Thursday, October 28, 2010

Science Museum of Western Virginia announces major gift

Roanoke, VA (October 11, 2010) – The Helen S. and Charles G. Patterson Jr. Charitable Foundation Trust has presented a check for $30,000 to the Science Museum of Western Virginia, allowing the Museum to move forward with plans to develop a career profile installation that will highlight Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-based careers throughout western Virginia.

A commitment to learning is fundamental to progress and success. The Science Museum of Western Virginia has the capacity to promote and support that commitment throughout the region. “By opening minds to the inventive worlds created by those pursuing STEM-related careers, we hope to serve the growing needs of the Commonwealth not only for today, but for tomorrow as well,” says Nancy McCrickard, Executive Director of the Science Museum of Western Virginia. The Museum believes the exhibit will ultimately promote a better-informed citizenry and inspire individuals to consider STEM-based careers by encouraging awareness of opportunities right here in their own back yard.

“A recent UVA study* showed that 65 percent of children who make the decision to enter a science-oriented career do so before middle school,” says McCrickard. “Unfortunately, studies also show that as a nation, our children are losing interest in science as early as the third grade. So, while this decision is made early-on, fewer children are actually making that choice. Unless we concentrate efforts to engage today’s youngsters early, we will miss out on their bright ideas, ideas which could solve many current local, national, and world challenges.”

The Helen S. and Charles G. Patterson, Jr. Charitable Foundation Trust was established in 1997. The Pattersons were lifelong residents of Virginia and their generosity has supported many programs throughout central and western Virginia.

The Science Museum of Western Virginia is the oldest science museum in Virginia, having been founded in 1970 by a group of teachers and community volunteers. The Museum moved into Center in the Square in 1983, where it has occupied the 4th and 5th floors. The move transformed the Science Museum of Western Virginia into a significant attraction and anchor of downtown Roanoke activity with a planetarium and interactive exhibits. The Science Museum of Western Virginia is among the fewer than 5-percent of science centers in the U.S. nationally accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Education

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