Updated March 28 at 4:32am

Champlin Foundations awards $530K to URI to support hands-on learning


SOUTH KINGSTOWN – The Champlin Foundations have awarded five grants totaling $530,000 to help support hands-on learning at the University of Rhode Island.

A grant for $120,000 will be used to equip a state-of-the-art scientific diving research and training facility at the school.

“Students and researchers often use scientific diving as a means to access the underwater environment and collect scientific data,” said Anya Watson, URI’s dive safety officer, in a statement. “Thanks to the generous support of The Champlin Foundations, our dive safety program is acquiring dive equipment, dive computers, breathing air compressors, underwater photographic equipment, and research equipment to support multiple undergraduate programs and university research.”

According to a release, the diving facility will “bolster the teaching of scientific scuba-diving classes, research diving courses and high-tech diving that will support teaching and research programs in oceanography, marine biology, biomedical technology, ocean engineering, underwater archaeology, maritime history and other disciplines.”

The four other grants will be used to equip an advanced biochemistry laboratory, a motion analysis laboratory, a behavior change intervention lab and a teaching and design lab for ocean engineering.

“These projects will allow our faculty to expand opportunities for our students and position the University as a leading institution dedicated to active and engaged student learning,” Donald DeHayes, URI provost and vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement.

A grant for $113,000 will help create a Ocean Engineering/Oceanography Teaching and Design Laboratory, which will be used by students on URI’s Narragansett Bay Campus. The new facility will help enhance the teaching of ocean physics and technology by allowing the “seamless combination of hands-on experimental learning and traditional classroom teaching in the same space,” said URI.

Students in URI’s new bachelor’s degree program in cell and molecular biology will receive $107,000 to help equip and purchase instruments for an Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory.

The Motion Analysis Laboratory received $101,000 to “understand the biomechanics of human movement.” The funds will be used to purchase a fully instrumented treadmill for the new laboratory, which will be used by those studying kinesiology and physical therapy.

An additional $89,000 will be used to purchase and install a digital recording and video teleconferencing system in the Behavior Change Intervention Lab in the Chafee Social Science Center. The equipment will be used to record, store and replay intervention, evaluation and training sessions as well as allow video teleconferencing.


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