$4.1 million from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development

Pennslyvania Gov. Mark Schweiker announced on May 23 that more than $4.1 million will fund 78 “Stay, Invent the Future” challenge grant projects throughout the state. The program is designed to show Pennsylvania youth what job opportunities exist within the state so they don’t feel compelled to leave, and many school districts were grant recipients. Overall, the state is designating $12 million over two years to reverse the out-migration of Pennsylvania’s young people by showcasing the state’s positive attributes. St. Mary’s Area School District is using its $50,000 grant to create a web design program for high school students in cooperation with area businesses, and the Greenville Area School District will use its $6,500 grant to demonstrate how new technologies are being implemented in local businesses.


$3 million in scholarships and prizes from Intel Corp.

More than 500 high school students from around the world received more than $3 million in scholarships and prizes at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Students representing 39 countries entered their rockets, robots, and ideas for advancements in medicine in Intel’s international science competition, held May 17 in Louisville, Ky. Participants “exemplify what our countries and businesses need in tomorrow’s work force: students who excel in math and science,” said Intel chief executive Craig Barrett. The top prize went to 17-year-old Alexander Mittal of Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Conn., for his computer science project, “Nanoconstruction with Self-Assembling DNA-PNA Complexes.” The project has the potential to change the way computer chips are developed, resulting in smaller, faster, and cheaper electronic devices.


$135,000 in equipment and training from the SMARTer Kids Foundation

Nine schools from across Canada and the United States will receive free classroom technology, training, and the opportunity to connect with peers while participating in the 2002-2004 Connections program from the SMARTer Kids Foundation, the philanthropic arm of SMART Technologies Inc. of Canada. Over the next two years, students from all nine schools will collaborate on projects and communicate with each other across distances. The Connections program will follow students through grades five and six, culminating with student representatives and their teachers meeting for a week of fun and learning in Calgary in May 2004. All schools participating in the Connections program will receive at least one SMART Board 580 interactive whiteboard, a Floor Stand 570, and an NEC VT440 projector. Each Connections package is valued at approximately $15,000 per participating school.


$40,000 from the Verizon Foundation

A character education program for teachers and parents in New York state has been awarded a $40,000 grant from Verizon Foundation. The money will go to a Buffalo-based nonprofit organization called EPIC Inc., which stands for Every Person Influences Children. The grant will enable EPIC to purchase a videoconferencing unit so the group can hold its “Parent-Link” training programs via teleconference from its National Center for Parenting and Character Education in Buffalo. Verizon Foundation supports programs that create innovative eSolutions, help bridge the digital divide, foster basic and computer literacy, and create a skilled work force. The foundation promotes partnerships in technology with organizations serving the needs of diverse communities, people with disabilities, and the economically and socially disadvantaged.


$30,000 from National Semiconductor

Several teachers from two Texas school districts received $30,000 through a National Semiconductor Corp. grant program called “Innovative Idea Grants,” which recognizes teachers for the creative ways they use the internet in the classroom. The money will be used to buy whatever the teachers need to implement their vision, whether it’s hardware, software, or peripherals such as scanners, printers, and digital cameras. Teachers from the Arlington Independent School District plan to use the internet for research, videoconferencing with musicians and scientists, and documenting field trips with video cameras. The Mansfield Independent School District will expose kindergarteners to web page design and have high school students build biography web pages. Since 1998, National Semiconductor has donated more than $1.5 million to teachers in Texas, California, and Maine.