following appeared January 10, 2005 in the
Boca resident donates money
to local schools for science equipment.
By Nicol Jenkins
Boca Raton News Staff Writer
With recent budget cuts, Palm Beach County Schools need all
the help they can get when it comes to funding. Determined to
help close the “funding gap” one Boca resident has been
donating money and science equipment to local schools.
Richard Newman, owner of High-TechProductions.com, has given
thousands of dollars worth of science equipment and
established ‘Science and Technology Centers’ at 19 schools
and Scout Camps throughout the country. And the most recent
contribution is in our own backyard. Newman has donated 40
Geiger counters to the science department of West Boca Raton
Community High School, which totaled over $30,000.
Additionally, he will fill a display case in the school’s
media center with space artifacts, including the space glove
worn by the first Asian Cosmonaut.
His quest for knowledge about space and science began at a
very young age. “As a kid, I was in every single science
fair, from public school on up. And I won every single science
fair as well,” said Newman, who became the kiddie co-host of
“Earth Lab,” a Boston-based TV show at the age of 13. Now,
the 48-year-old says he wants to bring his passion for science
to children and help out the strapped-for-cash school
“The schools’ hands are so tied budget wise. They don’t
have the funding. And the hands-on experiments wouldn’t
happen if individuals and companies didn’t step up to
bat,” he said.
Newman said that he hopes his donations of science equipment
will make the subject more appealing to students and, perhaps,
start a few students down the road to a career in science.
“Before the school didn’t even have one
Geiger counter. Now, they have 40, and it changes everything.
The kids can bring them home and do all kinds of research
projects on radioactivity. They can even get their families
involved. It changes the way the whole science department is
handled,” said Newman, who describes himself as a kid at
heart. “In science there’s always something useful for
life, and it may give some of the students a career in the
Allen Rice, assistant principal at West Boca Community High
School, says the generous donation will allow the kids to
participate in scientific experiments and see some of what
they’ve learned in text books put into action.
“It gives the teens a chance to experiment in the field of
physical science. Not every day do they get to experience
this,” said Rice. “We want to encourage the students to
develop an interest in engineering, the sciences, aerospace
and math. At this age they’re so impressionable and looking
for something to shape them. Seeing a moon rock or space
uniform peaks their interest and they may decide to move into
West Boca High would go without supplementary resources if it
weren’t for Newman’s generosity, Rice said. “There was
no way we could have afforded over $30, 000 worth of Geigers.
Schools don’t get a lot of funding,” said Rice, “He’s
a very generous guy who has had a passion for science ever
since he was in high school. But the neat thing is that he’s
willing to share with others. It’s kind of unique that he
has a lot of enthusiasm for the sciences and aerospace.”
For more information
about Newman’s space collection and science centers visit www.HighTechScience.org