Apple Ridge Farm dedicates STEM Lab to noted local Astrophysicist

New facility honors Dr. Beth Brown’s work at NASA
Dedication (l to r): Apple Ridge founder Peter Lewis with Frances Brown, mother of Dr. Beth Brown and John Lewis, executive director, Apple Ridge at the organization’s Annual Family Fun Day. – Photo by Donna Davis

Apple Ridge Farm held its Annual Family Fun Day on Saturday, Aug. 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The festive event was held at the Camp facility located in Copper Hill, VA, and featured live music, tennis demonstrations, tours of the camp facility, swimming, a parent workshop, and lots of delicious FREE Food! An enthusiastic group of over 120 adults and campers enjoyed a day filled with games, fun, reflections and recognition.

A special component of this year’s Family Fun Day was the dedication of the camp’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) Lab in honor of one of Roanoke’s brightest stars, Dr. Beth A. Brown.

Dr. Beth A.Brown

Dr. Brown worked as an Astrophysicist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland at the time of her sudden death in 2008. She was the product of Roanoke City Public Schools, having graduated from William Fleming High School’s class of 1987 as Valedictorian.

Dr. Brown’s mother, Frances Brown, created the Dr. Beth A. Brown Science Foundation that provides scholarships to graduating high school seniors who will enter a college or university and major in astronomy or physics. Ms. Brown was on hand Saturday to cut the ribbon to the Dr. Beth A. Brown STEM Lab, along with several family members and friends who joined in the festivities.

Apple Ridge Farm’s Academic Summer Camp has been operating for 29 years under the expertise of founding director Peter Lewis–now retired. His son, now at the helm continues his super legacy.

This unique facility has a project-based curriculum that allows approximately 300 youth to attend the camp each year to receive instruction in academic courses inside and also enjoy outdoor experiences as swimming, gardening, hiking and tennis.

The Annual Family Day celebrates all that the campers have experienced during the summer and promotes family togetherness. Apple Ridge Farm’ motto is “Helping Kids Grow!” The Dr. Beth A. Brown STEM Lab will serve as an important addition to the innovative curriculum being offered at Apple Ridge Farm to undeserved children to assists them in obtaining their career & life goals.