“CAC funding provides a margin of excellence that allows us to go above and beyond what we would be able to do on our own. CAC allows us to open our doors wider, bringing free STEM experiences to visitors on the lakefront and our public promenade. CAC funding gives us stronger stability.”
— DR. KIRSTEN ELLENBOGEN
Curiosity thrives at Great Lakes Science Center where the experiences are designed to make science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) come alive. Children and their families work through challenges, test their ideas, and make changes – hallmarks of STEM learning.
“Our corporate partners tell us our community needs a stronger future workforce of people who can identify problems in complex systems, not just solve problems out of a textbook” Dr. Kirsten Ellenbogen, President and CEO of Great Lakes Science Center, explains. “Research tells us that if a child is not interested in a STEM career by middle school, it’s an uphill battle to get them into a science or engineering profession. It’s a natural fit for us to spark that interest through fun activities at the Science Center.”
Today, one doesn’t necessarily need to step into the Science Center to experience exciting STEM activities, and that’s by design, says Dr. Ellenbogen. Since 2008, Great Lakes Science Center has received about 5% of its operating budget from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture’s General Operating Support program, and the funding allows the Science Center to expand its free programming outside the walls of its building. Downtown Cleveland’s revitalization draws more people to the lakefront, giving the Science Center a chance to inspire and delight a broader public.
“We are in an important position on Downtown Cleveland’s lakefront, and our public spaces are getting busier and busier. People pass through our promenade on their way to enjoying North Coast Harbor, downtown workers jog by during lunch, nearby residents walk their dogs in the evenings,” Dr. Ellenbogen says. “We make sure we reach out to and incorporate the public into our experiences. If you walk through today, we have more activities and exhibits in our public spaces and more programming outside. CAC gives us the stability to open our doors to more audiences.”
In addition to reaching audiences outside its walls, Great Lakes Science Center offers free admission to over 25,000 people per year on free days such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and through free admission and programming for Title I eligible school students.
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