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PAST Receives $1,000,000 from Battelle to Fund Portable Innovation Labs for Schools








FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts: Lori Trent, PAST Foundation - ltrent@pastfoundation.org


November 27, 2023


PAST Receives $1,000,000 from Battelle to Fund Portable Innovation Labs for Schools


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The PAST Foundation is the proud recipient of a $1,000,000 gift to fund its Portable Innovation Labs (PILs), a novel approach to lending schools difficult to acquire equipment that inspires students as they explore future STEM careers. Powered by PAST, and in partnership with Battelle, PILs are designed to facilitate unique educational opportunities by providing teachers and students with STEM resources that schools may not be able to provide on their own due to cost and storage challenges.


“Developing STEM Identity is the cornerstone of this program,” said Dr. Annalies Corbin, President & CEO of the PAST Foundation. “We hope to be able to assist schools in nurturing their students’ STEM identities with our PILs by providing the necessary tools for engaging in meaningful experiences.”


The PIL offerings are diverse with over 20 content options available ranging from 3D printing, forensics, scientific experiences, to robotics. Three versions of PILs are available that provide various components - equipment, materials, and curricula, those that provide equipment and materials, and those that provide only equipment. PILs can be used by any teacher, and they are adaptable to nearly any subject. Schools may request labs that include equipment, materials, and curricula or choose to borrow only the equipment they need to bring learning to life for students.


Thanks to the generosity of Battelle, there is no cost for schools in the Central Ohio area to participate in the lending program. The labs are able to be borrowed for 2-3 weeks to allow educators flexibility to work the labs into curricula.


“Traditionally STEM identities have been white, male, Eurocentric perspectives, and not readily available to all students regardless of gender and race,” said Dr. Annalies Corbin, President & CEO of the PAST Foundation. “PAST and Battelle collectively want to change that narrative so that all students can pursue STEM opportunities equally. Utilizing our PILs is one way to introduce students to the infinite possibilities of STEM.”

“Battelle is investing in a new approach to lend STEM equipment throughout the region in hopes that it opens doors for many more schools to provide hands-on learning experiences for students,” said Wes Hall, Senior Vice President of Philanthropy & Education at Battelle. “Through this partnership with the PAST Foundation, we hope to remove financial barriers for teachers so that every student can explore their passions.”


PILs were piloted with four different school districts in Central Ohio in 2022-23 through an initial gift from Battelle. The pilot demonstrated a clear demand from the region's schools for access to equipment and provided insights into the kinds of labs of most interest to educators. PAST and Battelle have decided to scale the project across the region with future desires to make the program accessible across Ohio.


About Battelle


Every day, the people of Battelle apply science and technology to solving what matters most. At major technology centers and national laboratories around the world, Battelle conducts research and development, designs and manufactures products, and delivers critical services for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio since its founding in 1929, Battelle serves the national security, health and life sciences, and energy and environmental industries. For more information, visit www.battelle.org.


For more information contact Katy Delaney at (614) 424-7208 or delaneyk@battelle.org or T.R. Massey at (614) 424-5544 or masseytr@battelle.org. About PAST Foundation:


PAST, a non-profit organization, is a leader in designing innovative educational opportunities across the nation and around the world, bringing problem-based learning to educators and experiential programs to students. During PAST’s 22 years, it has impacted hundreds of thousands of students and educators while engaging hundreds of businesses and industry leaders. Building a community of learners that helps students prepare to solve the world’s problems is our core outcome.


PAST was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education for its Excellence in Innovation in the STEM 2026 vision report, being the only Ohio educational entity included in this publication. In 2021, PAST’s Innovation Lab was featured in Forbes Magazine as a promising example to “Re-imagine High School” and also recognized by the White House Summit on High School Design in 2015.


Connect with us at www.pastfoundation.org and learn how to link learning to life.

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