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A new contribution of $50,000 from PPL Corporation will enable the Da Vinci Science Center to introduce new preschool exhibit experiences for visitors.
The Da Vinci Science Center’s expanded preschool area will build upon the popularity of the Center’s two recent preschool exhibit additions – the Invent-a-Car Station and the Deer Park Natural Spring Water Table.
PPL has been one of the Da Vinci Science Center’s leading corporate partners since its founding, said Center Executive Director and CEO Lin Erickson, who received the contribution Thursday afternoon from Lissette Santana, Senior Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations for PPL. Along with supporting the Center financially, PPL has developed several exhibit experiences and partnered on several programs.
“PPL is excited to continue its partnership with the Da Vinci Science Center through this important educational initiative,” Santana said. “By helping preschool children discover and enjoy science and technology through playful and interactive experiences, we believe that we are playing an important role in enhancing our community’s educational strength and community and economic development.”
Throughout the Da Vinci Science Center’s history, most of its exhibit experiences have been designed to engage students in grades K-8. Its first preschool exhibit room was created in July 2007 in response to public interest. The Center’s preschool experiences now include dedicated visitor programs, School Field Trip Workshops, Science On the Move Outreach Programs, and Summer Camp sessions. The Center’s increased emphasis on preschool experiences was a response to growing awareness of the importance of early childhood education. The Center’s visitation by toddlers and their families also increased 9.5 percent during its fiscal year ending June 30, 2014 after growing 12.2 percent in the previous year.
“Bringing science to live and lives to science is the Da Vinci Science Center’s mission, and that mission is best served by helping children build fundamental skills and gain an appreciation for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects before they begin school,” Erickson said. “There is overwhelming evidence that demonstrates that the skills a child builds before the age of five are the most reliable predictor of his or her success in school, which, of course, positions him or her for career opportunities. When we awaken a preschool child’s interest in STEM subjects, we are positioning him or her ultimately to be able to take advantage of careers that will provide family-sustaining wages and stability.”
Vincent Sorgi, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for PPL, is Chairman of the Da Vinci Science Center’s Board of Trustees. PPL Corporation Controller Stephen Breininger is the Center’s Board Treasurer.