February 4, 2005
It's Official - SciTrek Legacy To Live On In UniversityScience/Mathematics Education Program
ATLANTA. - February 4, 2005 - After more than four months of
discussions and negotiations, SciTrek's board of directors has
officially announced approval of an agreement to make Valdosta
State University the new home for the science education and
training program. Under the agreement, the board will transfer
SciTrek's name, 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) charity status designation and all
intellectual property associated with its science education
?This is a great day for students and teachers in Georgia,? said Scott Coleman, co-chair of the SciTrek board and former executive director of the museum. ?Valdosta State will use SciTrek's best intellectual assets to create a dynamic resource that will impact science education throughout the state for years to come.?
Coleman also expressed appreciation for the work of VSU President Ronald M. Zaccari and Brian Gerber, Ph.D., Associate Dean of the College of Education. ?The board and I could not have made this happen without the creative vision and diligent work of these two men. They were committed to a successful outcome,? said Coleman.
?The overwhelming support from the education community has also been appreciated throughout the transfer process,? said Alan Neely, co-chair of the SciTrek board. ?We applaud the hard work and support of SciTrek's volunteers and corporate donors in the effort to give SciTrek new life at VSU.?
Under the transfer agreement, VSU will receive all intellectual property related to the business models for creating:
?A technology charter school
?The Center of Innovation ( to teach middle school and high school students technical and science skills that can be used to get jobs if they decide not to pursue college degrees)
?The Teacher Resource Center (for training science educators from throughout the state how to teach inquiry-based science lessons and support the Georgia Performance Standards; a center to teach children hands on ?process? oriented science skills or ?doing vs. viewing?)
?The Knowledge Pavilions (topical learning centers tied to education instruction techniques and the Georgia Performance Standards).
VSU also will be awarded all of SciTrek's computers, a grant of $150,000 to continue the build-out of the Communications Knowledge Pavilion, support to start outfitting two mobile science education labs and the materials from the Edison exhibit (items on permanent loan from the Edison Foundation containing some of Thomas Edison's possessions such as a prototype phonograph, kinetoscope (motion picture viewer) and early fluoroscope (x-ray machine).
?Bringing part of SciTrek from Atlanta to South Georgia links our great state's efforts to provide the best in science education for all Georgians. Valdosta State University deeply appreciates the support of the SciTrek Board and the resources to help prepare VSU students for their science and math teaching careers,? said VSU's Zaccari. ?The legacy of SciTrek will live at Valdosta State University and showcase the marvels of science to the young people in our 41 county service region?from the Alabama state line to the Atlantic Ocean.?
Assistant Dean Gerber sees the transfer as an opportunity to innovate new teaching ideas.
?The College of Education at VSU is recognized nationally for technology integration, collaboration with partners, and an established teacher professional development model in science education. Combining these resources, among others on campus and in the community, with SciTrek will provide a launching pad for innovations and models for enhanced student achievement in science throughout the region, state, and nation,? he said.
This move to VSU culminates a series of important changes that have occurred in recent weeks in the next chapter of life for SciTrek:
?Transfer of the Challenger Learning Center to Fernbank Science Center thanks to a generous $250,000 grant from Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. to honor the late CNN correspondent John Holliman.
?SciTrek's physical assets were sold at public auction in January, bringing in nearly $180,000.
With the above proceeds, the SciTrek board also made grants to:
?Tech High Charter School for the continuance of their operations including the formation of a partnership with a corporate partner for a potential North Campus. -- $75,000
?Tech High's board of trustees to establish the ?SciTrek/Tech High Science & Mathematics Scholarship Fund.? Student eligibility will be statewide; however 50% of the funds would be earmarked for inner city/metro Atlanta school children including a 25% set aside for Tech High graduates. All eligible recipients must attend a college or university within the state of Georgia.-- $140,000
?Set up a compensation fund for 21 former SciTrek employees in good standing who were left without jobs on short notice as a result of the August 2004 suspension of operations -- $53,000