Dear Bio-Soft readers:
As some of you may recall I was responsible for organizing and running
the BIOSCI/bionet newsgroups for over ten years on a non-profit basis.
I resisted using this system for personal profit during this time (while
others made fortunes from the Internet), but I finally have to ask you a
favor. This favor, however, is on the behalf of others.
This message is intended for readers in the U.S.A. My apologies to
readers in other countries who can skip this message (unless they are
curious about the state of high school science education in the U.S. I
am sure that some of you could tell similar or even sorrier stories.).
My daughter started high school this past fall, and I subsequently
received a letter from the chairman of our local high school science
department regarding their budget. The letter detailed how the
department had only about $4 per student per year to buy scientific
supplies. The teachers paid for the mailing of the letter to the
parents out of their own pockets. Needless to say, many parents, myself
included, donated money to help out. I have had three follow-on
meetings with the dept. chairman and principal to see how else we might
be able to improve the quality of science education at the school.
I am staggered by the fact that school systems, despite all of the
political and media attention given lately to education, are still
struggling with budgetary problems in the midst of one of the greatest
economic booms in history. Our local high school district just passed a
large school bond measure with the onerously required 2/3's majority
**after three attempts** but all of this money is targeted for building
repairs (there are some very old facilities in the district that have
been nursed along for years with minimal upkeep). I'm also serving on a
citizen oversight committee on the disbursement of funds from this
initiative. The deferred maintenance issues and, of course, the long
running battles over paying teachers decent wages mean that other areas
of budgetary need continue to go wanting.
Among the items that the teachers need are microscopes, digital
balances, analytical balances, hot plates, scientific calculators, lab
aprons, goggles, and a sterilizer. Often
pharmaceutical/biotech/chemical companies have old or surplus equipment
that may still be usable by schools. If you know of any, please contact
me at hsscience at eosbiotech.com (a special address I set up for this
purpose). However, they also need some larger items like a couple of
fume hoods for the chemistry labs and money to cover the salary of a
part time lab assistant/stock room manager which might necessitate
applying for some kind of grant. I would also appreciate any tips on
possible funding sources to pursue.
Director, Information Systems
Eos Biotechnology, Inc.