For Immediate Release

Contact:  Heather Boeke, heather@handsonwnc.org or 697-8333

Hands On! receives grant award from N.C. Science Museums Grant Program

(Hendersonville, N.C.) — In January, Hands On! was one of 41 science centers across the state to receive a grant award as part of the $2.44 million North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program. The new program is one of the many ways that the State of North Carolina invests in sustaining and advancing one of the most diverse and widespread networks of science museums in the country.

“We are extremely proud and grateful to be receiving this grant funding”, says Heather Boeke, Executive Director of Hands On!.  “State funding has allowed us to begin renting a new classroom devoted to STEM education, begin programs such as Summer Science in the Park and expand our outreach in the community through our Mad Scientists on Wheels traveling program.”

Grants were awarded based on criteria that promote the priorities of state government, with a primary goal of enhancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education opportunities for the public, particularly in low resource communities. The awards, which ranged from $51,912.92 to $76,912.92, will be applied to the 2016-2017 fiscal year budgets of these science centers.

“These museums are critical resources for schools and communities in providing learning experiences in and out of the classroom that enhance science literacy,” says Charles Yelton, Chief of Regional Networks for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and lead administrator of the Grant Program.

A full list of centers receiving grant awards follows. The 40 most economically distressed counties are designated as Tier 1 (which received the largest awards), the next 40 as Tier 2 and the 20 least distressed as Tier 3.

Tier 1: Port Discover, Discovery Place Kids (Rockingham), Aurora Fossil Museum, Exploration Station, KidSenses Children’s Museum, Sylvian Heights Bird Park, Roanoke/Cashie River Center, Highlands Nature Center, NC Estuarium, Rocky Mount Children’s Museum and Science Center.

Tier 2: Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, Go-Science, Mt. Airy Museum of Regional History, FascinateU, Cowan Museum of History and Science, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, Dan Nichols Wildlife and Nature Center, Imagination Station, Catawba Science Center, A Time for Science, Schiele Museum of Natural History, Walter Stasavich Science and Nature Center/Love a Sea Turtle.

Tier 3: Core Sound Waterfowl Museum, Greensboro Science Center, Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium, Marbles Kid’s Museum, ScienceWorks/Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, Iredell Museums, Hands On!- A Child’s Gallery, Carolina Raptor Center, Children’s Museum of Wilmington, Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, Asheville Museum of Science, Discovery Place, Western North Carolina Nature Center, North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Discovery Place Kids (Huntersville), Charlotte Nature Museum, KidZu Children’s Museum, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and NC Botanical Gardens.

For more information about the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program, visit ncmuseumgrant.naturalsciences.org.   Hands On! is located on Main Street in Hendersonville, and is open Tuesday – Saturday 10:00 – 5:00.  For additional information about Hands On!, please visit www.handsonwnc.org or call 828-697-8333.

(Attached picture is from Hands On! classes in new STEAM classroom)

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