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ISU Physics' Haunted Science Lab Earns $10,000 Grant from The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation

September 11, 2023

Steve Shropshire and a surprised student

One of the Gem State’s oldest charitable organizations is throwing its support behind Idaho State University Department of Physics’ largest annual outreach event.   

The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the department’s annual Haunted Science Laboratory. Held in October, the Haunted Lab features more than 50 educational and interactive science exhibits designed to delight, fright, and educate kids of all ages. Some exhibits use the same principles as Disneyland’s Haunted Science Mansion, except they are explained. The grant funding will help offset the cost of materials, student wages, equipment repairs, and more. 

“My deepest thanks to The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation for their support of this annual educational opportunity,” said Steve Shropshire, professor of physics and lead organizer of the Haunted Science Laboratory. “Their support will allow us to continue to serve public and private school students as well as the general public with engaging science exhibits, activities, and presentations.”

Additional support for this year’s iteration of the lab comes from the Bannock County Commissioners and the Kiwanis Club of Pocatello. In 2022, more than 1,500 local students from Southeast Idaho visited the Haunted Science Laboratory on a field trip. When it opened to the public, more than 300 visitors, some traveling from as far away as Twin Falls and Idaho Falls, stopped by the lab.

“I am honored by this support for science education and the volunteer efforts of ISU faculty, staff, students, and community members,” Shropshire said. 

The lab is scheduled to host field trips and visits from Scout and other youth groups Monday, October 23 through Friday, October 27, and open to the public Saturday, October 28 in 2023. 

The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation was founded in 1963 and provides more than 450 “scholarships to Idaho students at community colleges, technical colleges and universities every year.” Additionally, the organization provides grants to Idaho nonprofits with a focus on “rural healthcare, educational programs for children, and programs in underserved communities and for underserved populations.”

For more information on ISU’s Department of Physics, visit isu.edu/physics


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