Massachusetts Institute of Technology

To provide seed grants to launch twelve new science festival initiatives in communities with small resource bases

  • Amount $399,545
  • City Cambridge, MA
  • Investigator John Durant
  • Year 2012
  • Program Public Understanding
  • Sub-program New Media

This two-year grant funds a project by John Durant and the MIT Museum, leaders in the Science Festival Alliance, to launch 12 new science festival initiatives in communities with "relatively small resource bases," supporting festivals in communities that would otherwise lack the budget or experience to launch their own. The Science Festival Alliance has identified four lead festivals-in Wisconsin, Florida, Colorado, and Missouri-to act as models. Harnessing experienced mentors, the Science Festival Alliance will use modest challenge grants and how-to resources to help local science festival efforts get off the ground. Additionally, they will strengthen connections within the science festival community while establishing methods expanding festivals to under-resourced communities. This grant is a promising way to expand the science festival experience to communities across the country and, if successful, would represent a 33 percent increase in the 36 local science festivals that currently exist in America.

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