NASA will give approximately $7.7 million in grants through NASA’s Competitive Program for Science Museums, Planetariums and NASA Visitor Centers Plus Other Opportunities (CP4SMPVC) with ten US informal learning institutions.
The aim of the funding is to attract more students into careers in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics ).
Leland Melvin, NASA's associate administrator for education in Washington, said, "Informal education providers play a key role in NASA Education's effort to make interactive STEM experiences available to students and the general public. Using compelling NASA content, they create fun, hands-on learning activities that help us stimulate greater interest in STEM. Increasing STEM literacy in students today is crucial to having the talent NASA will require for future missions of science and discovery."
The institutions receiving NASA grant funding will put forward business plans detailing the progammes of work to be undertaken to engage students, teachers and the public in STEM. Final confirmation of funding will depend upon the approval of the final business plan.
Grants will range from $500, 000 to $1 million for projects of up to five years.
The institutions from ten states in the US include six museums and four NASA visitor centers :
- U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Huntsville, Ala.
- AERO Institute, Palmdale, Calif.
- Miami Science Museum
- Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
- St. Louis Science Center
- Science South Inc., Florence, S.C.
- Space Center Houston Project
- Virginia Air and Space Center, Hampton, Va.
- Pacific Science Center Foundation, Seattle