Thursday, December 6, 2012

PNC Foundation Grant Supports Early Child STEM Education at Tampa's MOSI

Tampa, FL, USA /PRWEB/ -- Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) has been awarded a $525,000 grant by the PNC Foundation to create its newest permanent exhibition, Slippery Science, the first element of a new preschool education program at MOSI.

Slippery Science, opened Dec. 2, is located inside Kids In Charge!, MOSI’s children’s science center, and will include a series of interactive exhibits that teach friction, physics, the science behind reaction time and more. Inside the exhibit, guests will be able to play games, see what’s inside the hockey protection of a player’s uniform and even ham it up on the JumboTron. In addition, the Slippery Science exhibits will incorporate design elements of the Tampa Bay Times Forum and Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team which will serve as a backdrop and enhance the experience.

The grant from the PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc., also will result in MOSI’s new early childhood project called PNC Passport to Science: A Grow Up Great Initiative, in collaboration with the Tampa Bay Lightning. This program will address the need to create interest in science in young children through facilitating children’s ability to explore, use science language, ask questions and think using scientific inquiry processes.

“Our support of MOSI’s exhibit and the science program are strategic investments in the future of our Tampa Bay preschoolers,” said Joe Meterchick, PNC regional president for Florida West, speaking on behalf of the PNC Foundation. “Studies have shown that a science-rich environment helps children succeed in school. By helping preschoolers to learn about science in a fun and interactive way, we support a solid foundation for the well-being of local children, their families and ultimately, our economy.”

The exhibit, Slippery Science, will also include accompanying take-home activities and educator-led STEM investigations for children, parents and teachers. An interactive website, which offers educational games, lesson plans for teachers, MOSI-generated preschool science explorations for home and parent-generated activities, will also be available.

The PNC Passport to Science grant also will fund the recruitment and training of volunteers, including PNC employees, to support Head Start events and activities, along with supplying tools for teachers and parents to improve their science facilitation skills. This exhibit not only uses science to engage young children in active exploration, but it will also be rich in strengthening the use of science language for children, teachers and parents. MOSI’s expertise in educating and exciting young children, their parents and teachers about science provides a solid foundation upon which to build the PNC Passport to Science program.

“Children are our natural scientists,” said Wit Ostrenko, MOSI president. “They’re engaged in their environment and their imaginations run wild. Our work with PNC Foundation allows MOSI to continue connecting with their curiosity.”

In addition, PNC will donate 3,400 “Happy, Healthy, Ready for School – Math Is Everywhere” activity kits to supplement mathematics learning for Head Start children throughout Hillsborough County. Created by Sesame Workshop as part of a continuing partnership with PNC, the bilingual, multimedia kits include a guide for parents and caregivers, a children’s book, along with an original Sesame StreetTM DVD.

About the PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. To learn more about the PNC Grow Up Great initiative, go to http://www.pncgrowupgreat.com and http://www.youtube.com/PNC or follow @PNCGrowUpGreat on Twitter.

About MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry)
MOSI is a not-for-profit, community-based institution and educational resource dedicated to advancing public interest, knowledge, and understanding of science, industry, and technology. With a total size of over 400,000 square feet, MOSI is the largest science center in the southeastern United States, and home to the only IMAX® Dome Theatre in the state of Florida. Kids In Charge! The Children’s Science Center at MOSI is the largest children’s science center in the nation. Disasterville, featuring Bay News 9 WeatherQuest, combines education and 10,000 square feet of interactive exhibits on the science behind natural disasters. MOSI’s newest permanent exhibition, The Amazing You, presented by MetLife Foundation and sponsored by Florida Blue, explores the fascinating world of birth through end-of-life. Conquer your fears and experience an adrenaline rush like no other on MOSI’s permanent attractions, the Sky Trail® Ropes Course and Zip Line. Also, guests can now Dream it – Make it – Do it in MOSI’s technology playground & inventor’s studio, Idea Zone. MOSI is the proud winner of the 2009 National Medal for Museums by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the nation’s highest honor for museums. For more information on MOSI, visit http://www.mosi.org.