October 2, 2009
The winners of the 2009 BreakThru Mini-Grants at Brookhaven Lab, from left, are Elizabeth Donovan, Community Family Literacy Project; George Waldbauer, Suffolk County Police Athletic League; Delia Gibbs, Long Island Science Center; Ava Carroll, Wyandanch Youth Services We Care After School Program; Sam Aronson, Brookhaven National Laboratory; and David Gordon, Living Through Learning Foundation.
Upton, NY — The U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory awarded five nonprofit organizations with the second set of BreakThru Mini-Grants totaling $25,000 at a ceremony held at the Lab on September 25.
Each winning organization received up to $5,000 and winners were selected based on new or existing programs designed to engage 10- to 15-year-old African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos(as), and/or Native Americans in Suffolk County as they learn about science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in creative, fun ways.
In the second of a two-year pilot program, BreakThru Mini-Grants are funded by Brookhaven Science Associates, which manages Brookhaven Lab, and administered by the Lab's Community Relations Office.
“This program is a concrete way to inspire interest in science, technology, engineering, and math — so important in continuing this country’s leadership in innovation,” said Brookhaven Lab Director Sam Aronson. “We need to make the fullest use of all the people in this country who want to and can participate and eventually lead us in these areas.”
The Community Family Literacy Project, Inc.
The Community Family Literacy Project promotes family literacy in the areas served by the Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library and the William Floyd School District. Led by Elizabeth Donovan, Executive Director, the Community Family Literacy Project’s BreakThru Mini-Grant will be used to purchase 15 Apple iPod Touch devices for its “Anywhere, Anytime Learning: A Mobile Approach” program. Youth in the community, primarily of Hispanic and Latino descent, will learn how to use mobile devices and technology to access, gather, and process information as they also improve science, math, and literacy skills.
The Living Through Learning Foundation
The Living Through Learning Foundation assists children with chronic health conditions by helping them understand, set, and achieve their life goals. Under the leadership of Executive Director David Gordon, the Living Through Learning Foundation’s BreakThru Mini-Grant will help fund the Virtual Learning Pilot Program, which will allow youth with sickle cell anemia at Stony Brook University Medical Center to take virtual field trips to the New York Hall of Science.
Through the use of a state-of-the-art videoconferencing platform, these children in the hospital, typically of African American descent, will experience fun, interactive science experiments and demonstrations occurring at the Hall of Science in real time. In addition to engaging these students to achieve active learning and 21st century skill-building goals, it is also hoped that this pilot will supply data to better understand how technology can be utilized to help minimize social and academic isolation for chronically ill children.
Long Island Science Center
The Long Island Science Center aims to promote the knowledge and love of math, science, and technology. Through the leadership of Executive Director Delia Gibbs, the Long Island Science Center will use its BreakThru Mini-Grant to develop a new Aquatic Living Exhibit and Experiment Station (ALEES), which will be used for ongoing water ecology programs and experiments. Up to 30 Riverhead Middle School children from groups typically underrepresented in STEM fields will participate in an after-school program at the Science Center, where they will explore water ecology issues and then design and construct the Center’s future ALEES exhibit.
Suffolk County Police Athletic League, Inc.
The Suffolk County Police Athletic League (PAL) provides resources and community-based educational and athletic programs to more than 26,000 youth in Suffolk County to prevent juvenile delinquency. Led by Executive Director George Waldbauer, Suffolk County PAL’s BreakThru Mini-Grant will be used to purchase computers for the PAL Computer Learning and Literacy Center in Middle Island. There, many children from groups typically underrepresented in STEM fields will have supervised access to computers and the Internet as they learn basic computer skills and Internet safety, including a focus on safe practices for social networking sites.
Wyandanch Youth Services
Second-time BreakThru Mini-Grant winner Wyandanch Youth Services strives to develop the youth of Wyandanch and prevent delinquency by meeting the social, emotional, physical, and educational needs of children in the community. Managed by Executive Director Dane E. Carroll and supervised by Ava Carroll, Wyandanch Youth Services’ second BreakThru Mini-Grant will continue to fund the We Care After School Program’s weekly “Science Fun Day” at which participants, mostly African American and Hispanic youth, learn to investigate and discover science concepts, conduct experiments, and analyze data. This year, the science lab will also add six new laptop computers for science-related research and other web-based activities for the children.
Also during the ceremony, Wyandanch Youth Services received a certificate of appreciation from Town of Babylon Councilman Antonio Martinez on behalf of Town of Babylon Supervisor Steven Bellone.
The BreakThru Mini-Grants program is administered by Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Community Relations Office and provides funds to stimulate local nonprofit community organizations that can inspire a new generation of youth growing up in an increasingly scientific and technological world. In the course of the two-year pilot program, nine nonprofit organizations have received a total of $50,000 to increase interest and strengthen skills in science, technology, engineering, and math among Suffolk County’s 10- to 15-year-old African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos(as), and/or Native Americans, populations typically under-represented in those career fields.
2009-1013 | Media & Communications Office