following article appeared October 10, 2006 in the
investment in youths.
Businessman donates boat to
the Wayne Barton Study
Center in Boca.
By Rebecca Huval
businessman Rick Newman already donated science supplies this
year to the Wayne Barton Study Center. But one day this
summer, Newman told Wayne Barton, founder of the free
after-school program in Boca Raton, to meet him at the Marina
One docks in Deerfield Beach.
Barton didn't know
why, he said. "How would you like a boat?" Newman
asked Barton when he arrived. Then Newman walked down the dock
and pointed to his own boat, Barton said.
Newman donated his 22-foot Chaparral powerboat to
the Wayne Barton Study Center, also known as Barton's
Boosters, for middle and high school students. Newman said he
bought the boat eight years ago but used it less than six
The center started in 1991 and serves about 100
students, with a capacity of 150, Barton said. He agreed to
start swimming and fishing programs at the center after Newman
donated his boat this summer.
Barton recently announced the boat donation to a
classroom of about 30 children as Newman leaned against a
The children whispered "Yes" and
"That's awesome," as they glanced at the man in the
Hawaiian T-shirt they knew as the "scientific guy."
Barton led the children to see the boat on a trailer in the
"I've never been on a boat," said Lamar
Perry, 11, of Pompano Beach. "I want to learn how to fish
so I can go fishing with my uncles 'cause they always
Some children even looked forward to learning
science on the boat.
"I read they've found this one fish in the
Atlantic Ocean that was extinct for thousands of years,"
said Evodio Goddard, 13, of Boca Raton. "I'm a science
man. I want to study the fish we catch. I also like the speed.
I want to drive. And if my sister's here, I want to see the
shriek on her face."
Newman said he decided to donate the boat after
he and Barton discussed past donations about a week before
they met at the docks.
"I met with Wayne, and he told me 90 to 95
percent of the kids didn't know how to swim," he said.
"When we're surrounded by canals, intracoastals and the
ocean, that's just unacceptable. For that age group, drowning
is the No. 1 cause of death in Florida. I don't know why they
don't make it mandatory in school."
Barton will contact a YMCA and American Red Cross
to arrange a basic swimming program, he said. Children will
have to take a swimming course and pass the final test to get
on the boat. When enough children pass the test, Barton said
he would start a fishing club that uses the boat on the
weekends. But only children who improve their grades and
behavior will be able to join.
"Kids say to themselves, `Should I join a
gang or have fun at the study center?'" Barton said.
"You have to compete with these gangs that are getting
stronger and stronger in south county. We have to give these
kids better choices. We're losing so many young people. You
see it on the television and you feel hopeless, but you can do
something. You can direct kids to the right choices. And this
boat will be a huge incentive."
Newman's Web site, HighTechScience.org,
lists the 20 science centers he has started at schools and
museums coast to coast, including the recent Barton center
donation. The science lab Newman recently donated to the
center is worth about $10,000 and includes materials such as
butterfly, bug and bat displays, a Geiger radiation counter,
digital telescope, plasma lightning display and a NASA clock.
The students there know him for his collection of
robots and electrical cars.
Barton said he's glad Newman donated something
other than money. But the boat still needs a thermostat and
repairs on the hydraulics that lift the engine.
"This boat impacts the kids a lot better
than a million dollars, not that we don't need it," he
said. "But this is a long-term donation that will save
For more information
on the Science & Technology Centers, visit: