ViaSat Donates $15,000 to Carlsbad Educational Foundation During Family Science Night At Valley Middle School

By CEF

Carlsbad, CA – On Tuesday, March 23, 2010, ViaSat Inc. made a special presentation at the family science night at Valley Middle School in Carlsbad. More than 100 people, including nearly 50 Valley Middle School students, attended the annual science event.

In support of ViaSat’s commitment to science and education, systems engineer Dave Irvine presented a $15,000 donation to the Carlsbad Educational Foundation (CEF), a non-profit organization devoted to developing and launching educational and enrichment programs for nearly 11,000 students in the Carlsbad Unified School District.

Patty Johnson, director of development for CEF, joined Valley Middle School principal Cesar Morales to accept the donation. Science teachers Bob Peterson of Calavera Hills Middle School and Jen Gastauer of Valley Middle School were also in attendance. ViaSat’s donation will support a boost to hands-on science lab experiments and demonstrations in all three middle schools in the Carlsbad Unified School District during the 2010 – 2011 school year.

“As a technology company, we have a vested interest in supporting science education in the community” said Irvine. “As an expression of that support, ViaSat is donating $15,000 to fund a program called “Middle Schools Science Lab Supercharge”. The program will enable science teachers at each of the three middle schools to purchase equipment and supplies they need to “supercharge” the science lab experience for their students.”

“We are really excited about this partnership with ViaSat in supporting science labs at Carlsbad’s middle schools as it reinforces one of our primary goals to enrich education through hands-on science,” said Valin Brown, CEO of the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. “The ability to inject significant new resources into our science labs throughout the district will ensure our students have access to a wide variety of hands-on experiences which will prove invaluable for their future.”

Rigorous science education is critical to the future of the U.S. workforce and in turn to the nation’s economic competitiveness. At a local level, educators and parents realize that students will require increasingly high levels of skill in science and math in order to succeed. In a world of rapidly advancing technology in all
fields, a solid foundation in math and science will be essential for workers in most occupations, whether technological or not.

Numerous research studies have demonstrated that students who are exposed to hands-on and inquiry-based science score higher on a variety of achievement metrics. Beyond scores of science  ahievement, however, is the enduring impact programs can have on students by providing them with the opportunity to learn how to “think like scientists,” a skill that can benefit them in many realms of life.

About ViaSat

ViaSat produces innovative satellite and other digital communication products that enable fast, secure, and efficient communications to virtually any location. 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. government; is the primary technology partner for gateway and customer premises equipment for consumer and mobile satellite broadband services; and owns WildBlue, the premier Ka-band satellite broadband service provider. ViaSat is based in Carlsbad, CA.

About 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 10,000 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 $4 million in funds to Carlsbad schools, primarily for science, technology, arts and reading. In 2008, the foundation provided year-end grants totaling $604,000 to help restore funding for the preservation of the arts, music, sports and libraries within the district. The foundation has finalized an ambitious strategic plan that will support the development of additional music, science and innovative educational programs. CEF also operates a Summer Enrichment Program as well as Kids’ Care, a comprehensive before- and afterschool childcare program. For more information, visit www.carlsbaded.org.