For over forty years, a UNL – LPS partnership has brought in over 100 LPS fifth graders over multiple Saturdays to ponder the fundamental questions of the universe. Lead by UNL professors and graduate students, children spend two hours exploring topics that range from toys, electricity, sound, and light. Because the program has occurred over forty years, many former students are now sending their children back to the same program they experienced as a child.
With such institutionalized success, the Foundation for Lincoln Public Schools (FLPS) saw a need and stepped in to secure a fund to guarantee this program, beyond just getting by year by year on application fees.
According to Dr. James Blake, K-12 Science Curriculum Specialist, "FLPS has taught me how to dream big with potential donors, and this has lead to gaining valuable community partnerships that allow the Science Curriculum Department to support and grow many different programs that I work with.”
In 2015, FLPS received a matching pledge from the J.A. Woollam Foundation to help the Saturday Science program endowment. The drive was kicked off by a donation from the founder of Saturday Science – retired UNL professor Duane Jaecks. Chuck and Barb Francis, who also created the Todd Francis Research Award through FLPS, pitched in to cover the balance of the match – resulting in a successful endowment.
Now with a “forever” fund in place – Saturday Science is ensured for many future generations of 5th graders in LPS. Through securing these funds, the program was renamed to reflect Dr. Jaecks’ passion for science that lead to founding this long running program to “Jaecks” Saturday Science. His legacy - and this important element of LPS science - will live on into the future!
This year Jaecks Saturday Science will be held for 5th graders every Saturday in February, 3,10,17, and 24. Students can select either morning or afternoon sessions. Stay tuned for more information coming through your school by early December - or contact Dr. James Blake firstname.lastname@example.org 402-436-1802.