News Release

Kenan Charitable Trust Gives Additional $50,000 to Scripps Florida Education Outreach Programs, Bringing Its Total Contribution to $250,000 in 2005

JUPITER, FL, December 21, 2005—The William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust has added $50,000 to its support for education outreach programs at Scripps Florida, the Palm Beach County operation of The Scripps Research Institute, it was announced today by Dr. Richard M. Krasno, executive director of the Trust and president of the William R. Kenan, Jr. Fund, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The new grant supplements an initial $200,000 two-year contribution announced last May for the Florida biomedical institute's K-12 science education outreach projects throughout Palm Beach County, including its High School Student Summer Internship Program and the Summer Research Internship Program for Teachers.

"There are few places in the world where highly motivated high school students and dedicated high school teachers can sit side-by-side with world-class scientists and contribute to conquering disease," said Dr. Krasno in announcing the additional funds.  "Our grant to The Scripps Research Institute has afforded this opportunity to Palm Beach County students and teachers.  We are grateful to the scientists of Scripps Florida for helping to develop and inspire the great scientists of tomorrow and to the students and teachers of Palm Beach County for their enthusiastic participation in the program.  We have been so gratified by the early success of this program that the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust is making an additional grant of $50,000 to expand the program."

"Scripps Florida has made a commitment to the science education community to use its intellectual and material resources to introduce high school students and middle/high school science teachers to contemporary issues in biomedical research," said Dr. Harry W. Orf, vice president of scientific operations at Scripps Florida and director of the education outreach program. "The further generosity of the Kenan Charitable Trust provides us with the means to offer more intensive, hands-on laboratory experiences on our campus, in classroom lectures, and through summer internships. The Trust's support will help to encourage students to pursue scholarship and careers in the biological and chemical sciences that will benefit the health of all people in the future." 

In addition to the student and teacher summer internship programs, 2005 education activities have included:

  • The "Introduction to Science" lecture by Scripps Florida researchers and interactive exercises designed to teach a middle school class about our world, what it's made of, and how it works.  It is a chemistry-based lesson, but demonstrates the fundamental ties among the four basic sciences (math, chemistry, physics, and biology). 
  • The "Science Saturday" course showing sophomore and junior level high school students about the everyday tools of biotechnology science through a hands-on DNA forensics exercise of 3-4 hours on the Scripps Florida campus.  High school students process DNA and utilize standard laboratory techniques to solve a "crime." 
  • The one-hour "Scripps Florida Biotechnology Tour," providing an up-close view of the most advanced biomedical technologies used in the battle against human diseases at Scripps Florida. 
  • The "What is DNA?" lecture designed to demonstrate to 5-7th grade students in their classroom what DNA looks like and where it comes from. 
  • The "Careers in Biotechnology" lecture informing high and college school students about careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields. 

The Kenan Trust's increased funding is expected to be used to expand these activities and to organize new projects for Palm Beach County school students and their teachers in the year ahead, under the auspices of Scripps Florida's education committee. The education outreach program served 500 students and 100 teachers in 2005 and is expected to grow significantly in 2006.

About the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust

The Kenan Charitable Trust of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is named for William R. Kenan Jr., a chemical engineer who helped in the discovery of the process of converting calcium carbide to acetylene and the construction of carbide and acetylene plants at the turn of the 19th century. A North Carolina native, Mr. Kenan traveled throughout the region to attend to his wide-ranging business interests in railroads, real estate, and oil.  As brother-in-law to Henry M. Flagler, Mr. Kenan established a strong presence in Florida and spent the majority of his later years in the state. In 1904, Mr. Kenan built the first 210-kilowatt power plant in Miami, and in 1955 as a director of Florida Power & Light he turned on one of the largest power plants in the state, the 140,000-kilowatt power generator in Cutler.  Mr. Kenan also served for many years as president of the Florida East Coast Railway and the Florida East Coast Hotel Company.  Following Mr. Kenan's death in 1965, a major portion of his estate was used to establish the Trust.

About the Scripps Research Institute and Scripps Florida

The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and Palm Beach County, Florida, is one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations.  It stands at the forefront of basic biomedical science that seeks to comprehend the most fundamental processes of life. Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its research into immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neurosciences, autoimmune, cardiovascular, and infectious diseases, and synthetic vaccine development.

Scripps Florida will be a 350,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art biomedical research facility to be built on 100 acres in Palm Beach County.  Scripps Florida will focus on basic biomedical science, drug discovery, and technology development, employing more than 500 researchers and support staff by 2010. Palm Beach County and the State of Florida have provided start-up economic incentives for development, building, staffing, and equipping the campus. Scripps Florida is now operating with more than 160 researchers and technicians at a 41,000 square-foot facility on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Jupiter. An additional 33,000 square-foot temporary facility is under construction.


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