INL News Release
May 5, 2010

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

INL awards $10,000 classroom makeover grant to Sho-Ban H.S.
Another $26,000 in mini grants will go to 17 eastern, southeastern Idaho schools

IDAHO FALLS — Shoshone Bannock High School in Fort Hall will receive a $10,000 classroom makeover thanks to a grant from Idaho National Laboratory. The lab also 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.

INL awarded two Extreme Classroom Makeover grants; the other went to Washington Elementary School in Caldwell. The $10,000 awards support classroom resources, materials and laboratory equipment used to integrate STEM concepts across all disciplines.

Additionally, 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. Seventeen grants totaling more than $26,000 went to eastern Idaho teachers stretching from Challis to Pocatello.

The following is a list of 2010 Mini Grant recipients in eastern and southeastern Idaho:
     • Rick Alm, Bonneville High School in Idaho Falls, will receive $2,000 to purchase materials and equipment to conduct experiments on developing amphibian embryos.
     • Erin Becker, Edgemont Elementary School in Idaho Falls, $485 to purchase materials for a fetal pig dissection project.
     • John Berg, Jefferson Elementary School in Rigby, will receive $2,000 for laptops.
     • Ron Call, Madison High School in Rexburg, will receive $2,000 to purchase sensors that will allow them to collect data and design biology, astronomy and other experiments.
     • Rebecca Dall, Ammon Elementary School, will receive $1,949 for pulleys, magnets, binoculars, a DNA model and other items to establish science resource center.
     • Gail Dutton, Hawthorne Middle School in Pocatello, will receive $1,995 to purchase equipment to build water-propelled rockets.
     • Michelle Guzman, Shoshone Bannock Junior High School in Fort Hall, will receive $1,993 to purchase rock and mineral test kits, a model of the human torso, a model solar system and other items.
     • Judy Herbst, Iona Elementary, will receive $626 to purchase materials to conduct experiments on sound and using magnets to produce an electrical current.
     • Erin Johnson, Aberdeen Middle School, will receive $1,945 to purchase physics, astronomy and robotics equipment.
     • Laron Johnson, Rigby Junior High School, will receive $1,974 to purchase data collection systems to conduct water or soil studies in the field.
     • Barbara Nelson, Idaho Falls High School, will receive $1,749 to purchase a gas chromotograph for an organic chemistry class.
     • Elissa Novy, Irving Middle School in Pocatello, will receive $796 to purchase LEGO robotics sets and other related materials.
     • Eric Rude, Pocatello High School, will receive $1,996 to purchase forensic science equipment that will allow students to investigate art forgery, assay environmental toxins and conduct experiments.
     • Connie Surerus, Roberts Elementary School, will receive $2,000 for a classroom response system to gauge student understanding of math and science lessons.
     • Pam Lemmon Wilson, Challis Elementary School, will receive $756 to purchase materials to study static electricity, magnetic fields and other electricity-related lessons.
     • Michael Winston, Hobbs Middle School in Shelley, will receive $1,975 to purchase an ethanol fuel cell, thermocouple thermometers and other items for lessons on energy and methods for generating it.
     • Vince Wray, Shelley High School, will receive $1,958 to purchase materials to teach students about electric motors and circuits so they can build a working electric vehicle.

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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