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Center for Educational Technologies projects have ended (except Challenger Learning Center) and are no longer funded.

Center for Educational Technologies Mourns Byrd

Mon Jun 28 2010

An image of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, his wife Erma Ora, and their dog Trouble.The Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies joins those across West Virginia and the United States in mourning U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who died earlier today at the age of 92. Our building bears the name of the senator's late wife and stands in tribute to Senator and Mrs. Byrd's lifelong commitment to education both in the Mountain State and nationally.

Byrd was a friend not only to Wheeling Jesuit University, but to the Center for Educational Technologies in particular. He worked tirelessly to ensure that we could always carry out our mission of improving the teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, and math.

His long-term advocacy for the Center for Educational Technologies helped build a fruitful relation with NASA that thrives today. We are the home of the NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future, the space agency's principal research and development center for educational technologies. We also house a Challenger Learning Center, whose expanded facilities that reach thousands of students throughout the world were constructed thanks to the efforts of Sen. Byrd and U.S. Rep. Alan Mollohan of West Virginia.

"I am deeply saddened by the news of the death of Senator Robert C. Byrd," said Dr. Laurie Ruberg, associate director of the Center for Educational Technologies. "I would like to honor the longest serving U.S. senator by recalling the positive impact his life of public service on West Virginia and particularly the Erma Ora Byrd Center for Educational Technologies. Most notably for me, Senator Byrd facilitated a long-term relationship between the center and NASA. As a result of this continued funding and working relationship, the Classroom of the Future has created internationally recognized science education products and reports that have received awards and recognition by the Educational Publishing Association, the Information Industry Association, the American Educational Research Association, the Eisenhower Clearinghouse, and many others.

"As a scholar of the U.S. Constitution, Senator Byrd spearheaded our receiving U.S. Department of Education funding to develop a high school civics DVD called Foundations of Freedom, which allows students to study fundamental issues arising from the 200-plus year history of the U.S. Constitution. Senator Byrd was also instrumental in helping the center secure funding for a five-year statewide professional development program called InSTEP™, which provided curriculum-based technology training and reached more than 10,000 West Virginia K-16 teachers along with the thousands of students those educators taught.

"I am not a native of West Virginia," Ruberg added, "but because of the opportunities made available through Senator Byrd, my family and I have come to claim Wheeling as home. Senator Byrd has been an inspiration for many of us here at the Center for Educational Technologies because of his dedicated and tenacious service for the people of West Virginia."