SPRINGFIELD, Mich. - When its state funding was reduced, the Battle Creek Area Math and Science Center found a different way to bring in money — selling science kits to K-12 schools across Michigan, according to an article in the Battle Creek Enquirer. The venture was successful enough that now the center has outgrown its building and is looking for a way to finance a move, the Enquirer reported.

The center currently is located in the former Springfield High School. In addition to hosting science classes on site, some staff members also put together kits of equipment intended to help educators teach science. Curriculum is included, as is support from retired science teachers, according to the Enquirer. Kit sales are expected to bring in $2.1 million this year, nearly double a near ago, director Connie Duncan told the Enquirer.

But Duncan said she had to turn down a $500,000 order recently because the center lacks capacity to handle it, the Enquirer reported. Battle Creek Unlimited Inc., an area economic development organization, wants the center to move to downtown Battle Creek as part of an $85 million revitalization plan, according to the report, saying it would be a marketing tool to draw families.

BCU is talking to businesses and foundations like the Kellogg Co. regarding funding, but several officials told the Enquirer that they are waiting to see cost estimates from an ongoing study.

The center is one of 33 publicly funded math and science centers across the state.

SOURCE:
The Battle Creek Enquirer, "The right formula," May 31, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "It's hard, but it's fun," July 15, 2008

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