Spreading Our Wings for Nature and Science Education

at the Museum, in our community, and online

In 2019, DMNH delivered education programs to 19,319 individuals, including 9,341 underserved students who received programming free or at a discount. When the pandemic hit, we reorganized PreK-16 activities. Story times, live animal presentations, nature crafts, science experiments, and distance learning programs were posted online, and our undergraduate ecology class pivoted to an online research experience. For the 2020-21 academic year, DMNH has placed significant emphasis on remote learning, with $328,052 in grants to support this initiative.

Anonymous Foundation $60,673

Funding from this anonymous foundation over the past four years provided nature and science education programming to 27,000 participants from underserved areas, professional development to 1,171 teachers, and multi-year evaluation of our programs. For the 2020-21 school year, we will develop and deliver offsite and online nature and science programming as live streams and pre-recorded videos, all supporting state school standards and teacher professional development requirements with a focus on Title One students and underserved audiences through partnerships with local school districts and Head Start centers.

PNC Foundation $50,000

This two-year (2020-21) grant supports the creation of the “PNC Grow Up Great Resource Center” in the Nature Nook to provide early childhood educators and parents with nature and science resources, updates the Museum’s comprehensive “Seeing Science Everywhere” curricula, related teacher science kits and resource guides, and updates and creates new Teacher Professional Development Training to incorporate new technologies and learning styles.

DuPont $15,000

This grant funds three new STEM-driven educational programs for underserved regional middle school classrooms at no charge to the schools. These programs, both virtually and in-person, will empower students to participate in STEM-related activities and jobs, be accessible, and will meet Next Generation Science Standards for environmental responsibility, preservation of environmental resources, and innovation.

Dorr Foundation $3,400

The Delaware Teen Science Café is designed for teens by teens in our community. High school teen leaders bring teens together in the unique setting of the Delaware Museum of Natural History or the Delaware Center for Horticulture to engage in STEAM-related topics delivered by local experts in the field. Each café will begin with a pizza meet and greet with other teens followed by an informal presentation, a hands-on activity, wrapping up with questions and answers. This program is specifically designed for grades 7-12.

National Science Foundation $198,979

The Museum is a Co-Principal Investigator with Widener University and George Washington University for a project to support the accelerated development of online Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) using digitized natural history collections. It is estimated that 1,800 students at 30+ colleges and universities will take four CUREs during the 2020-21 school year. The CUREs will help mitigate the loss of critical education opportunities, such as undergraduate research and laboratory courses, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The online CUREs will engage undergraduates in authentic research experiences, which are known to increase engagement, retention, and long-term success in undergraduates. Embedding research experiences in biology coursework is especially important for low income, first-generation, and minority undergraduate students who may be unable to dedicate time to research outside their normal course load due to personal and financial barriers.