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Science Centers Ask State For More STEM Funding

Photo: Orlando Science Center

Science center leaders are heading to Tallahassee this week to ask for more STEM education funding. Leaders from the Orlando Science Center are joining the group.

The nearly 500 science centers across the state received about $11 million dollars last year in state dollars though an arts and culture fund. That works out to only a few tens of thousands of dollars for each organization.

“We could certainly use more funding and more dedicated funding to help us pursue our aim of really reaching deeply and broadly into our communities and helping to educate and inspire our youth in STEM education,” said Orlando Science Center President JoAnn Newman.

On Tuesday’s STEM Day, the group will highlight how science centers get kids interested in pursuing a STEM education or career. While there’s a focus on supporting STEM education at the college level, Newsman said there’s not enough focus on early STEM education. “What people don’t realize is there aren’t enough candidates, we don’t have enough youth who are interested enough to pursue these careers and obtain these degree. That’s really where science centers come in to play.”

Science center leaders hope the state will focus on getting kids interested in STEM early in life and inspiring them to pursue a college education in those industries.

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Brendan Byrne

About Brendan Byrne

Space Reporter and 'Intersection' Producer

Brendan covers space news for WMFE, everything from rocket launches to the latest scientific discoveries in our universe. He hosts "Are We There Yet?", WMFE's space exploration podcast He also helps produce WMFE's twice-weekly public affairs show "Intersection," working with host Matthew Peddie to shape the ... Read Full Bio »