Pittsburgh, PA, USA — Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh has announced the public launch of SPARK! A Campaign for Carnegie Science Center, which has already raised 77 percent of its $34.5 million goal. To date, the campaign has raised $26.5 million to expand the Science Center’s acclaimed science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming and build a threestory Science Pavilion that will house a suite of STEM Learning Labs and a Special Exhibitions Gallery for large-scale changing exhibitions. Already the region’s most visited museum with more than 500,000 annual visitors, the Science Center is also re-energizing current exhibits and creating new visitor experiences as part of the SPARK! Campaign.
“It only takes one spark to change a child’s life, and those kinds of transformational moments happen every day at Carnegie Science Center,” said Jo Ellen Parker, President and CEO of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. “Our SPARK! Campaign, first and foremost, celebrates and supports the Science Center’s leadership role in delivering educational programs that empower young people to be the innovators and technology professionals of tomorrow.”
“We are thrilled to be so close to achieving our goal of creating the next-generation Science Center,” said Ron Baillie, The Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “We exist to inspire and engage young people in the wonder and opportunity of science, but we had reached capacity with our current resources. The SPARK! Campaign will help us expand our reach and strengthen our mission.” Last year, the Science Center reached 170,000 students and teachers through in-school education outreach, and more than 90,000 students participated in the Science Center’s STEM education and career exploration programs.
“Ours is a mission shared by education, business, and civic leaders throughout our community who understand, as we do, that the Science Center can be the spark that many of our young people need to consider careers in STEM-related fields,” said Ann Metzger, The Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “This campaign is an investment in our region’s future, and the future of our greatest natural resources—our children. We want them to be equipped with the passion, curiosity, and skill sets necessary to fully participate in the economic vitality of our region.”
To date, the SPARK! Campaign has received gifts from 120 foundations, corporations, and individual donors, including 11 lead gifts of $1 million or more. The largest gift of $5 million was pledged by the DSF Charitable Foundation to fund the Special Exhibitions Gallery in the Science Center’s new Science Pavilion.
“Knowing how much our own family has enjoyed visiting the Science Center over the years, we’re excited that the new gallery will give families the opportunity to enjoy even more impressive exhibitions in the future,” said DSF Charitable Foundation Trustee Sara Scaife.
Suzy Broadhurst, chair of SPARK! A Campaign for Carnegie Science Center, was a member of the volunteer-leadership team that was instrumental in the opening of Carnegie Science Center 25 years ago. “I am so proud of this community for its tremendous support of the Science Center’s important mission,” Broadhurst said. “We applaud and thank the many who have stepped up in such an enthusiastic way to support the SPARK! Campaign.”
Other organizations and individuals who have made lead gifts to the SPARK! Campaign are: Allegheny Health Network, Bob and Irene Bozzone, Suzy and Jim Broadhurst, the Buhl Foundation, the Burke Foundation, Covestro LLC, Eden Hall Foundation, The Grable Foundation, The Rossin Foundation, and Thomas and Alba Tull.
“If we intend to keep Pittsburgh at the forefront of technology and innovation, then we need to ensure the next generation is prepared to succeed in the STEM fields,” said Jerry MacCleary, president of Covestro LLC. “Carnegie Science Center has established itself as a leader in advancing STEM education. While all sectors of the community can contribute to the effort, the Science Center will always be a critical part of the equation.”
The Science Center’s new Science Pavilion, to be built eastward along the Ohio River facing The Point, will house 6,000 square feet of STEM Learning Labs that will offer expanded STEMrelated programming and competitions and also serve as a regional hub for teacher professional development activities. Above the STEM labs, a new 14,000 square-foot Special Exhibitions Gallery will allow the Science Center to bring world-class traveling exhibits to Pittsburgh, expanding its annual attendance by as much as 50 percent. The SPARK! Campaign will also fund two new permanent exhibitions, a new giant-screen digital theater, and endowment.