain an electric-powered vehicle, which they raced in the national “Electrathon” competition. In this era of global warming concerns, the more than 200 students who worked on this project said they learned a great deal about alternatively-fueled vehicles through this experience.


* Jake DePew is the builder/owner of car #37.


Awarded Grant: Music to our ears!

Responding to a request from Terry Reynolds, director of the bands and strings programs at SIS, SEF annually approves funding for up to 10 musical instrument rental scholarships to students who would have otherwise been unable to participate.

One of the many SEF grants Steve Chetcuti has  received to make our SMS music program so wonderful, he was given the funds to purchase a digital music studio with computers, key-boards, microphones and software for instrumental music  students to practice, compose and record music for auditions and for archiving their musical  accomplishments.

The SHS Marching Band’s Lauren Campbell was awarded a grant to purchase a used tuba and used baritone horn, to replace “instrumental” pieces that make our Marching Band such a wonderful treat!

SEF’s Contribution to “Power Libraries” Realized as “District gets a technology facelift”

The Somers Education Foundation was very pleased and proud to make a contribution to the Somers School District’s “Power Libraries” initiative, in which the libraries at all four schools are being upgraded and renovated to include new computer technology  and a surrounding environment more conducive to the learning experience including special seating and lighting.

Please read the attached article to learn more:
The Somers Record (Nov. 10, 2011) PDF