29 January 1996
BOULDER-To honor and continue the life's work of an influential Boulder scientist and teacher who died in December, the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) has established the Patrick J. Kennedy Memorial Education Fund. Donations to the fund will support school visits by scientists and hands-on classroom activities for students from kindergarten through high school, helping them learn about atmospheric science and science in general.
During his 25 years at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Kennedy carried out hundreds of classroom visits and demonstrations conveying the fundamentals of physics and the atmosphere in a vivid and entertaining fashion. Kennedy died on 30 December in Louisville, Kentucky, at age 50 after a long illness. A memorial service will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, 7 February, at St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish, 904 14th Street in Boulder.
"Pat was a master at bringing science to life for thousands of students across North America," says Cynthia Schmidt, UCAR director of development. "With the resources of the Kennedy Fund, we hope to give other scientists the opportunity to carry on his work."
Kennedy was renowned in local schools and at NCAR for his experiential teaching techniques. He volunteered in Boulder elementary schools for many years, doing weekly science demonstrations at a different school each year. Kennedy was a principal investigator in Project LEARN (Laboratory Experience in Atmospheric Science at NCAR), demonstrating classroom wizardry to 40 middle-school teachers from across the country for three consecutive summers of teacher training. Jerolyn Holland, a Project LEARN teacher from Nevin Platt Middle School in Boulder, recalls, "Pat Kennedy brought us humor and fun as we learned. . . . My students wanted more, and it was with a sigh that the classes came to a close."
Kennedy's contributions extended beyond national borders. He spent six to eight weeks each year teaching science to children at a Mexican orphanage and did similar volunteer work in Canada and in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern Kentucky. "It purges the mind to step into another way of life, another way of seeing the world," Kennedy said about his trips to teach in Mexico. "The Mexican children give me as much as I give them; they expand my perspective on the world."
While at NCAR's Climate and Global Dynamics Division, Kennedy studied mountain waves, turbulent interactions, and the incorporation of surface-level physics into atmospheric computer models. He received the first NCAR Outstanding Performance Award for Education in 1994.
The purposes of the Kennedy Fund, as specified by Kennedy himself, include materials for scientists or teachers for classroom use or projects initiated by teachers and students to conduct experiments and observations. There are no restrictions on education level or geographical location. Donations will be tax-deductible to contributors.
Checks for the fund should be made out to UCAR, with the Kennedy Fund noted on the same line or on a memo line, and sent to Cynthia Schmidt, UCAR, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder CO 80307-3000. For more information on the fund, contact Schmidt at 303-497-2107, e-mail email@example.com. NCAR is operated by UCAR under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation.
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Writer: Bob Henson
A wide range of weather and weather-related images is available through NCAR's Visual Communications program. View NCAR's Digital Image Catalog on the World Wide Web at http:/www.ucar.edu/DMC/DMCHome.html or call Linda Carbone at 303-497-8612 (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) or Nita Razo at 303-497-8606 (e-mail email@example.com ) for a print version of the catalog or for assistance