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Brookhaven Lab Awards Grants to Community Nonprofits

Brookhaven Science Associates awarded five local nonprofit organizations grants to promote science and math to under-represented members of the community.

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Brookhaven Science Associates, which manages Brookhaven National Laboratory for the U.S. Department of Energy, awarded five Suffolk County, New York 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:
 
The Boys & Girls Club of the Bellport Area (Bellport, NY), which will use its 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 (Bridgehampton, NY), which will use its 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.
 
The Custer Institute and Observatory (Southold, NY), which will use its 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.
 
The William Floyd Community Summit (Mastic, NY), which will use its 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 (Wyandanch, NY), which will use its 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.
 
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.
 

Source: Brookhaven National Laboratory