Welcome to Arkansas State University!

News Article

Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Gift of $3.5 million Boosts Hands-on Science Learning in Arkansas


JONESBORO -- The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation has announced its continuing major support for a seven-museum partnership known as the Arkansas Discovery Network.

The Arkansas State University Museum, adjacent to the Dean B. Ellis Library, is one of the Arkansas Discovery Network partners.

The text of the complete announcement is available here:

Donald W. Reynolds Foundation Gift of $3.5 million
Boosts Hands-on Science Learning in Arkansas

Little Rock, Ark. — The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is continuing its major support for an innovative seven-museum partnership known as the Arkansas Discovery Network. Since the launch of the museum collaborative in 2006, the Reynolds Foundation has awarded more than $13.6 million in funding for the state-wide effort.

The latest $3.5 million grant will bring a number of the nation’s top interactive museum exhibits to the state. The grant will continue support for a 40-foot mobile museum truck that delivers hands-on science education to the most rural areas of the state. It will also provide stipends for underserved schools to visit partner museums, and the grant also will support The Arkansas Discovery Network’s most recent initiative, the establishment of Tinkering Studios at partner museums across the state. Tinkering Studios are designated museum spaces in which visitors can stop and build, play, engineer, and tinker with paper, circuits, magnets, and a variety of materials.

“Open-ended experiences like tinkering activities are great ways for kids to experiment with basic science principles and for families to connect,” said Arkansas Discovery Network Director Kathleen Lawson. “We appreciate the continued support from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation,” continued Lawson. “Their generosity will allow us to continue to grow and expand the important interactive learning experiences we provide to children and families across the state through our partner museums and programs.”

Arkansas Discovery Network partners include the Network’s managing museum, Museum of Discovery in Little Rock, as well as Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs, Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff, Texarkana Museums System, Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover, Arkansas State University Museum in Jonesboro and the Northwest Arkansas Children’s Museum, Amazeum, which will break ground soon in Bentonville.

Steve Anderson, President of the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation remarks, “It’s been nearly 10 years since we realized how impactful it could be for museums to complement the school classroom experience with vibrant, interactive learning opportunities for children. More important, we have found that museums can get far more for their money and provide more programs to rural communities when they all work together as a team.”

The Network’s partnering museums have served more than 2 million Arkansans, and it has been an accomplishment involving many in Arkansas. Lawson notes, “Since the Foundation’s initial grant to seed the Arkansas Discovery Network, many corporate and foundation sponsors have invested in these important hands-on science programs that enrich a child’s school experience, bring families together in the community, and provide teachers with creative ideas for teaching science in their own classrooms. We are grateful to all these supporters as well.”

The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation is a national philanthropic organization founded in 1954 by the late media entrepreneur for whom it is named. Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, it has committed more than $80 million to enrich hands-on learning experiences for kids, their families, and their teachers through its Children’s Discovery Initiative.

For more information, visit www.arkansasdiscoverynetwork.org.