Baylor Receives $100,000 Grant From Southwestern Bell Foundation

Dec. 18, 1998

by Lori Scott Fogleman

Baylor University has received a grant from the Southwestern Bell Foundation through its SBC Foundation for $100,000 for two education programs -- the "Virtual Village" project and Discovery Week for Engineering and Computer Science.

"Virtual Village," a program developed by the School of Education, will receive $50,000 of the grant for the continuation of the project. "Virtual Village" assists teachers in four area schools -- A.J. Moore Academy, Sul Ross Elementary, H.P. Miles Middle School and Harker Heights Elementary -- to expand their technology expertise in order to bring technology into the classroom. Technology staff development training began last spring and technology programs are now in place at the schools.

"The grant from Southwestern Bell gave us good start-up money to provide the technology we needed," said Dr. Betty Conaway, director of the project and chair and associate professor of curriculum and instruction in the School of Education. "Our focus in 1999 will be to conduct structured interviews to get real data to see how 'Virtual Village' affects these schools. So far, every teacher has continued their participation in the program even though every minute of their time is donated."

The "Virtual Village" project will also collaborate with schools throughout the country which use systems-based software in the classroom, Conaway said. Baylor faculty members and teacher education students assist in the participating local school classrooms.

The remaining $50,000 of the SBC Southwestern Bell Foundation grant funded Discovery Week for Engineering and Computer Science, sponsored by the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Baylor. The residential camp targeted junior high school age girls from the Waco area and cities throughout Texas who are interested in pursuing a career in engineering or computer science, said associate engineering professor Dr. Byron Newberry.

"Southwestern Bell is proud to be able to assist in these important educational projects," said Erin Davis, area manager for Southwestern Bell. "Students need every opportunity to learn new technology to prepare for the future and these programs will provide new opportunities for our Texas youth."

For more information on the grant, contact Dr. Terry Morgan, director of foundation development, at (254) 710-2561.

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