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Battelle to give up to $250,000 to Kennewick schools

April 24, 2000 Share This!

KENNEWICK, Wash. – Battelle will give the Kennewick School District as much as $250,000 over the next five years to establish a science resource center that includes hands-on science education materials for students and professional development opportunities for teachers. The Battelle Science Resource Center will be located on South Fruitland Street in Kennewick.

Battelle operates the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland for the federal government.

Battelle's director of K-12 science education programs, Jeff Estes, presented the school district with a $50,000 check at a ceremony at Kennewick's Canyon View Elementary school today. The gift is the largest ever by Battelle to a local school district. Future support is contingent on regular performance reviews.

"Local school districts are working hard to improve their science education programs so students can meet the tough academic learning requirements mandated by the state of Washington," said Estes. "We view the resource center as a groundbreaking endeavor that is key to developing a strong kindergarten through eighth grade science education program - not only in Kennewick, but in the entire Tri-Cities as well."

"The establishment of the Battelle Science Resource Center is the key for the Kennewick School District to obtain the goals of our five-year, grade K-8, Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform science program," said Kennewick Superintendent Paul Rosier. "One of the most important aspects of the center is combining the materials and staff training for the program in one location."

The Kennewick School District will invest approximately $100,000 during the 2000-2001 school year for the center and will increase the amount to nearly $200,000 later in the five-year program.

The materials are contained in "science kits" and include items such as live organisms, mineral samples, hand lenses, balances, batteries and bulbs.

"The kits include all of the classroom materials and equipment an elementary or middle school teacher needs to conduct lessons that parallel the way scientists and engineers uncover knowledge and solve problems," said Jim McLean, science curriculum specialist for Kennewick schools. There are three types of kits for every grade level - physical, earth and space, and life sciences.

Part of the Battelle funds will be used to purchase, distribute and refurbish the kits, which cost an average of $500 each. Battelle funding also will cover the training necessary to use the kits effectively.

Estes added that he's hopeful the Kennewick center eventually will serve as a regional facility and that the district will make the kits available to teachers and students in neighboring school districts.

Battelle is expected to give more than $500,000 to Mid-Columbia charitable, arts and culture and education organizations this year. It's Battelle's policy to give at least 50 percent of its philanthropic corporate contributions in the Mid-Columbia to education organizations and activities.

Tags: Energy, Batteries

Battelle is the world's largest independent research and development organization. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide. Battelle has managed the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., since the laboratory's inception in 1965.

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