DASEF News

Sen. Carper Spends Friday, March 5, 2010 in Kent County

Tours Environmental Outpost to See Benefits of $50K in Stimulus Funds;
Solar Roof Installation Enhances Mission of Sustainability

Tom Carper

WILMINGTON, Delaware - On Friday, March 5, 2010, Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) will be in Kent County.

Senator Carper will tour the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation Environmental Outpost and Learning Center and Museum (DASEF) and receive a project update. The DASEF received a $50,000 USDA Rural Development grant for a solar roof on their Learning Center and Museum. This funding is provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation received this grant award of through the USDA Rural Development Community Facilities program and will be used to install a solar roof on the Learning Center and Museum, which is now under construction.

Sen. Carper will be joined by USDA Rural Development Director Jack Tarburton, Architect Joe Farina, Chairman of the Board Gary Bell and Board Member Bryan Ford. Stephanie Wright, President and CEO of the Center, will lead the tour.

Tom Carper visits DASEF

According to Dr. Wright, the installation of Photovoltaic panels and eventual plantings on the already installed membrane on the roof of the Learning Center and Museum will work together to cut down on DASEF's energy costs. In addition to the USDA Rural Development grant, the DASEF will also be receiving support from Motech Americas, CMI and SolarDock.

BACKGROUND: The Environmental Outpost has been fully operational since January of 2007 and has reached over 19,500 students, teachers and the general public learning about nature, environmental, science and astronomical studies. The Outpost is a statewide facility centrally located in Smyrna but serves the entire state of Delaware. DASEF is anticipating a gold LEEDS rating for the operational Environmental Outpost (Phase I of the project) and is working towards a platinum LEEDS rating for the Learning Center and Museum (Phase II of the project).

The exterior of the Learning Center and Museum in Big Oak Park is nearly completed. The next construction package focuses on installing a photovoltaic array on the roof and seeking funding for the geothermal wells. Two educational outdoor exhibits, a 20' one-of-a-kind Charles Parks Studio sculpture and a scaled planetary walk are well underway. It is anticipated that both will be available to schools and the general public in the summer.

Founded in 1989, the Delaware AeroSpace Education Foundation (DASEF), an independent non-profit, statewide, educational organization having 501(c)(3) status, strives to raise the visibility and importance of K-12 STEM education in an effort to meet the intellectual and workplace needs of future generations. DASEF continues to use best practices in the implementation of successful programs and instructional strategies in an effort to strengthen and enhance STEM education and environmental awareness in the Delaware Region. DASEF programs advocate education, the environment and strengthening the workforce.

DASEF currently has 6 part time year round instructors, 1 maintenance person and approximately 76 summer employees. In today's difficult economic climate, DASEF is enhancing and enriching the curriculum in schools in all 3 counties and continues to provide jobs in Delaware.