MiaSci gets grant to support college readiness program


AT&T recently awarded the Miami Science Museum (MiaSci) a $300,000 grant through its ASPIRE program, one of the largest corporate commitments ever to address high school success and workforce readiness.

The grant will support the development of the museum’s Upward Bound Math and Science college readiness program from October through September 2014. The program is for low-income, first generation collegebound students in grades 9-12.

There are several key elements of the museum’s college readiness program: ongoing college counseling services, a week-long overnight college tour, entrance exam preparation, application assistance, and sustained encouragement and support.

During the school year, students will participate in Saturday sessions at the museum, including a wide variety of workshops with hands-on science activities, tutoring and homework help, college preparation, computer lab access and internship experiences. Optional after school activities will include tutoring in all subjects, conducted by college level mentors. In the summertime, students will participate in an intensive six-week program that provides them with further insight into college curriculums.

“We are very thankful to AT&T for this generous grant,” said Gillian Thomas, Miami Science Museum president and CEO. “With these funds, we can continue to aid students’ beliefs in their abilities and help motivate them to stay on track for college and during their college careers.” Miami Science Museum’s Upward Bound program engages underprivileged local youth in the sciences by encouraging them to stay in school and pursue post-secondary education in science and math. Since the program’s inception, 100 percent of students enrolled have graduated from high school and over 90 percent have sought college education.

Currently, Miami Science Museum is the only museum in the country operating an Upward Bound Math and Science Center. All others are university-based. The museum’s program has received many accolades, including National Award for Museum Service for Excellence in Youth Programming in 2001, and the coveted NSF Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring in 2005.

AT&T’s ASPIRE program is the company’s most significant education initiative to date and one of the largest corporate commitments ever to address high school success and workforce readiness. The program is centered around four key components:

• Awarding grants to school districts, school district foundations and nonprofit organizations focused on preparing students for college and/or the workforce;

• Providing job shadowing opportunities for 100,000 students, in conjunction with Junior Achievement Worldwide, giving students the chance to see firsthand the job skills needed to be successful in the future;

• Commissioning the next chapter of major research on the high school dropout issue and solutions by directly engaging educational practitioners, and

• Underwriting 100 community dropoutprevention summits, organized by America’s Promise Alliance, to engage education experts and community leaders across all 50 states around the high school dropout crisis and ways to address it.

For additional information on Miami Science Museum’s Upward Bound Math and Science Center and/or AT&T’s ASPIRE program, contact Tony Lima at 305-646- 4209 or at tlima@miamisci.org.

Miami Science Museum is located at 3280 S. Miami Ave. The museum is open every day from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Admission is free for MiaSci members and children under 3; students (with valid ID), seniors (62+) and children 3-12 are $10.95; adults are $14.95. Parking is free.

For more information about the current museum or the future home, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, visit www.miamisci.org or call 305-646-4200.

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