Phoenix, AZ, Oct. 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Arizona Science Center continues to bring its mission to engage and inspire individuals through STEM to a national scale. Earlier this month, it officially received a $750,000 award from NASA to launch a new three-year project, The Moon and Beyond: An Immersive Game for STEM Learning in Museums and Planetariums, that will help advance the nation’s STEM education and workforce pipeline. The project, which will reach science centers and museums across the country over the next several years, will engage individuals in authentic science learning experiences related to human exploration beyond our low-earth orbit—and help build their 21st century skill-set.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with NASA to launch a national project that can inspire and engage visitors of all ages in the wonders of space exploration,” said Chevy Humphrey, Hazel A. Hare President and CEO of Arizona Science Center. “Through this initiative, we are eager to chart the next frontier of informal science learning and lead a collective of museums and science centers in the effort to spark increased engagement in STEM.”

This work directly supports the Presidential Committee on STEM Education’s strategic directions to not only increase and sustain youth and public engagement with STEM—but also to support groups that are historically underrepresented in these fields. Moon and Beyond will primarily serve families with children from fourth to eighth grade, the years when interest in STEM traditionally drops off, and place a particular focus on engaging those underserved groups.

Over the course of the initiative, Arizona Science Center will partner with Arizona State University and members of the National Informal STEM Education Network, including the Boston-based Museum of Science and Science Museum of Minnesota, to expand the reach of the project across the United States. The organizations will work together to develop strategies that encourage local collaborations, which can help promote increased, community-wide engagement in STEM.

Through Moon and Beyond, Arizona Science Center will also equip informal educators and museum volunteers with the tools to develop and lead these high-quality science learning experiences, building the capacity of STEM education initiatives across the country.

“This project serves as an important step in positioning our nation’s future STEM workforce for success,” said Sethuraman Panchanathan, Executive Vice President of ASU Knowledge Enterprise and Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Arizona State University.

“We are proud of our partnership with Arizona Science Center and look forward to increasing access to engaging, hands-on STEM learning experiences here in Arizona and across the country.”

Arizona Science Center will work directly with program staff at NASA over the next three years to evaluate the project’s impact—and determine how it supports a broader goal to enhance the nation’s STEM education and workforce pipeline.

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About Arizona Science Center

The mission of Arizona Science Center is to inspire, educate and engage curious minds through science. The Center, located at 600 E. Washington Street in downtown Phoenix, features more than 300 hands-on exhibits, live demonstrations, the state-of-the-art Dorrance Planetarium and the five-story Irene P. Flinn Giant Screen Theater. CREATE at Arizona Science Center®, adjacent to the main building, is the newest addition. This 6,500 square-foot community makerspace provides workshops, including 3D printing, laser cutting, woodworking and sewing. The Center offers programs for all ages, including Camp Innovation, Teen Science Scene, Professional Development and Learning for Educators, and adults’ night out: Science with a Twist. For further details, please visit azscience.org

Adam Rabinowitz
202-266-4724
rabinowitz@collaborativecommunications.com