At the May 21st Board meeting, RCRV gave away $10,000 through its Charitable Grant Program. Four worthy recipients were selected by an evaluation committee of RCRV members chaired by Dave Knuth. Five applications were received for this year’s grant program, with requests totaling over $22,000. The 2014 program focus was on organizations that address Inspiring Tomorrow's STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Professionals. The purpose of the RCRV Charitable Grant Program is to allow RCRV and its members to recognize and reward deserving nonprofit organizations in support of the RCRV mission.

 

Indian Creek Nature Center

This organization intends to create an Outdoor Living Wetland Laboratory. This 2/3 acre wetland will allow students to study and experience for themselves the critical role wetlands play in water cycles and life cylces. The Nature Center partners with the Cedar Rapids Community School District and other Eastern Iowa school districts to provide hands-on, in-thefield learning opportunities. These naturalist-led, science-based interactions complement the learning objectives and science curriculum set by the school districts. School children will learn among other things water cycles, and how to measure, predict and improve water quality. The Outdoor Living Wetland Laboratory is planned to be part of the Nature Center’s Amazing Space education center. The Indian Creek Nature Center application was sponsored by Phil White. The Grant Request was for $10,000 to be used in conjunction with other funds to purchase the $17,000 liner needed to the wetland base. The Indian Creek Nature Center was awarded $1000 toward their purchase of the liner.

Linn-Mar Community School System

Linn-Mar is starting the process of implementing Project Lead the Way’s Gateway to Technology program at Excelsior and Oak Ridge middle schools. There are two foundational units for Project Lead the Way Gateway: Design & Modeling and Automation & Robotics. Implementation of Gateway to Technology will provide the foundational concepts which align with the PLTW High School courses. It will provide the opportunity for middle school students to increase their understanding of STEM content and related careers. Program implementation aligns with other experiences already in existence at the middle school level and career exploration. Funding from the grant will provide an additional VEX Project Lead the Way Gateway Robotic Kit for each middle school. Each kit will allow for a class of 30 students to work through the Automation and Robotics unit at one time at each building. Linn-Mar Community School grant request was sponsored by Jim Green. The grant request was for $2100. LinnMar Community Schools were awarded $2100 for their purchase of two robotic kits.

Cedar Amateur Astronomers, Inc.

Their grant request is for a Lessons in Light interactive learning station which will feature hands-on observation of gas discharge tubes using spectrometers which allow visual and numerical analysis of each tube. Lessons in Light will include a spectroscopic camera system and software to provide a state of the art educational tool. This exhibit will illustrate the use of tools to disperse light according to wavelength allowing the study of intensity, absorption and emission characteristics of standard sources and many everyday light sources creating additional interest and inspiration. Funds from RCRV will be used to purchase the parts and software to make the learning station. Anticipated use could be up to 2000 youth annually. The Cedar Amateur Astronomers grant request was sponsored by John Leeson. They had requested $2500. The Cedar Amateur Astronomers were awarded $2500 to purchase the hardware and software for the Lessons in Light Project.

Kids on Course

Their grant request is to bring LEGO league to the children of Grant and Harrison Elementary Schools for the first time. These schools’ populations are so in need that the traditional grant Rockwell Collins offers would not be sufficient to provide all the elements necessary for a truly successful experience. This grant request would pair Rockwell Collins Retiree Volunteers to serve as head coaches and support coaches at both schools and would further provide transportation, materials, field trips, tournament fees, registration fees, team shirts and other costs directly associated with the program. Making FIRST LEGO League available to these students would open their worlds to STEM careers. The Kids on Course grant request was sponsored by Terry Lamb. Kids on Course had requested $8000. They were awarded $4400 for their project to establish a LEGO league program at these two schools.

The annual RCRV Charitable Grant Program is funded through the Rockwell Collins Charitable Corporation. All active RCRV members are eligible to sponsor an application from a deserving nonprofit organization with which the member has become affiliated. The application process for next year’s grant program will be advertised in early 2015, and all applicant materials may be found on the RCRV website.