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Saxonburg-Area Foundation Awards Juniata $125,000 Grant for Science Camp

(Posted February 16, 2009)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College has received a $125,510 grant from the II-VI Foundation to develop and start a weeklong science summer camp targeted toward 7th grade students from across Pennsylvania and New Jersey, who would come to Juniata for five days and immerse themselves in lessons in chemistry, physics, biology and environmental science.

The camps are specifically designed for students emerging from 7th grade because national research projects have shown that students in the United States lose interest and competitiveness in mathematics and science during middle school or junior high school.

"The II-VI Foundation is making an investment in young scientists by helping us create a camp experience."
Diane Nutbrown, assistant professor of chemistry, director of Science in Motion

"The II-VI Foundation is making an investment in young scientists by helping us create a camp experience," says Diane Nutbrown, assistant professor of chemistry and director of Science in Motion. "

The grant was created and awarded by the II-VI Foundation, a newly established, private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to funding enterprises that emphasize science education. The foundation shares its name and its chairman with II-VI Incorporated, a Saxonburg, Pa.-based company that specializes in synthetic crystal materials growth, optics fabrication and electronic component manufacture for use in a variety of industries.

The foundation was created in April 2007 by Carl J. Johnson, chairman of II-VI Incorporated, and his wife, Margot, with the mission to "encourage and enable students to pursue a career in science, engineering and mathematics, particularly in the communities surrounding the company's facilities."

Johnson is a founder of II-VI Incorporated, which commenced operations in 1971, and has served as the company's chairman of the board since 1985.

Juniata will create an innovative five-day summer camp experience for 100 seventh graders over two separate camps. Campers will experience hands-on labs in chemistry, physics, biology and environmental science, based on the curriculum of Science in Motion, Juniata's groundbreaking science education outreach program, which uses mobile educators to bring advanced laboratory experiments and high-value scientific instruments to high school and junior high school classrooms.

The statewide Science in Motion program now serves more than 200 school districts across Pennsylvania. Although Juniata created the program in 1987, the project has expanded to 11 other colleges and universities throughout the state.

"Bringing talented young science students on campus will be an effective recruiting tool," says Thomas R. Kepple, president of Juniata. "Juniata will use the Science in Motion network to recruit campers and also use our status as the state finals site for the Science Olympiad to reach out to students beyond central Pennsylvania."

In addition, the Foundation's grant will enable 10 percent of the available openings to be filled by students from four schools located near the company's corporate headquarters.

Labs and activities for the campers will be created and prepared by a team of five Science in Motion educators from Juniata College and five recent science education graduates from one of the Science in Motion consortium institutions. The five science education graduates also will live on campus and act as residential supervisors for the campers. We are looking for students who have already completed their student teaching," Nutbrown explains. "It really makes a difference to have classroom experience."




Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.