ONR Grant Launches New Science Learning and Discovery Studio

Office of Naval Research
Corporate Strategic Communications
Phone: (703) 696-5031
E-mail: onrcsc@onr.navy.mil

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 12, 2010

Arlington, Va. – The Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Iridescent, a non-profit group serving underprivileged youth, are co-hosting an Oct. 16 kickoff science festival to promote the grand opening of a new science studio in Los Angeles.

The studio delivers interactive learning through the use of sophisticated research equipment and tools. In addition, the innovative facility presents enriched engagement opportunities between the local community and engineering and scientific professionals. The studio will also be a venue to host innovative, inspiring films and science-based, interactive art. All events will be free and open to the public.

“We have already taken a proactive stance to use this effective model into urban schools and communities across the country,” said Dr. Michael Kassner, ONR director of research. “Another STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) knowledge-building facility in New York is already set to open November 4.” 

The new learning center is a result of a $2.3 million multi-year grant funded by ONR to leverage Iridescent’s proven ability to heighten interest and understanding of urban at-risk youth. The Los Angeles-based facility is specifically aimed at reaching Latino youth and their families in STEM.

The grant is part of an overall and sustained campaign to respond to the Navy and Marine Corps’ priority need for developing future engineers and scientists, capable of delivering solutions and solving tough challenges for warfighters.

ONR’s investment in Iridescent is intended to leverage proven best practices in providing students with a safe and stimulating place to learn about STEM through hands-on, real-world experiments and mentoring.

Iridescent brings advanced science to underserved communities with an approach that empowers engineers and scientists to communicate their expertise and passion to children and their families through exciting scientific programs. In less than five years, Iridescent has made significant impact in Los Angeles, Oakland, Calif., and more recently, New York (the Bronx, Brooklyn, Harlem and Queens),  in training more than 300 engineers to reach nearly 4,800 children and parents.

The grand opening celebration will include demonstrations such as an online video forum in science lesson planning and web tools designed to help parents select the best school for their students. There will also be activities for youth and parents led by professional and student engineers from University of Southern California.

About the Office of Naval Research

The Department of the Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps' technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 70 countries, 1,035 institutions of higher learning and 914 industry partners. ONR employs approximately 1,400 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel, with additional employees at the Naval Research Lab in Washington, D.C.

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Office of Naval Research
Corporate Strategic Communications
Phone: (703) 696-5031
E-mail: onrcsc@onr.navy.mil

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