INL News Release
May 5, 2010

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

Southern Idaho schools receive INL grants for K-12 classrooms

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 $2,000 worth of awards went to teachers in southern 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 were awarded this year to support innovative STEM projects throughout Idaho. Three southern Idaho teachers received grants:

     • T.J. Adams, Vera O'Leary Middle School in Twin Falls, will receive $316 to purchase snap circuits to teach about electricity.
     • Wallace Blacker, Murtaugh Middle School, will receive $1,832 to purchase digital microscopes.
     • Diane Norman, Dietrich Elementary School, will receive $200 to subscribe to an online math website.

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.

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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