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Merced College Receives Rural Education Grant
From Washington Mutual Bank

October 15, 2002

The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Science and Technology Education Program (STEP) in collaboration with the Edward Teller Education Center (ETEC) and Merced College received grant funding in the amount of $50,000 from Washington Mutual Bank to support science education in rural communities. The grant is the result of the participation of these parties in the Rural Education Summit sponsored by California Senator Dick Monteith and Assemblyman Dennis Cardoza in October 2001.

During a ceremony held at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Tuesday, Oct. 15th, Luis Sanchez of Washington Mutual Bank presented the $50,000 check to Dr. Edward Teller, a founder of the lab.

The 94-year-old physicist, who was a member of the Manhattan Project team that conceived of and assembled the atomic bomb, spoke briefly of the mission of Teller Center, which is to enhance the quality of K-14 education in science and technology by providing professional development programs for teachers and enrichment programs for students.

Specifically, the opportunities will be targeted to align and support the California subject matter standards and the teacher’s needs as identified by teachers, school districts, and county offices of education.

Also participating in the ceremony were Senator Dick Monteith, Dr. Benjamin T. Duran, President of Merced College, and Mike Cuchna, Dean of Instruction at Merced College, all of whom were pivotal in bringing LLNL and Washington Mutual Bank together.

The Teller Center will use the grant funds to award scholarships to teachers from rural schools to attend professional development activities, bring teacher training programs to rural communities, and conduct focus groups to ascertain the needs of rural teachers and schools.

Duran said “Because of the collaboration between Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Washington Mutual Bank, Merced College will be able to provide opportunities for teachers from rural schools to receive professional training from prominent scientists at this world-renowned and prestigious facility.”
“We are grateful for the gift provided by Washington Mutual Bank,” he added.

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