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H/Posts & Press Releases/Astronaut and Philanthropist Jared Isaacman and his wife Monica Isaacman Sponsor Next Generation Science Institute at Da Vinci Science Center

Astronaut and Philanthropist Jared Isaacman and his wife Monica Isaacman Sponsor Next Generation Science Institute at Da Vinci Science Center

Contact: Caroline Scutt,

ALLENTOWN, PA. Sept. 14, 2022 – Da Vinci Science Center will officially launch the Isaacman Next Generation Science Institute during its Science Under the Stars celebration on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m.  

Designed in partnership with area school districts and national experts to provide learning opportunities for teachers, students, parents, families, administrators, and school board members to prepare for next-generation science teaching and learning, this innovative educational initiative is being supported by renowned commercial astronaut, pilot, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Jared Isaacman, commander of the first all civilian human spaceflight to orbit the Earth, and his wife, Monica.   

“We can’t thank Jared and Monica enough for their investment. Not only does the financial support help ensure that this new initiative will achieve its goals, but Jared’s personal journey also exemplifies what we want children, and adults, everywhere to aspire to do – to embrace bold thinking and reach for the stars,” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO for Da Vinci Science Center. 

The development of the Isaacman Next Generation Science Institute is in response to the demonstrated need for new teaching strategies that enable students to explain natural phenomena and design solutions to problems that are important to them. When students use the same practices that professional scientists and engineers use, the emphasis is on “figuring out,” rather than simply “learning about,” and they become better equipped with transferable knowledge and skills that can be applied in all facets of their lives. Earth and Space Science, one of the disciplinary core ideas in the new standards, promotes interdisciplinary learning across the major fields of science and engineering.  

Jared knew he wanted to travel to space ever since he was a young boy, but he didn’t take a direct or clear path to achieve his goal. “I’m proud to support educational efforts that encourage students to explore the world around them, to make connections that aren’t always obvious, and to ask, ‘What If?’,” Jared explained. “This is the kind of thinking that will create solutions to challenges humanity faces here on earth today and make progress for the future we all want to live in for tomorrow.” 

The Isaacman Next Generation Science Institute’s launch is designed to support the adoption of new science, environment and ecology, technology, and engineering standards in Pennsylvania, creating an opportunity for schools to update their vision for science education. “These new standards are a more dynamic representation of how science and engineering work in the real world,” noted Karen Knecht, Senior Director of Education for Da Vinci Science Center. “The Isaacman Next Generation Science Institute will provide educators with additional tools and resources in support of teaching and learning to help meet the new standards. In addition, this approach promotes equity in classrooms because every student, regardless of ability or home language, is looking at the same problem, wondering about it, and finding potential solutions.” 

Further details on the Isaacman Next Generation Science Institute will be shared at the official launch on Saturday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. during the Science Under the Stars event. The all-day celestial celebration will run from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. (rain or shine) and admission is only $5 per person or free for members. Many programs will be available in both English and Spanish. 

More information and a detailed schedule of events and updates can be found at  

About the Da Vinci Science Center
The Da Vinci Science Center is a national award-winning science center that has brought science to life and lives to science since 1992. Da Vinci Science Center experiences make science fun and approachable, helping to connect people of all ages and backgrounds with the wonders of science. An independent nonprofit organization with IRS 501(c)(3) status, the Da Vinci Science Center engages more than 150,000 participants annually with its exhibits, programs, events, and partnerships.