H/Posts & Press Releases/Da Vinci Science Center Awarded Competitive Grant to Support STEM Engagement During COVID-19 Pandemic

Da Vinci Science Center Awarded Competitive Grant to Support STEM Engagement During COVID-19 Pandemic

Contact: Allison Dolan, allison@nulldavincisciencecenter.org

ALLENTOWN, PA. June 5, 2020 — The Da Vinci Science Center is one of 20 science centers and museums around the country selected to receive $5,000 in support of STEM engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and made possible by the Voya Foundation.

This flexible program is designed to support science and technology centers and museums to continue to serve their missions and community by developing, enhancing, or adapting programs or resources, helping continue STEM learning as children, families, and educators adapt to a new normal. Twenty institutions were selected to receive funding, from among 96 science centers and museums that submitted applications.

“We are incredibly grateful to ASTC and the Voya Foundation for this funding,” said Lin Erickson, Da Vinci Science Center Executive Director and CEO. “We at Da Vinci Science Center believe that science is the solution to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are committed to delivering on our mission to bring science to life and lives to science for students and families across the region.”

With support from the Voya Foundation, Da Vinci Science Center is creating new ways for its audiences to continue their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) explorations at home. Recently published web pages include our “Learn It,  Try It,  Share It!” Science at Home activities and scientifically accurate COVID-19 resources for families and teachers. In response to community requests for resources that can be sent home to make it easier for students without internet to participate, the Science Center has created Grab-n-Go STEM Kits for students and families. A Virtual Science Fair Showcase will allow students whose events were cancelled to still share their work with the community, and get feedback from STEM professionals who will comment on their projects. Finally, traditional summer programs have been redesigned to create online delivery options that include STEM materials and live interactions with professional STEM educators.

“We know the important role Da Vinci Science Center’s STEM programs play in our communities because of the success of Voya STEM Futures, one of our signature programs,” said Angela Harrell, SVP, Chief Diversity and Corporate Responsibility Officer and President, Voya Foundation. “We’re proud that our rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic can keep our children learning during this unprecedented time.”

“We are thankful that Voya recognized a need for continued exploration and learning opportunities—even when science centers and museums are closed—and stepped forward to help them keep doing what they do best,” said Cristin Dorgelo, President and CEO of ASTC. “Community-based organizations like Da Vinci Science Center are well-positioned to help meet the need for increased understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among all people, which is needed now more than ever.”

About 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.

About Voya Foundation
Voya Foundation’s mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and children’s education and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit www.VoyaFoundation.com.
About ASTC
Founded in 1973, ASTC is a network of nearly 700 science and technology centers and museums, and allied organizations, engaging more than 110 million people annually across North America and in almost 50 countries. With its members and partners, ASTC works towards a vision of increased understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among all people. www.astc.org