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ASU Museum receives grant from Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation


A generous grant of $30,000 from the Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation will enable the Arkansas State University Museum, 320 University Loop West Circle, Jonesboro, to enrich its offerings in children’s exhibits through December 31, 2012, by extending the museum’s membership in the Arkansas Discovery Network. The Arkansas Discovery Network is a coalition of seven museums in Arkansas that develop and share travelling exhibits for children, thanks to the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.

“Our membership in the Arkansas Discovery Network helps us sustain a thriving level of informal learning techniques that thrill children and help teachers and parents introduce children to progressive fields of the future,” said Dr. Marti Allen, the director of the ASU Museum. “With Arkansas Discovery Network exhibits, we can serve more school teachers and school children using the kind of informal learning that children are known to absolutely love.”

Thousands of people visited the ASU Museum when it hosted such Arkansas Discovery Network exhibits like Grossology, Mystery of the Mayan Medallion, and Nanotechnology: What’s the Big Deal. Now, thanks to the King Foundation, the ASU Museum will be able to host the following children’s exhibits between now and December 2012: Astronomy: It’s a Blast!; Arkansas Rocks, Rivers, & Roadcuts; Backyard Science; and Design Zone.

“I’m especially looking forward to the Design Zone exhibit we’re scheduled to host in Fall 2012,” said Jill Kary, tour coordinator at the museum. “In this exhibit kids will see what is involved in creating successful designs for such things as videogames, skating rinks, and roller-coasters. In doing so, they may inadvertently learn some math and engineering!”

Early in 2012 the museum will also receive an Arkansas Discovery Network-funded “Tinkering Studio”—a new genre of discovery-based learning in which children guide themselves through a shop of kid-friendly tools, gears, and other hands-on gallery activities. The museum’s education staff will attend training workshops to learn how to bring tinkering principles and techniques to full potential for local audiences. 

“Our ability to provide interdisciplinary approaches to children’s exhibits has a great capacity to enrich collaborations with ASU’s science, engineering, and math faculty,” said Allen, “and we anticipate our efforts in this direction will open up new STEM-related funding streams for all our programs.”

Thanks to King Foundation support, the museum will continue hosting exciting exhibits from the Arkansas Discovery Network without charging admission fees.

“People may not realize the important role that private philanthropy plays in meeting community needs,” said Allen. “The Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation as well as the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation have greatly benefitted the ASU Museum and its audiences, and their extraordinary generosity should be celebrated.”

The ASU Museum supports lifelong learning and encourages families to play together and learn together.  Regular hours are Tuesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m. Admission is free, although donations are gratefully accepted. For more information about the ASU Museum and its programs, visit the ASU Museum online (http://museum.astate.edu), or call Jill Kary, tour coordinator (jkary@astate.edu) at(870) 972-2074.