Schools to receive microscopes

More than 300 microscopes to be presented to Bunbury primary schools through Alinta Energy sponsorship.

Twelve primary schools from the Bunbury region will receive 342 microscopes funded by Alinta Energy on Wednesday 23 July 2014 at a presentation at Bunbury Cathedral Grammar.  
The number of West Australian students entering science-related fields has been rapidly declining, and Alinta Energy’s sponsorship is part of an initiative aimed at engaging primary school age students with science.

Eleven schools will be presented with 30 small hand-held magnifying microscopes, with an additional school receiving 12 units. The transportable magnifying microscopes allow students to easily explore microscopic organisms both indoors and outdoors. Students will also receive activity booklets after Wednesday’s presentation.

The presentation will be attended by Former WA Chief Scientist & Visionary for the Cause, Lyn Beazley, MP John Castrilli, Project Coordinator, Di Collins, Senior Rotarian PRID, Dr. Ken Collins, principals and science teachers from recipient schools and members of Alinta Energy’s WA leadership team.

‘Alinta Energy sees the value of science and innovation in our business, and believes it’s important to provide these skills to WA’s next generation, particularly where it also supports our customers living in the region,’ said General Manager for WA Retail Markets, Lucky Poulos.

Project Initiator and Coordinator, Di Collins, emphasised the project’s impact, particularly in regional areas.

‘Unless a love of science can be ignited in students at an early age, they are very largely lost to the study of science at a higher level,’ Collins said  ‘Hence this project is aimed at addressing the future of science, not only in this country, but creating scientists of the future who will impact humanity as a whole.’

‘The Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay seeks to advance the Microscopes in Schools project to as many schools as possible and is delighted to have been a beneficiary of a grant from Alinta Energy to place units in twelve Bunbury schools. Frequently, regional schools do not receive the same benefits as those in the city, so on behalf of the Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay, I thank Alinta Energy for providing the opportunity for the students in Bunbury to access the microscopic world,’ Collins said.

‘We are proud to support the ‘Microscopes in Schools’ vision, providing this opportunity for Bunbury students to develop a greater interest in science through hands-on learning and exploration of their natural world,’ Poulos said.

The donation is part of the larger ‘Microscopes in Schools’ initiative, which was founded by the Rotary Club of Freshwater Bay and launched in 2010.  In the past four years, the project has provided access to microscopes for 150,000 students, through donations to 400 schools, sponsored by more than 85 Rotary Clubs. Since its origins in Western Australia, it has extended its reach across Australia (QLD, NSW, VIC, TAS), as well as to Nepal (refugee schools) and Laos (a deaf school). For more information on ‘Microscopes in Schools,’ please visit the project website: