The Burpee Museum of Natural History has received a $100,000 gift from Aqua-Aerobic Systems, Inc., and the Brubaker Charitable Trust to help fund the new water quality testing laboratory at the Burpee Museum. The new Aqua-Aerobic Systems Water Laboratory is currently being installed in the historic carriage house located on Burpee Museum property adjacent to the Rock River.
The mission of the water laboratory is to expose students in the Rockford Area Schools to methods of determining water quality and to emphasize the importance of clean water in our environment. The facility will be a place where students can conduct experiments on water from the Rock River, track their findings and finally produce information to share with the community. The new Aqua-Aerobic Systems Water Laboratory will allow area school children to better understand environmental issues.
"Aqua-Aerobic Systems is a local company that deals with water quality issues world-wide, and in these dealings we have learned the importance of creating public awareness about the urgency of water quality. This local project has great meaning to us as a first step in educating our students about how critical water is in our world," said Aqua-Aerobic founder and chairman, John Brubaker.
The receipt of a prestigious Environmental Protection Agency grant of $42,000 to the Burpee Museum in July of 2002, started the process of rehabilitating the carriage house to an environmental classroom. The EPA grant was a collaborative project between Rockford School District #205, the Burpee Museum and Insight Communications.
"In this facility we have an enduring opportunity to help our young people learn about the ecosystem of our Rock River. The Aqua employees are excited about this project and look forward to cooperating with the Burpee staff in creating an engaging and effective program," commented Robert Wimmer, president and CEO of Aqua-Aerobic Systems.
"It is very exciting for us to have such strong support from an internationally recognized company. The need to educate and excite students is paramount in this project," stated Rolf Thienemann, chairman of the Burpee Museum Board of Trustees.
In the first year of the program, more than 2,400 students are expected to be a part of the learning experience provided by Aqua-Aerobic Systems Water Laboratory.