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  • Science is Essential: Support SCI with a year-end gift

    Adapting & Innovating Through Change

    As we’ve navigated this year of change and uncertainty, one thing we’ve seen time and time again is that SCIENCE IS ESSENTIAL.

    There's still time to support SCI as we continue inspiring the next generation of scientists, engineers, doctors, teachers, astronauts and inventors... the ones who will solve the world’s next big problems.  

    With a focus on our mission, the SCI team has adapted and innovated to provide programs and services during this unprecedented time.

    • Safety First – SCI's plans throughout the pandemic have been rooted in science. A strategic reopening plan focused on the health and safety of staff, volunteers, members and visitors while following the guidance of public health officials and best practices shared by our peers at the Association of Science and Technology Centers. Watch our "Welcome Back" video
    • Virtual Programming – This spring, SCI staff worked quickly to implement “Go Beyond with SCI,” an initiative that provides at-home resources and learning opportunities through virtual platforms and an online library of resources, workshops and presentations.
    • Preschool Classes - The SCI Preschool resumed onsite operations at the end of May with safety protocols to ensure a safe environment for early childhood STEM learning. In-person and virtual classes provide safe and flexible options to support families. 
    • Summer Camps - SCI Summer Camps operated virtually for the first two weeks and moved to in-person camp experiences for the remaining 10 weeks with reduced numbers of campers and new procedures to reduce the spread of germs.  
    • SCI Reopens – In July, SCI reopened to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. Reopening procedures included the requirement of masks and health screenings as well as enhanced safety and sanitation procedures. Over Labor Day weekend, we opened a new traveling exhibit, SUE: The T. rex Experience, bringing a world-class experience to Central Iowa.
    • Resources for Hundreds of Educators – This fall, SCI's Science Learning team delivered more than 400 “Pint Size Science” kits and trainings to educators across the state to support STEM learning in schools and classrooms through the Iowa Governor’s STEM Scale-Up Program. 

    Many Challenges Remain

    With all of these successful adaptations, it’s important to remember that many challenges remain. 

    SCI continues to operate at essential staffing levels. Our hours are still restricted and access to many high-touch exhibits is limited. Programs and events have been cancelled or limited due to resource restrictions. 

    To continue meeting the needs of our community, we need your support now more than ever. 

    Make a year-end contribution

    Ways to Support SCI

    Here are some ways you can support SCI before the end of the year: 

    • Support the mission with a year-end gift. Your contribution will help with essential operational relief and support the ongoing development of science learning programming for the community. Visit sciowa.org/donatenow to make a contribution.
      • Sources to consider – cash, donor advised funds, appreciated stock, IRA charitable rollover, to name a few. Consult with your tax advisor on which option is ideal for your personal situation.
    • Become a member, renew your membership or purchase a gift membership for friends and family. View membership options at sciowa.org/membership

    • Make a legacy gift. Inspire the next generation by advancing STEM resources in the future with a planned gift from your estate. A bequest in your will or designating the Science Center of Iowa as one of your insurance beneficiaries are a couple examples. Learn more at sciowa.myplannedgift.org

    • Amplify Your Impact: Become a STEM Champion! Amplify your impact by crafting a personal SCI fundraising page and becoming a STEM Champion. Create a team and challenge your friends or colleagues! Learn more about becoming a STEM Champion

    Together, we will continue to spark innovation and imagination for the next 50 years and beyond. 

  • SCI's Big Blast 2020: Meet Our Emcee

    Let us introduce you to our SCI's Big Blast Virtual Gala emcee: Charlie Wittmack!

    Charlie literally grew up in the halls of the Science Center of Iowa. He attended preschool at SCI, where he and his classmates explored Greenwood forest and counted stars in the planetarium. During elementary school, he participated in our summer camps, which included building rockets and wiring circuits. By middle school, we were teaching Charlie how to build robots and use lasers to make holograms.

    As with all of our graduates and students, these experiences instilled a sense of curiosity in Charlie, which he has spent the rest of his life exploring. Charlie has stood on the summit of Everest and swum the English Channel - and is the only American to have done both. He has sailed the Indian Ocean in a handmade boat and tracked the zebra migration across East Africa with the Maasai tribesmen. He has traced the footsteps of Shackleton in Antarctica and ridden his bicycle more than 7500 miles along the ancient Silk Road in Central Asia.

    Charlie leverages many of his expeditions to complete a variety of humanitarian projects. For the past seven years, he has been working to build a model for delivering cancer care to the underserved in Tanzania. He has previously developed projects focused on improving maternal health in Nepal and pediatric cardiology in Ethiopia. He has contributed to three medical research papers on human physiology at extreme elevations.

    Today, we are proud to have Charlie back in Des Moines, where he is raising his three children as he was raised, in the halls of the Science Center of Iowa.