INL News Release 
May 5, 2010

Kortny Rolston, 208-526-0962,
Misty Benjamin, 208-526-5940,

North and central Idaho schools receive INL grants for K-12 projects

IDAHO FALLS — Idaho National Laboratory has awarded approximately $60,000 in grants to teachers across the state to improve science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education in grades K-12. More than $17,500 worth of awards went to teachers in north and central Idaho this year.

The lab's Mini Grant program provides teachers up to $2,000 per proposal for classroom equipment, materials and professional development projects.  Thirty-nine grants have been awarded this year to support innovative STEM projects throughout Idaho. Several went to central and north Idaho teachers.

INL also awarded two Extreme Classroom Makeover grants to Shoshone Bannock High School in Fort Hall and Washington Elementary School in Caldwell. The $10,000 awards support classroom instructional resources, materials and laboratory equipment used to integrate STEM concepts across all disciplines.

Grant applications are evaluated by a panel of judges based on specific criteria. Teachers are required to provide information on how learning objectives and curriculum concepts will be enhanced and how the project will bolster student interest and achievement.

The following is a list of the 2010 Mini Grant recipients in central and north Idaho:

     • Mike Brocke, Kamiah High School, will receive $1,077 to purchase graphing calculators for students to explore problems using graphical, numeric and symbolic strategies.
     • Jeremy Feucht, Jenifer High School in Lewiston, $1,990 to purchase LEGO kits for students to design, build and program motorized robots.
     • Salvatore Lorenzen, Post Falls High School, will receive $1,997 to purchase equipment to allow students to design, analyze, fabricate and test 3-D models.
     • Jodi Mink, Cambridge Middle School, will receive $954 to attend a workshop to learn how to maximize use of Vernier LabQuest equipment in the classroom.
     • Sue Poland, Cambridge Middle School, will receive $1,900 to replace microscopes in the school's labs to allow students to do more hands-on experiments.
     • Kellie Rhodes, Timberlake High School in Spirit Lake, will receive $1,700 for equipment for a "Survey of Science" class focused on hands-on, real-life application labs.
     • Gerald Richardson, Prairie High School in Cottonwood, will receive $1,980 for design and engineering kits for students to construct and demonstrate systems and models.
     • Dan Richards, Meadows Valley School in New Meadows, will receive $2,000 to purchase probeware and software to allow students to collect real-time data, conduct experiments and test hypotheses on carbon dioxide emissions.
     • Robert Salisbury, Kamiah High School, will receive $1,985 for a "Science of Structures" project where students will learn engineering principles, computer design and modeling, and applied physics.
     • Crystal Silvers, Ramsey Elementary School in Coeur d'Alene will receive $1,969 to purchase junior First LEGO kits for students to build, sample and analyze transportation projects in the school's Club Think! STEM enrichment class.

Funding for INL's Mini Grant program comes from Battelle Energy Alliance, a nonprofit organization that operates the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

In 2009, INL contributed a total of $473,000 to local and regional K-12 programs that promote STEM education and encourage students to pursue careers in these areas. Over the past four years, INL's Education Programs office has contributed nearly $1.7 million to enhance STEM education. That includes 166 grants totaling more than $330,000.

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of DOE's strategic goal areas: energy, national security, science and environment.  It also is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development.

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