NASA Funding 9 Innovative Museum Exhibits, Planetariums

It's $7 million in grants to enhance educational outreach related to space exploration, aeronautics, space science, Earth science and microgravity. 
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NASA has named recipients of a total of $7 million in educational grants through its Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums, The funding is designed to enhance educational outreach related to space exploration, aeronautics, space science, Earth science and microgravity.

The grants range from $177,000 to $1.25 million and have a maximum five-year performance period.

The selected projects will work with NASA's Shared Service Center in Mississippi to complete the business review necessary before a NASA award is issued.

"Science centers and planetariums contribute significantly to engaging people of all ages in science, technology, engineering and math," said James Stofan, acting associate administrator for NASA's Office of Education. "NASA wants to give the informal education community access to a variety of agency staff and resources while offering professional development opportunities for informal science educators and encouraging the formation of collaborative partnerships."

The selected organizations will partner with NASA's Museum Alliance, an Internet-based, national network of more than 400 science and nature centers, planetariums, museums, aquariums, zoos and related organizations. The projects will engage the public and educators by providing NASA-inspired space, science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning opportunities.

Congress initiated the Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums in 2008. The first group of projects began in 2009. NASA's Office of Education and agency mission directorates collaborated to solicit and review the grant applications.

The recipients and programs are:

*Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (Laurel Clark Earth Camp Experience)
*The Children's Museum, Hartford (Conn.) (From the Blue Planet to the Red Planet: Exploring Planetary Science)
*The Children's Museum of Inidanapolis Inc. (Curious Scientific Investigators: Flight Adventures)
*Louisiana Art and Science Museum Zeiss Planetarium (Future Space: Engaging the Public After Shuttle)
*Maryland Academy of Sciences/Maryland Science Center (Astrobiology)
*Science Museum of Minnesota/Science Explore Store (Journey to Space)
*Dayton (Ohio) Society of Natrural History, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery (Exoplanets Exploration)
*Thanksgiving Point Institute Inc. (Utah) (NASA Programming at Thanksgiving Point)
*Pacific Science Foundation (Washington) (NASA Now: Using Current Data, Planetarium Technology and Youth Career Development to Connect People to the Universe)

For a pdf with more information on these programs click here and then select "2010 Competitive Program for Science Museums and Planetariums (CP4SMP) Selections."

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