INL News Release
February 24, 2014

Sarah Robertson, 208-526-0490,
Misty Benjamin, 208-351-9900,

Jerome, Idaho Falls schools awarded classroom makeover grants; 23 mini grants also awarded

IDAHO FALLS – Skyline High School in Idaho Falls and Jerome Middle School each get a classroom makeover thanks to Idaho National Laboratory. Skyline will receive $10,000 and Jerome will receive $9,970 in Extreme Classroom Makeover Grants from INL.

The mini grant and Extreme Classroom Makeover grant are part of INL's effort to boost STEM education in Idaho. Funding comes from Battelle Energy Alliance, a nonprofit organization that operates the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Skyline High School plans to use the money to purchase modern science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) lab equipment for physics, energy and engineering classes. The new equipment will be integrated with computers, which will allow the students to record more accurate and precise data, as well as to document their findings in technical laboratory documents.

Students at Jerome Middle School will benefit from a "Reading Jungle" literacy enhancement project complete with exotic plants such as miniature pink pineapple plants, vanilla vines, Venus fly traps and carnivorous pitcher plants. The students will learn valuable STEM-based skills such as making scientific observations and recording data as they interact with plants and animals in the classroom.

"Getting students excited about STEM is critical to the future of INL, Idaho and the nation as a whole," said Anne Seifert, INL's manager of K-12 education. "Today's students are tomorrow's scientists, engineers and technicians. Grants like these provide our teachers with the tools they need to educate, prepare and engage students and give them hands-on experience in STEM subjects."

INL also awarded several mini grants to teachers to bolster STEM education in private and public schools throughout the state. These grants, worth up to $1,000, can be used to purchase equipment and materials for classrooms.

This year's mini grant recipients are:

Idaho Falls/eastern Idaho
Sheila Wood of Arco Elementary received $466.15 to purchase GPS units to use during field trips to Craters of the Moon National Monument.

Sheila Foster of Fort Hall Elementary received $755 to purchase Lego and other building toys to design buildings for a math class.

Dale Walker of Bonneville High School in Idaho Falls received $925.27 to purchase a microscope, which can take high-resolution pictures of cells.

Jana Wixom of Compass Academy in Idaho Falls received $975.95 to purchase Emission spectra equipment for use in chemistry experiments.

Gary Maples of Rigby Middle School received $893.99 to purchase a digital camera, lens kit and a portable 2-D-3-D document camera with a microscope adapter.

Teresa Call of Riverview Elementary in Shelley received $979.98 to purchase two iPads.

Chris Brown of Parker-Egin Elementary in St. Anthony received $1,000 to purchase science equipment for hands-on projects.

Rondee Owens of Parker-Egin Elementary in St. Anthony received $1,000 to purchase scales, screens, tools for digging and other miscellaneous supplies for an archaeological dig.

Stephanie Forbush of Henry's Fork Elementary in St. Anthony received $945 to purchase tablet computers for use in her classroom.

Boise/Treasure Valley
Anne Wilson of Silver Sage Elementary in Boise received $682.70 to purchase building bricks for students to build and design projects.

David Shubert of Rolling Hills Public Charter in Boise received $998 to purchase a video microscope and projector.

Merrianne Cavazos of Seven Oaks Elementary in Eagle received $919.95 to purchase materials for use in Family Engineering Nights.

Kellie Taylor of Galileo STEM Academy in Eagle received $1,000 to fund a trip to a conference where she and another teacher will present on integrating robotics into curriculum.

Lynnea Shafter of Barbara Morgan STEM Academy in Meridian received $978 to purchase probeware for use in experiments.

Coeur d'Alene/north Idaho
Pamela Lemmon Wilson of Challis Elementary received $905 to purchase 10 strapless heart rate monitors.

Troy Wassink of Ramsey Magnet School in Coeur d'Alene received $989.90 to purchase GPS receivers.

Deidra Little of Marsing Middle School received $989.50 to purchase a digital video camera with a scope kit and microscope eyepiece adapter.

Megan Piephoff of Post Falls High School received $745.45 to purchase material to make smartphone microscope stands.

Katie Bauer of Wallace Junior-Senior High School received $945 to purchase five Google Nexus tablets.

Sarah Walters of Salmon River Junior-Senior High School in Riggins received $945.65 to purchase digital microscopes and scales.

Twin Falls/Magic Valley
Kermit Tate of Rimrock Junior-Senior High School in Bruneau received $939 to purchase sensors for use in physics classes.

Angela Heiner of Burley High School received $998.54 to purchase supplies for students to use in creating 3-D scaled models of biomes.

Brett Welch of Kimberly High School received $952.75 to purchase a circuit board, projectile launcher and other supplies for use in physics and algebra classes.

Since 2006, Battelle has committed more than $3.2 million to support K-12 STEM education in Idaho.

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance.

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