PSC Receives Heinz Grant for Science Education

PITTSBURGH, February 16, 2007 — The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC) has received $150,000 from the Heinz Endowments Education program to help prepare area high-school science teachers to use modeling and simulation tools in the classroom. The program, Computation and Science for Teachers (CAST), will use computational tools, such as researchers use to investigate many problems in science and engineering, to help students better understand scientific concepts.

The program, says Cheryl Begandy of PSC, who coordinates CAST, aims to “raise awareness of the need to encourage students to consider careers in science and technology and to promote participation of students in science and technology programs.”

CAST began in 2006 with funding from the Grable Foundation and the Frick Teachers Alumnae Fund of the Buhl Foundation to sponsor a summer workshop for high school science teachers. The Heinz grant, says Begandy, will continue the program for the teachers through this school year, with the possibility of an advanced workshop this summer. She also expects to bring in a second set of teachers for the introductory workshop this summer, with follow-up through next school year. The Heinz grant will also support a thorough program evaluation.

“An important part of the Heinz grant,” adds Begandy, “is that it enables us to develop a plan to build long-term capacity in the school districts for high-school science education based on CAST.”

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About the Heinz Endowments:
The Heinz Endowments support efforts to make southwestern Pennsylvania a premier place to live and work, a center of learning and educational excellence, and a home to diversity and inclusion. Committed to helping its region thrive as a whole community - economically, ecologically, educationally and culturally - the foundation works within Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the nation to develop solutions to challenges that are national and even international in scope. One of the largest and most innovative independent philanthropic foundations in the country, the Endowments awarded more than $57 million in grants in 2005.

About PSC:
The Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center is a joint effort of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh together with Westinghouse Electric Company. Established in 1986, PSC is supported by several federal agencies, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and private industry, and is a partner in the National Science Foundation TeraGrid program.