May Community Award: Fairchild Wheeler Campus

Every day, members of our communities rise to meet unexpected challenges. From children to parents and from caregivers to businesses, we have all been asked to step up and become leaders. We’ve faced and pivoted to adapt and grow through our everchanging world due to unforeseen events that affect our daily lives. No action is too small, and together our impact is large.

Your actions should be recognized and celebrated. Our communities are the foundation of our society, and we stand stronger together. PLTW is proud to celebrate diverse communities and its members who exhibit collaboration, leadership, and entrepreneurship in service across the nation. As a result, we have created the PLTW Community Celebration Awards to recognize communities that have come together to care for each other in times of need. Join us in celebrating the following community this month!

The Interdistrict Science Magnet Schools at the Fairchild Wheeler Campus in Bridgeport, Connecticut, include three high schools – the Aerospace/Hydrospace Engineering & Physical Science School, the Biotechnology Research & Zoological Science School, and the Information Technology & Software Engineering School. The campus is part of Bridgeport Public Schools.

Students and faculty joined together this school year to give back to the Bridgeport community. They held two food and toy drives to benefit a local food bank and childcare center.

In the fall, the campus collected nearly 1,000 pounds of food for the Bridgeport Rescue Mission through a Thanksgiving food drive. The mission addresses basic needs of men, women, and children in Coastal Connecticut – including food, housing, addiction recovery, and job-skills training. The local Target store helped the campus meet its goal.

“This was much harder due to COVID,” Aerospace/Hydrospace Engineering & Physical Science School Principal Jay Lipp said. “Even with reduced in-person attendance, the drive was a success.”

For the winter holidays, the campus collected more than 100 gifts and donated them to a childcare center for lower-income families.

“We had the opportunity for Santa and his helpers to deliver a bus load of toys to the childcare center,” Principal Lipp said. “We were very thankful to those who donated.”