Science Center One of 30 Finalists in Prestigious National Honor
PITTSBURGH, March 3, 2014 – The Institute of Museum and Library Services has announced that Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh is a National Medal for Museum and Library Service finalist. The National Medal, the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community, is celebrating its 20th year of saluting institutions that make a difference for individuals, families, and communities.
Medal finalists are selected from nationwide nominations of institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches to public service, exceeding the expected levels of community outreach.
“We are tremendously gratified to be recognized for our work in supporting science education in the Pittsburgh region,” said Carnegie Science Center Co-Director Ann Metzger. “We’re very proud of our efforts to be a leader in STEM education, to raise public awareness about in-demand careers through our math + science = success™ campaign, and the recent launch of our resource portal, STEMisphere.org. It’s wonderful to have our team acknowledged for their great work.”
“Carnegie Science Center has been serving this community for 22 years,” says Ron Baillie, the Science Center’s other co-director. “We continue to innovate new ways to bring science to the people in our region and beyond. Our Science on the Road outreach program reaches 150,000 students a year, most of whom might never have the opportunity to visit the Science Center. We’re always looking for new ways to get kids from underserved populations interested in and access to science education. Being named as a National Medal finalist shows that those at the top of science education in this country value our efforts.”
Carnegie Science Center is one of 30 finalists selected from among more than 100 nominations nationwide. Finalists are chosen based on their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited Carnegie Science Center to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page, www.facebook.com/USIMLS, and to visit the IMLS Facebook page to learn more about how these institutions make an impact.
National Medal for Museum and Library Service winners will be announced this spring. Carnegie Science Center previously won the IMLS medal in 2003.
Among the achievements illustrating Carnegie Science Center’s community service:
- The Science Center is the region’s largest provider of informal science learning opportunities, with nearly 550,000 visitors onsite annually; its educational programming serves more than 220,000 people onsite and in schools and communities across five states (western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, northern West Virginia, northern Maryland, and southwestern New York).
- Carnegie Science Center plays an essential role in developing the next generation workforce with the STEM skills to meet the needs of local industry. Its Chevron Center for STEM Education and Career Development leverages the Science Center’s role as convener and builds on the successful foundation of its STEM programming for even greater impact in the community. In October 2012, Carnegie Science Center’s STEM Center won international recognition when it received the Leading Edge Award for Business Practice from the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC).
- Carnegie Science Center collaborates with more than 100 community partners to develop and implement programs like SciTech Days, ChemFest, and Engineer the Future, which feature hands-on exhibits by corporations and universities, as well as interaction with scientists and professionals. Student competitions like Future City and the Chain Reaction Contraption Contest engage volunteer engineers and STEM professionals to help students develop their months-long projects. The Pittsburgh Regional Science & Engineering Fair (PRSEF) coordinated by Carnegie Science Center since its inception is one of the nation’s oldest and most-respected; more than 1,000 students participate annually and compete for more than $1 million in cash prizes and scholarships. Based on the strength of PRSEF, Pittsburgh was chosen as one of three cities to host the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair over the next decade.
- To increase participation of underrepresented audiences in STEM, special programs for girls feature hands-on activities and interaction with female STEM professional role models. The Science Center actively raises funds from corporations and foundations to permit students from underserved schools to participate in the Science Center’s STEM programs; currently more than one third of the participants in the Science Center’s STEM programs are from underserved schools.
- Recognizing the importance of reaching early learners, Carnegie Science Center provides pre-K science program in more than 100 Head Start classrooms in Pittsburgh, 30 in Westmoreland County, and 18 in Indiana County. In addition, CSC contributes content to all 1,200 Pre-K classrooms throughout West Virginia.
To learn more about Carnegie Science Center’s programs and events, visit CarnegieScienceCenter.org or call 412.237.3400.