Research Organization to Fund New Technology in VA Schools - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Research Organization to Fund New Technology in Central VA Schools

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An international research institute is supporting technology programs in middle schools throughout central Virginia.

Battelle, a global research and development organization, presented school superintendents with a $43,615 award to launch the new iSTEM program from its facility in the University of Virginia Research Park.

The money will train 10 teachers from schools in Albemarle, Greene, Madison and Orange counties, as well as Charlottesville, to use geospatial technology in humanities courses.

"If you could imagine studying the Civil War and every single one of those events had been digitized, students can now ask their map questions and get results they couldn't have gotten 10 years ago or 20 years ago," said lead iSTEM facilitator Chris Bunin.

"We have to train the scientists and engineers and technology leaders of the future. So, we have to invest as a company in that kind of innovative education," said Eric Fingerhut, Battelle's vice president for education and philanthropy.

Teacher training begins this summer at UVA. iSTEM courses will start for students during the 2014-2015 school year.




CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA—Battelle is set to unveil an innovative educational program Monday that will train 10 middle school teachers to use geospatial technology to integrate the humanities with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

The iSTEM Project Award of $43,600 is scheduled to be presented by Battelle's Vice President for Education and Philanthropy Eric Fingerhut to school district officials from Albemarle County, Charlottesville City, Greene County, Madison County, and Orange County Public Schools at Battelle's Charlottesville headquarters at 11 a.m. at 1001 Research Park Blvd, Suite 400.

The 10 teachers selected for the new iSTEM program will work in partnership with the University of Virginia Library's Scholars' Lab, LEARN NC at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and the Virginia Geographic Alliance. This team of teachers will provide best practice models to geospatial curriculum with a strong focus on practical application and student engagement. Battelle also recently distributed $36,000 to seven organizations in the Charlottesville and Albemarle County area as part of its continuing support of science education and workforce development. The donations go toward funding everything from science fairs to computers and student scholarships to teacher grants—all critical parts of the complex goal of supporting education in STEM fields with the intent of building a strong workforce for the future.

Battelle is the world's largest independent research and development organization with offices around the world. It has had offices in Charlottesville since the mid-1990s and currently has about 65 analysts, scientists and engineers providing solutions and services in support of chemical, biological and radiological defense.

"One of Battelle's founding principles is to use science for the benefit of mankind, not only on a global basis, but to do so in the communities where we live and work," said Adrian Felts, Manager of Battelle Charlottesville Operations. "We are proud to support local science and education initiatives in Charlottesville and our surrounding counties and challenge others in the business community to do the same because it really benefits us all in the local tech community by advancing regional, long term economic development."

The funding is for the following programs and projects in 2013:

• The Virginia Piedmont Regional Science Fair, where the fourth annual Battelle Innovation Award will be presented to the most innovative project.
• The Charlottesville Community Foundation to fund a Tech Tour in which students are exposed to technology careers by touring and meeting with local businesses.
• The Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, where 300 high school students from around the state compete.
• Computers4Kids, a non-profit after-school technology mentoring program for disadvantaged youth.
• Albemarle County Schools System CoderDojo Academy, where local students learn computer coding, webpage development and programming skills.
• Charlottesville City Schools STEM initiatives.
• The Central VA chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association is matching Battelle's contribution and will provide grants to local teachers teaching STEM subjects.

About Battelle provides innovative solutions to the world's most pressing needs in National Security, Energy and the Environment and Health and Life Sciences. It conducts $6.2 billion in global R&D annually through contract research, laboratory management and technology commercialization.

Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Battelle oversees 22,000 employees in more than 130 locations worldwide, including seven national laboratories which and a nuclear energy lab in the United Kingdom. Battelle also is one of the nation's leading charitable trusts focusing on societal and economic impact and actively supporting and promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or delaneyk@battelle.org, or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or delaneyk@battelle.org.

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