BNL Home

By Joe Gettlershare:

Brookhaven Science Associates Awards Grants to Five Suffolk County Nonprofit Organizations

Grants to Fund Organizations' Programs in Science, Math, and Technology

Representatives from five local nonprofit groups gathered at Brookhaven National Laboratory on October 1 to receive the first-ever BreakThru Mini-Grants. The Mini-Grants were funded by Brookhaven Science Associates and managed by the Lab's Community Relations Office. Winners received awards of up to $5,000 and 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."

2008 Mini Grant Recipients

Click on the image to download a high-resolution version. Representatives of the organizations winning a 2008 BreakThru Mini-Grant, with Lab Director Sam Aronson: (from left) Stephen Long of the Children's Museum of the East End, Steven Orlando of the Custer Institute and Observatory, Sam Aronson, Ray Hopp of the William Floyd Community Summit, Tracie Van Dina of the Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area, and Ava Carroll of Wyandanch Youth Services. (Click on the image to download a high-resolution version.)

The Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area was the first organization to receive a BreakThru Mini-Grant. This club 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.

The Children's Museum of the East End, in Bridgehampton, was awarded a BreakThru Mini-Grant for a hands-on math exhibit titled, "Fun, 2, 3, 4: All About a Number of Things." The Children's Museum 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 the math exhibit to improve math skills and lessen math anxiety among diverse youth, including those who live in Spanish-speaking households.

Southold's Custer Institute and Observatory received a BreakThru Mini-Grant to extend the "Custer Education Through Research Program." 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 provide research opportunities for children in low-income areas while fostering` relationships with other organizations already working with populations that are under-represented in the field of astronomy. The inclusive program will allow students from remote locations across Suffolk County to do astronomical research through the institute via the Internet.

The William Floyd Community Summit, located in Mastic, was awarded a BreakThru Mini-Grant to support its "Advancing Environmental Stewardship Among Students" program. 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 to 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 received a BreakThru Mini Grant to strengthen its daily "We Care After-School Program." 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 introduce a weekly science "fun day" at which participants, mostly African-American and Hispanic youth, will focus on science concepts and experiments.

2008-942  |  INT/EXT  |  Newsroom