Pleasanton Weekly

News - June 10, 2011

Lab gifts benefit Pleasanton science students

$10,000 grant allows high schools to use instrumentation for more accuracy

by Jeb Bing

Through a $10,000 gift from Lawrence Livermore National Security, the entity that manages the Livermore Laboratory, students in Pleasanton high schools are using upgraded equipment in their science labs to better assist them in obtaining accurate data, completing projects on time and meeting science curriculum goals.

A portion of the LLNS gift -- $5,000 -- was presented to Foothill High School's science department to acquire additional sets of probe ware and upgraded instrumentation in the school's science labs.

Up to now, science teachers were required to share one set of probes among multiple classrooms, which often took time and led to data inaccuracies.

The remaining $5,000 was presented to Amador Valley High School.

"Additional equipment allows us to use instrumentation, instead of indicators, in many labs," explained Craig Kelso, a science teacher at Foothill whose biology classes are benefiting directly from the Lab's gift. "This will improve the data we evaluate from qualitative to quantitative data and allow us to perform mathematical analysis of the data."

"We believe it is important for you to have the necessary equipment for your research," Lab representative Cindy McAneney told Kelso and his students during a visit to his freshmen/sophomore biology class.

Watching as the new equipment was being used with experiments on photosynthesis, she added, "It is a fantastic opportunity for me to represent LLNS in presenting you with this gift."

She said LLNS provides funds to nonprofit organizations dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

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