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DSC Seeks Support for New Engineering Exhibit During National Career Event

As industries mark National Engineers Week in February, the Da Vinci Science Center is expanding its continued efforts to ensure that the Lehigh Valley area’s engineering workforce remains strong throughout future generations.

In order to spark children’s interest in engineering at a very young age, the Center plans to purchase and install an expansive preschool exhibit called Engineers on a Roll in the coming months. Created by the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum in Michigan, Engineers On a Roll is a combined engineering lab, playscape, and climbing experience that offers preschool children hours of active fun while they explore technology, math, and engineering as they drop, bounce, and sort colorful balls. Engineers on a Roll would represent the largest single permanent exhibit investment in the Da Vinci Science Center’s history. The Center is seeking support for the exhibit from corporation and foundations, as well as contributions from individuals through its annual fund.

National Engineers Week was founded in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers to raise awareness of engineers’ positive contributions to quality of life, STEM education, and engineering careers. The 2016 National Engineers Week takes place from Feb. 21-27.

One of the Da Vinci Science Center’s core purposes, as defined by its 2016-2019 Strategic Plan, is to inspire an outstanding 21st century workforce for the STEM fields – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The Center’s efforts to engage students in fun, interactive engineering experiences and raise awareness of engineering careers include the following:

  • Four-day Pop-Up Maker Spaces in Allentown School District schools that integrate technology and the arts and promote important engineering and problem-solving skills through hands-on design projects
  • School Field Trip Workshops, Outreach Programs, and Summer Camp sessions that introduce students to the engineering process and engineering careers
  • The Inventor’s Lab Program, which introduces students in grades 4-8 to an engineering mindset that drives the invention process; this program has helped one student earn United States Patent and additional students submit patent applications
  • The Dream It. Do It. PA partnership that promotes engineering and other manufacturing careers through online resources and its popular video contest for middle school students
  • The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) initiative, which presents programs and events to support practicing female engineers and other STEM professionals and inspires young women to pursue careers in these fields; the Center’s 2016 WISE events included several prominent female engineers from regional and national companies
  • The STEM Valley Mentoring Coalition, founded by the Da Vinci Science Center, which recruits active and retired volunteers to provide high-impact mentoring for students from underserved populations and girls

“Engineering represents a systematic and effective approach to problem-solving that is required for success in all scientific and technical endeavors,” said Lin Erickson, Executive Director and CEO of the Da Vinci Science Center. “We are particularly excited about plans to introduce preschoolers to this approach with the Engineers On a Roll exhibit, thereby giving our youngest visitors a critical foundation for future success as professionals and citizens.”

Contributions through the Center’s annual fund can be made at davincisciencecenter.org/annualfund or by calling the Center’s Development office at 484.664.1002, Ext. 102.

News Media Contact @DSC: Dennis Zehner, 484.664.1002, Ext. 112
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