Public Release: 

Howard Hughes Medical Institute awards $12 million for informal science education

Howard Hughes Medical Institute

CHEVY CHASE, Md., July 10, 2001 -- Twenty-nine science museums, nature centers, aquariums, zoos and other informal science education centers will receive new grants totaling $12 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The awards support programs to strengthen science literacy and enhance science education.

This is the first time that nature centers were invited to apply for the grants. Rock Creek National Park Nature Center, for example, will use a $500,000 award to develop an educational partnership among the six national parks in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, two schools systems, several non-profit organizations and a university. Called Bridging the Watershed, the partnership will use the national parks in the Potomac River watershed as learning laboratories for high school students.

This is the fourth round of grants for science education program originating outside the traditional elementary or secondary school setting. Their objectives are:

· to strengthen the science literacy of children and their families.
· to provide resources for better science teaching.
· to engage families and communities in science education.
· to stimulate an interest in careers in research and education.
· to foster collaborations between informal science education centers and other community institutions.

A panel of scientists, educators and museum program specialists reviewed 235 applications. Since 1992, HHMI has awarded 125 grants totaling $30.6 million to museums and other informal science education centers. A list of new awards follows.

The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a medical research organization whose principal purpose is the conduct of biomedical research. It employs 350 Hughes investigators who conduct basic medical research in HHMI laboratories at 72 medical centers and universities nationwide. Through its complementary grants program, HHMI supports science education in the United States and a select group of researchers abroad.

Arizona Science Center - AZ - $480,000
Bronx Zoo/Wildlife Conservation Park-NY $450,000
Cable Natural History Museum, Inc. - WI $220,000
Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum - IL - $495,000
Chicago Botanic Garden - IL - $210,000
Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose - CA - $500,000
Children's Museum - MA - $480,000
Dakota Science Center - ND - $475,000
EcoTarium - MA - $200,000
Fairchild Tropical Garden - FL- $290,000
Garden In the Woods (New England Wildflower Society) - MA - $470,000
Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center - AL $455,000
Headwaters Science Center - MN- $465,000
Imaginarium - AK - $475,000
Irvine Natural Science Center - MD $500,000
Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk - CT $480,000
Missouri Botanical Garden - MO-$265,000
Museum of Science (Boston)- MA-$465,000
National Aquarium in Baltimore - MD $390,000
New Jersey State Aquarium - NJ - 495,000
Rock Creek Nature Center - DC - $500,000
Science Museum of Minnesota-MN -$465,000
Seattle Aquarium - WA - $465,000
Sedgwick County Zoo - KS - $275,000
Staten Island Children's Museum - NY $250,000
University of California Botanical Garden - CA - $500,000
University of California Museum of Paleontology - CA - $390,000
University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum - WI - $500,000
Zoo New England - MA - $395,000
Total $12,000,000

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