CEF Supports Science Olympiad with Grants from ViaSat and Beckman Coulter Foundation

Substantial Grants from ViaSat and Beckman Coulter Foundation Fuel Program;

ViaSat Volunteers Mentor Students and Foster Interest in Engineering Careers

Carlsbad, CA Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF), a non-profit organization devoted to developing and launching educational and enrichment programs for nearly 11,000 Carlsbad students, announces continued support for theScience Olympiad program at all three Carlsbad middle schools and Carlsbad High School during the 2011-2012 school year.Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of science education through “academic track meets” where a cross-section of students participates in tournaments that foster teamwork and collaboration.

This program, which reinforces one of CEF’s goals to enrich education through increased hands-on science, is being made possible through generous grants from Carlsbad-based ViaSat, Inc. and the Beckman Coulter Foundation. Specifically, the grant from the Beckman Coulter Foundation provided the necessary funds to sponsor 10 teams from CUSD’s three middle schools: Aviara Oaks, Calavera Hills and Valley Middle Schools.

The grant from ViaSat provided the necessary funding to support the third-year continuation of two Science Olympiad teams at Carlsbad High School. Both grants delivered valuable assistance in covering costs associated with team registration fees, competition-related supplies and coaching stipends for each lead coach.

In addition, through its VPartners community outreach program, ViaSat provided the various Science Olympiad teams with some 20 volunteer coaches from its ranks of engineers. With the full backing of ViaSat’s executive leadership, these mentors were able to contribute “real world” expertise, insight and encouragement to the scientists and engineers of the future who are participating in Science Olympiad.

“The Carlsbad Educational Foundation is indebted to ViaSat for making it possible to provide ongoing support for Science Olympiad at the high school level,” said Valin Brown, CEO of the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. “ViaSat’s willingness to also provide meaningful mentors for our students was a tremendous inspiration for them to continue their passion for hands-on science in the upper grades. CEF is also thrilled to continue its partnership with the Beckman Coulter Foundation and deeply appreciates its gracious support of the Science Olympiad program at our middle schools.”

For more than a quarter century, Science Olympiad has helped create a passion for learning that has led to a revolution in science education. Each tournament includes keenly balanced elements from the various science disciplines, including chemistry, biology and physics. The San Diego County Regional Science Olympiad Competition for Division B, which encompasses CUSD middle schools, took place on Saturday, February 4th at Rancho Bernardo High School. The San Diego County Regional Science Olympiad competition at the high school level took place Saturday, Feb. 18th at Del Norte High School in Poway. Carlsbad HS was represented by two teams, with a total of 23 participants, in a field of 70 from some 25 schools around the county. CHS placed in the top 10 in two events and in the top 20 in a total of five events.

[Photos from high school regional tournament:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.363385230347008.89351.166574976694702&type=1]

At the February 4th competition, Valley Middle School placed 11th out of 28 regional schools.  Individually, students from all three middle schools placed in the top 20 across a variety of individual test, build and lab events. A total of 90 teams from regional schools competed in more than 20 events.

[Photos from middle school regional tournament:http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.352520728100125.87688.166574976694702&type=3]

The goal of Science Olympiadis to create a passion for learning science and recognize high levels of academic achievement by motivated students in an exciting and challenging extra-curricular enrichment program. Since 1984, Science Olympiad has led a revolution in science education. What began as a grassroots assembly of science teachers now is one of the premiere science competitions in the nation. In 2011, 6,000 secondary schools from 49 states participated in the Science Olympiad National Tournament with an additional 10,000 elementary schools holding tournaments or other hands-on events.

“We applaud the Carlsbad Educational Foundation for its continuing efforts to bring science to life through highly innovative programs, such as Science Olympiad,” says Steve Hart, CTO and co-founder of ViaSat. “Our engineering mentors appreciate the opportunity to get involved with the program and help build early interest in engineering as a career. It’s critically important for business leaders to give back to their communities and offer hands-on experiences that excite the interests and imaginations of future generations of scientists and engineers.”

About the Beckman Coulter Foundation

The Beckman Coulter Foundation is a charitable organization established by Beckman Coulter Inc. Its mission is to fulfill and support Beckman Coulter’s philanthropic goals. The Beckman Coulter Foundation is a separate, private foundation established in 2007 as an important part of Beckman Coulter Inc’s charitable giving efforts. The Foundation serves as the philanthropic arm of Beckman Coulter Inc. by funding programs that are focused around science, science education and healthcare-related research that improves patient health and the quality of life. For more information, visit beckmancoulterfoundation.org

About ViaSat

ViaSat delivers fast, secure communications, Internet, and remote network access to fixed sites or on-the-move. The company provides networking products and managed network services for enterprise IP applications; is a key supplier of network-centric military communications and encryption technologies and products to the U.S. and allied governments; and is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer-premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services. Based in Carlsbad, Calif., ViaSat has established a number of worldwide locations for customer service, network operations, and technology development.

About the Carlsbad Educational Foundation

The Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that was founded in 1983 to raise private support for public education and the enrichment of more than 11,000 students in the Carlsbad Unified School District. CEF develops, conducts and finances innovative, quality educational programs and projects. Since its inception, the foundation has contributed more than $5 million in funds to Carlsbad schools, primarily for science, technology, arts and reading. In 2011 alone, the foundation released nearly half a million dollars in support of K-5 music programs, hands-on science, and educationally innovative programs. CEF also operates a Summer Enrichment Program, a high school Summer Academy, as well as Kids’ Care, a comprehensive before- and after-school childcare program. For more information, visit www.carlsbaded.org.