Donate to Hurricane Recovery

N.C. Science Museums Grant Program Awards $2.39 Million to 54 Science Centers


From the Bald Head Island Conservancy to the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, 54 science centers across the state will soon be receiving grant awards as part of the second year of the $2.39 million North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program. The program is one of the many ways that the State of North Carolina invests in sustaining and advancing one of the most diverse and widespread networks of science museums in the country.

Grants were awarded based on criteria that promote the priorities of state government, with a primary goal of enhancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education opportunities for the public, particularly in low resource communities.

“These grants are investments in our local communities and our children,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “They make it possible for smaller institutions, particularly those in rural and economically depressed areas, to provide science education to citizens across North Carolina, and I am thrilled to see how this grant program is making a difference throughout our state.”  

The awards, which ranged from $15,688.91 to $75,000.00, will be applied to the 2017-2018 fiscal year budgets of these science centers. “We are excited to support the great work done by these museums in increasing science literacy across North Carolina,” said Charles Yelton, Chief of Regional Networks for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and lead administrator of the Grant Program.

Of the 100 counties in North Carolina, the 40 most economically distressed counties are designated as Tier 1 (which received the largest awards), the next 40 as Tier 2 and the 20 least distressed as Tier 3. A full list of centers receiving grant awards is below.

Tier 1: Aurora Fossil Museum Foundation, Conservators Center, Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham, Exploration Station, Highlands Nature Center & Botanical Garden, North Carolina Estuarium, Port Discover, Roanoke/Cashie River Center, and Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park & Eco-Center.

Tier 2: A Time for Science Nature and Science Learning Center, Cape Fear Botanical Garden, Catawba Science Center, City of Rocky Mount Children's Museum & Science Center, Cowan Museum of History and Science, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Fascinate-U Children's Museum, Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum, Greensboro Children's Museum, Greensboro Science Center, Imagination Station, KidSenses Children's Interactive Museum, Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, Rowan County Nature Center and Wildlife Adventures, Sturgeon City Environmental Education Center, The Schiele Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, and Walter L. Stasavich Science and Nature Center/Love a Sea Turtle.

Tier 3: Asheville Museum of Science, Bald Head Island Conservancy, Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, Carolina Raptor Center, Carolina Tiger Rescue, Core Sound Waterfowl Museum & Heritage Center, Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville, Discovery Place Nature, Discovery Place Science, Friends of Hemlock Bluffs, Friends of the WNC Nature Center, Hands On!-A Child's Gallery, Iredell Museums, JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University, Kaleideum, Kidzu Children's Museum, Marbles Kids Museum, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Museum of Coastal Carolina and Ingram Planetarium, Museum of Life and Science, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Team ECCO Ocean Center and Aquarium, The Children's Museum of Wilmington, The North Carolina Arboretum Society, and UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens.

For more information about the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program or to apply for the next grant cycle, visit

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. Hours: Mon.– Sat., 9 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sun., noon–5 p.m. General admission is free. Visit the Museum online at Emlyn Koster, PhD, Museum Director.