October 6, 2008
Upton, NY — Brookhaven Science Associates, which manages Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, awarded five Suffolk County nonprofit organizations with BreakThru Mini-Grants at a ceremony held at Brookhaven Lab on October 1.
Each BreakThru Mini-Grant winner received an award of up to $5,000, and winners were selected based on new or existing programs designed to engage 10- to 15-year-old females, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos(as), and/or Native Americans as they learn about science and math in creative, fun ways.
“Much of the current economy is built on basic scientific research discoveries of the past 100 years,” said Brookhaven Lab Director Sam Aronson, as he addressed the winners. “We can’t be sure where the next generation of scientists will come from, but we hope that the BreakThru Mini-Grants will help increase the pool.”
The five winning organizations are:
Tracie Van Dina (left), Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area, accepts a BreakThru Mini-Grant from Sam Aronson, Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory. (Click image to download hi-res version.)
The Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area is dedicated to ensuring its community’s disadvantaged youth with greater access to quality programs and services that will enhance their lives and shape their futures. Led by Executive Director Tracie Van Dina, the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area will use its BreakThru Mini-Grant to fund its “Operation Connect” program. The club will purchase desktop computers that will be used to help children better understand how computers work while preparing them for today’s high-tech world.
Sam Aronson (right), Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory, presents a BreakThru Mini-Grant to Stephen Long, Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of the East End. (Click image to download hi-res version.)
The Children’s Museum of the East End strives to provide a stimulating and dynamic environment where children and parents learn about their community and culture through natural sciences, history, and the arts. Through the leadership of Executive Director Stephen Long, the museum will use its BreakThru Mini-Grant for a hands-on math exhibit, “Fun, 2, 3, 4: All About a Number of Things.” The exhibit has been designed to improve math skills and lessen math anxiety among diverse youth, including those who live in Spanish-speaking households.
On behalf of the Custer Institute and Observatory, Research Committee member Steven Orlando (left) accepts a BreakThru MiniGrant from Sam Aronson, Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory. (Click image to download hi-res version.)
The Custer Institute and Observatory works to advance astronomy by providing educational and research programs. Under the direction of Donna McCormick, President, the institute will use its Mini-Grant to extend the “Custer Education Through Research Program,” to children in low-income areas and foster relationships with other organizations already working with populations that are under-represented in the field of astronomy. This inclusive program will allow students from remote locations across Suffolk County to do astronomical research through the institute via the Internet.
Ray Hopp (left), Chair of the William Floyd Community Summit’s Youth Services Committee, receives a BreakThru Mini-Grant from Sam Aronson, Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory. (Click image to download hi-res version.)
The William Floyd Community Summit focuses on improving the quality of life for residents of Mastic, Mastic Beach, Moriches, and Shirley through a variety of committees including the Youth Services Committee. Under the leadership of Elizabeth Wahl, Summit President, and Ray Hopp, Chair of the Youth Services Committee, this organization will use its BreakThru Mini-Grant for its “Advancing Environmental Stewardship Among Students” program. This program will encourage diverse middle-school students to participate in experimental field research that will benefit open-space resources in the community. These students will also have an opportunity to visit Brookhaven Lab and interact with environmental scientists there.
Wyandanch Youth Services’ Grant Writer and “We Care After-School Program” Instructor Ava Carroll (left) accepts a BreakThru Mini-Grant from Sam Aronson, Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory. (Click image to download hi-res version.)
Wyandanch Youth Services aims to prevent youth delinquency by meeting the social, emotional, physical, and educational needs of children in the community. Managed by Dane E. Carroll, Executive Director, Wyandanch Youth Services will use its BreakThru Mini-Grant to strengthen its daily “We Care After-School Program” by introducing a weekly science “fun day” at which participants, mostly African-American and Hispanic youth, will focus on science concepts and experiments.
About BreakThru Mini-Grants 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 growing up in an increasingly scientific and technological world. In its first year, the program has contributed to five Suffolk County nonprofit organizations that will increase interest and strengthen skills in science, technology, engineering, and math among 10- to 15-year-old females, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos(as), and/or Native Americans, populations typically under-represented in those career fields.
2008-844 | Media & Communications Office