HomeNewsHHMI Awards $12 Million for Informal Science Education

HHMI News

HHMI Awards $12 Million for Informal Science Education
HHMI Awards $12 Million for Informal Science Education

Summary

Museums, nature centers, aquariums and zoos win grants.
Twenty-nine science museums, nature centers, aquariums, zoos and other informal science education centers will receive new grants totaling $12 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The awards support programs to strengthen science literacy and enhance science education. Profiles of three new awardees are featured below. A number of the programs focus on environmental stewardship in inner city, rural and other areas where there are high concentrations of disadvantaged children and families. The Fairchild Tropical Garden in Miami, for example, will receive a $290,000 grant to develop a program aimed at the local, primarily Caribbean, community. Called Green Treasures, it will involve school children, their teachers and families--including elder family members who emigrated from the Caribbean--in hands-on study of the scientific, economic and cultural importance of plants. This is the first time that nature centers were invited to apply for the grants. Rock Creek National Park Nature Center, for example, will use a $500,000 award to develop an educational partnership among the six national parks in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, two schools systems, several nonprofit organizations and a university. Called Bridging the Watershed, the partnership will use the national parks in the Potomac River watershed as learning laboratories for high school students. This is the fourth round of grants for science education program originating outside the traditional elementary or secondary school setting. Their objectives are:
  • to strengthen the science literacy of children and their families.
  • to provide resources for better science teaching.
  • to engage families and communities in science education.
  • to stimulate an interest in careers in research and education.
  • to foster collaborations between informal science education centers and other community institutions.
A panel of scientists, educators and museum program specialists reviewed 235 applications. Since 1992, HHMI has awarded 125 grants totaling $30.6 million to museums and other informal science education centers. Read brief profiles of three of the new awardees' programs: A list of new awards follows.

Institution

State

Award

Arizona Science Center
(1993 $250,000)

AZ

$480,000

Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park

NY

$450,000

Cable Natural History Museum, Inc. (1998 $150,000)

WI

$220,000

The Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum
(1993,1998 $100,000)

IL

$495,000

Chicago Botanic Garden

IL

$210,000

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose
(1993,1998 $150,000)

CA

$500,000

Children's Museum (Massachusetts)
(1993,1997 $175,000)

MA

$480,000

Dakota Science Center

ND

$475,000

EcoTarium

MA

$200,000

Fairchild Tropical Garden

FL

$290,000

Garden In the Woods (New England Wildflower Society)

MA

$470,000

The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center

AL

$455,000

Headwaters Science Center

MN

$465,000

The Imaginarium
(1992 $225,000)

AK

$475,000

Irvine Natural Science Center (1993 $125,000)

MD

$500,000

Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk

CT

$480,000

Missouri Botanical Garden
(1993,1998 $100,000)

MO

$265,000

Museum of Science (Boston)
(1998 $100,000)

MA

$465,000

National Aquarium in Baltimore
(1993 $125,000)

MD

$390,000

New Jersey State Aquarium
(1993 $300,000)

NJ

$495,000

Rock Creek Nature Center

DC

$500,000

The Science Museum of Minnesota
(1992,1998 $250,000)

MN

$465,000

The Seattle Aquarium

WA

$465,000

Sedgwick County Zoo

KS

$275,000

Staten Island Children's Museum
(1993 $125,000)

NY

$250,000

University of California Botanical Garden
(1998 $175,000)

CA

$500,000

University of California Museum of Paleontology

CA

$390,000

University of Wisconsin - Madison Arboretum
(1998 $425,000)

WI

$500,000

Zoo New England

MA

$395,000

Total      $12,000,000

For More Information

Jim Keeley
[ 301-215-8858 ]