LCRA, PEC award $25,000 grant to Science Mill

New Light Loom exhibit will introduce visitors to the science behind colored light

The following story is courtesy of Lower Colorado River Authority.

The Science Mill soon will add a new exhibit as part of its growing collection of learning labs, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and Pedernales Electric Cooperative.

The Community Development Partnership Program grant, paired with matching funds of about $42,000, will allow the Science Mill to build a new Light Loom permanent exhibit.

Bob Elde, Science Mill interim CEO and science director, said the exhibit and accompanying activities will demonstrate the important role of additive light in nature and technology.

“Mixing two colors creates a new color, but the result differs greatly if you do it with paint compared to doing it with colored light,” Elde said. “Light Loom will be science in action.”

The Science Mill is a hands-on science museum that offers STEM-focused educational opportunities to expand students’ understanding and appreciation of science in their everyday lives. It opened in 2015 in the historic Johnson City feed and grist mill, and the new exhibit will be in one of the original 40-foot-tall silos.

“Kids will be able to dial in colors and blend them into a dramatic, waving rope of light that starts at the 40-foot-high ceiling and descends to the floor,” Elde said. “This will be a spark for curiosity and creativity in the kids we serve.”

In the last five years, more than 250,000 people have visited the Science Mill, including 55,000 students on field trips.

The community grant is one of 32 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. PEC is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program.

Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in January. More information is available at

About LCRA

The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit