Space Foundation News

Battelle Grant to Fund New STEM Learning Lab

Written by: developer

Thousands of students will benefit from Battelle’s generosity

A grant from Battelle will inspire the next generation of engineers, scientists, and technology professionals through the creation of a STEM-integrated, standards-based education opportunity at the Space Foundation’s Discovery Center.

Battelle, whose education mission is to inspire and prepare the next generation of STEM leaders to advance industry and the public good, has awarded a grant of $30,000 to create a new hands-on learning lab for students and teachers at the Space Foundation Discovery Center, the Battelle Underwater STEM Learning Lab.  

“For more than 80 years, Battelle has led the way in bringing innovations to the world that have dramatically changed how we do business, conduct research, and live our daily lives,” said Bob Reehoorn, a manager in Battelle’s Infrastructure Protection Business Line. “The designation of the Battelle Underwater STEM Learning Lab speaks to innovations with purpose that will fuel the next generation of STEM innovators and pioneers, and we are so proud to partner with the Space Foundation on it.”

Associated with the Scott Carpenter Space Analog Station exhibit in the Discovery Center, the new lab will supplement the existing learning labs of the Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science on a Sphere®, and the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center featuring the AGI Space Missions Simulation and Mars Robotics Laboratories. These labs are unique in the world and utilized to create standards-based, out of the classroom educational opportunities for students.

The Battelle Underwater STEM Learning Lab will continue the work for which the analog station was originally created. The innovative learning lab will, like its predecessor, highlight for students the relationship between exploring our oceans and exploring space. Students will work in teams operating underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) to accomplish exploration missions that are related to their grade level standards. The students will learn about robotics, electric circuits, tool safety, propulsion, buoyancy and various other STEM-related topics in a fun, hands-on way.

The project will consist of restoring the Scott Carpenter Station, constructing a water tank enclosure around the Station, and developing the learning lab curriculum that highlights the relationship between exploring our oceans and exploring space. In addition to the STEM learning opportunity for teachers and students, the Battelle Underwater STEM Learning Lab will also be a centerpiece display in the Discovery Center, educating and inspiring the thousands of monthly public visitors.

“In this new, unique STEM learning lab, students and teachers will be provided with cutting-edge tools and curriculum to revitalize their passion for mathematics and science,” said Space Foundation Senior Director – Education, Bryan DeBates.  “Students will see how experimentation and observation lead to success and how the concepts they learn produce tangible results. Where too often students only learn concepts from lectures and textbooks, here students will be able to fully engage in the scientific and innovative process.”

The Battelle Underwater STEM Learning Lab is expected to open in 2017.

For more information on supporting STEM education programs, please call the Philanthropy department at 719-576-8000 or email [email protected].

Pictured: Space Foundation Chief Operating Officer Shelli Brunswick accepts the Battelle check from Bob Reehoorn.

This article is part of Space Watch: April 2016 (Volume: 15, Issue: 4).