The Da Vinci Science Center’s Linny Fowler Science Inquiry Fund is set up to provide funding for low-income students so that they are able to have access to STEM Education Learning opportunities such as Field Trips, Camps, Science Clubs, Science Shows, Outreach Programs, and Teacher Professional Development, with the main goal of improving the academic performance of underserved students, increasing their likelihood of graduating from high school, and opening their minds to various STEM careers.
These STEM education opportunities are offered in-person or virtually. Our target audience is schools with PreK to middle school children, with a priority on reaching students from low-income households who are underrepresented in STEM fields and do not have access to the educational experiences available to their peers. Since the pandemic began, we have shifted to include virtual programming options. These educational experiences are designed to build students’ science and inquiry skills. The need for these funds is even greater in the COVID-19 environment in which low-income students have less access to rich science experiences.
Due to COVID-19, which temporarily closed most organizations in March 2020-present, Da Vinci Science Center had to cancel its annual fundraising Gala on April 28, 2020, which is the main source of funds for the Science Inquiry Fund. This event traditionally raises over $65,000 for the special pledge appeal which feeds the Science Inquiry Fund. This funding is counted on for high-need schools. In fact, by January 2020 we had used up all funding, which was raised the previous year during the Gala. Due to the cancellation of the Gala in April 2020, we were unable to raise the needed donations to feed the Science Inquiry Fund.
Many schools are interested in participating in these experiences but are unable to fund field trips and outreach programs due to budget restrictions. Science Inquiry Fund scholarships are awarded to schools that fit the low-income criteria with over 40% of students receiving free or reduced lunch.
To apply for Science Inquiry Funds, click here.
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