Twelve-year-old Casey Andersen was restrained but precise as
he described the $10,000 in science goodies and upgrades to
the science classroom at Pembroke Pines Charter Middle
School's west campus. ''Cool,'' the Pembroke Pines boy said.
``It's like having our own museum.''
cabinets once used to store books, all sorts of specimens and
types of scientific equipment, from Geiger counters to a
weather station to natural crystals and prehistoric fossils,
now line the perimeter of the room.
High-Tech Productions Technology and Science Center, one of 12
nationwide, was dedicated April 30. It was donated by
High-Tech Productions owner Richard Newman of Boca Raton. The
center is a hands-on learning laboratory where students can
now see, feel and experience, said science teacher Barry
Perlman. ''It's one thing to read about science in books; it's
totally another thing for students to see science as real --
to handle it,'' Perlman said.
in the center include a lightning detector that will sound
when lightning strikes within 60 miles of the school; a plasma
lightning simulator to teach students about ionized gases;
tools and other artifacts from ancient civilizations;
extensive collections of minerals and geodes; and mounted
collections of once-living creatures such as butterflies and
a high-powered telescope will be used to study and monitor
life as it unfolds in a wetlands ecosystem near the school.
The telescope comes equipped with a TV camera that will
transfer images to a monitor for the class to view, store and
A variety of
educational posters, more than 100 compact discs about science
topics from A to Z, and a star from the constellation Aquila,
named Pembroke Pines Charter School, were also donated.
Aquariums and an ant farm will be added to the collection over
the summer, Perlman said.
operates one of the nation's leading videotape and DVD
duplication and blank tape distribution companies, is a
self-proclaimed space and earth science buff whose credits
include winning every science fair he entered in junior high
and high school. Other projects of Newman's were honored by
NASA and at the New York State Science Fair and the American
Institute of the City of New York.
Pines project is Newman's first attempt at a school, Perlman
said. The 11 other centers are located primarily at Boy Scout
sits on several Boy Scout Council executive boards, said he
was inspired to provide the Pembroke Pines school with a
science center because of the charter school's dedication to
the tin crystal science project launched into space on the
space shuttle Challenger.
12, said he and his classmates relish their good fortune.
''Average kids like us don't get this kind of stuff in their
classroom, we read about it in books,'' Michael said. ``But
now we can see it, examine it and always remember it.''