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SCI receives $225,000 from Microsoft to create Innovation Lab

SCI receives $225,000 from Microsoft to create Innovation Lab

  • Tuesday May 15, 2018

The Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater (SCI) recently received a $225,000 award from the Microsoft Community Empowerment Fund to support the development of a new technology-focused lab space, the Innovation Lab.

The Innovation Lab will feature technology and tools that ignite interest in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) and engage visitors in the core principles of the Makers Movement: creativity, innovation and problem solving. The space will be used for hands-on learning, including opportunities for workshops, camps and teacher professional development. The lab is anticipated to open by the end of 2018.

“In today’s world, innovation is imperative,” said Curt Simmons, SCI president and CEO. “Our goal with this project is to uncover the innovator in everyone.”

Over the past four decades, SCI has worked to engage and inspire Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning. The Innovation Lab advances the SCI mission, providing a space where visitors will cultivate 21st Century skills and see intentional connections to STEM careers.

“Microsoft is pleased to partner with the Science Center of Iowa. We hope the Innovation Lab is an inspiration to the next generation of creators and innovators in our midst,” said Ed Belcastro, Datacenter Operations Manager, Microsoft Corp. “The Microsoft Community Empowerment Fund awards are an important way for the company and our employees to contribute to stronger, more resilient communities.”

The Community Empowerment Fund, created and managed by Microsoft’s Datacenter Community Development team, is designed to support community-led and prioritized projects, increase collaboration among contributors and award recipients, and develop ecosystems that help deliver common community priorities. Through this approach, Microsoft hopes to achieve long-term, systemic, and holistic outcomes in the communities in which it operates.

About the Science Center of Iowa & Blank IMAX Dome Theater

The Science Center of Iowa engages and inspires Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning. Centrally located in Downtown Des Moines, SCI features dynamic experience platforms, large format theaters and daily interactive science demonstrations. Through daily visitors, a statewide educational outreach program and the NAEYC-accredited SCI Preschool, the Science Center of Iowa serves more than 300,000 people annually.