TAMPA, Fla., Nov. 29, 2012 – 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, opening Dec. 2, will be 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. (NYSE: PNC), 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 4,400 “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.
The public opening of Slippery Science and first Head Start event will take place on Sunday, Dec. 2, from 1 – 3 p.m.