The Institute of Museum and Library Services announced today that Orlando Science Center is among the 29 finalists for the 2018 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to the community. For 24 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families and communities. Orlando Science Center was nominated for this award previously in 2017.
“The 29 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions. We congratulate them on the work they are doing across the United States.”
Finalists are chosen because of their significant and exceptional contributions to their communities. IMLS is encouraging community members who visited Orlando Science Center to share their story on the IMLS Facebook and Twitter pages. To Share Your Story and learn more about how these institutions make an impact, please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS or www.twitter.com/us_imls
“Orlando Science Center is honored to be a finalist for this prestigious award for the second year in a row,” said Orlando Science Center President and CEO JoAnn Newman. “Our nomination is a testament to the incredible power of collaboration and demonstrates to ourselves and our community partners—such as schools and education centers, after-school program partners, and community stakeholders—that together, we can reach further to ensure a greater impact on our community.”
Orlando Science Center has made it a priority to develop relevant and impactful STEM-based opportunities that are accessible to every child regardless of ability, gender, race or socioeconomic status. Over the years, the Orlando Science Center has used research to inform their response to community needs for quality informal science learning. Recent efforts have included developing an on-site preschool; offering off-site early learner programs to local Head Starts; and completing the new Flight Lab, a virtual reality experience funded by the Office of Naval Research.
In addition, the Orlando Science Center has increased accessibility to the museum by offering annual family memberships for only $25 to low-income households, as well as partial and full scholarships for summer camps and afterschool programs. The center partnered with IMLS’s Museums for All Initiative to provide EBT cardholders admission for $3, which allowed more than 145,000 visitors to visit at this reduced rate in the 2017 fiscal year.
National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. The representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C. to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony.
To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit theIMLS website.
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