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Science Center Gets Funds for Preschool Education

The Louisville Science Center received a grant today to bolster its education programs for preschoolers. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The PNC Foundation announced it is giving a grant of more than $380,000 to the Science Center so it can provide science educational activities to young children, their teachers and their families.

The center’s executive director, Joanna Haas, says the grant comes as the organization prepares to open a new education wing this summer, which will be able to accommodate the new activities.

“We can serve more teachers, more students, more schools and certainly more families,” Haas says. “And I think we can provide services in, perhaps, a whole different way.”

Haas says the wing, which is in an adjacent building, will have classes and camps for children and teachers’ institutes this summer. The center purchased the building with help from the Louisville Metro Government and the Phoenix Hotel Development Company.

The Science Center’s new wing will accommodate many hands-on experiments for preschoolers, their teachers and their families, says Haas.

“The opportunity to mix colors and to see what happens when one color mixes with another — that’s basic science for a preschooler,” she says, “or to see the properties of water from a liquid to a solid and to make observations about what’s happening with that water.”

The PNC Foundation grant comes as many students in the United States are not faring as well in science and math as students in some other countries. The situation has caused concern among educators and businesses. It’s also created a role for other institutions, says Haas.

“Science centers all over the United States are trying to find ways to shore up those education statistics,” she says. “And Kentucky certainly needs that kind of support.”