A $50 Million Gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies to the Museum of Science, Boston Dramatically Expands its Mission to Educate and Inspire
Today the Museum of Science and Bloomberg Philanthropies, founded by entrepreneur, philanthropist and three-term mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg, announced a $50 million gift, the largest in the Museum’s 186-year history. The endowment will support and name the Museum’s Education Division the William and Charlotte Bloomberg Science Education Center in honor of Michael Bloomberg and Marjorie Tiven’s parents.
The transformational gift solidifies the Museum’s position as one of the premier educational institutions in the world by ensuring the longevity and stability of the existing education department, and supports the creation of new computational thinking and food science initiatives modeled after the Museum’s premier engineering and STEM programs.
“Michael Bloomberg embodies the best in philanthropy, public service, and technological innovation,” said Museum president and director Ioannis Miaoulis. “His generous act is an endorsement of the amazing work of our educators and dramatically expands our capacity to make science and engineering accessible to all. The gift also underlines the significance of our region. We are thrilled and honored by his belief in us and the region as a whole. Mike has given Boston, Cambridge, and the world a tremendous gift.”
“I know how important this Museum is and what an impact it can have on young people – because I was one of those young people,” said Bloomberg. “My visits to the Museum inspired my interest in science and technology and forever shaped the way I think. People often remember the first teacher to have a profound impact on their lives. For me, that teacher was the Museum of Science.”
Not only does the gift help the Museum inspire visitors to think, learn, and question; it significantly amplifies the Museum’s ability to imagine, create, and distribute world-class exhibits and programs, K-12 curricula, engineering design challenges, and Planetarium shows on a global scale. For decades, the Museum’s dynamic interactive experiences have inspired people of all ages regardless of background, gender, or learning style through diverse, engaging environments exploring the interconnectedness of the natural and engineered worlds.
The $50 million gift provides an endowment for the support of the Museum’s Education Division to be named the William and Charlotte Bloomberg Science Education Center in honor of Michael Bloomberg’s parents. It also provides funds to research, design, develop, pilot-test, and disseminate computational thinking/computer science curriculum and activities, as well as funds to develop and produce high quality food-science initiatives.
The $50 million gift follows three earlier Bloomberg gifts. One supported the 2011 renovation of the Museum’s Charles Hayden Planetarium; the second supported access and internship programs; the third, a planning grant, enabled the Museum to assess the investment needed to redesign exhibition and programming spaces. In 2014, Bloomberg received the Museum’s Bradford Washburn Award for outstanding contributions toward public understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in our lives.
Bloomberg has a history of supporting philanthropic work in the area since the early 1990s, including support of the Boston Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, which provides a place for children to inscribe pavers with the name of a loved one; the Bloomberg Harvard City Leadership Initiative, which will train mayors and city leaders in innovative city leadership and executive coaching; Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities engagement with the city of Cambridge and Boston to assist their efforts to use data to drive decision making; and Everytown for Gun Safety to study Boston’s illegal gun market. Additionally, 40 cultural organizations participate in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Arts Innovation and Management program, which is focused on small and medium sized arts organizations. This also builds on Bloomberg’s longstanding commitment to educational institutions, recently including $300 million to the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health announced in September and $100 million for the Cornell Tech Campus in New York City announced last year.
The Museum is perfectly positioned to make use of this generous gift. Its Long-Range Plan, approved by trustees in 2015, calls for expanding the Museum’s reach locally, nationally, and internationally, optimizing the visitor experience, broadening participation across the lifespan, leveraging the Museum’s leadership in K-12 engineering education, and securing the Museum’s future. Its mission is to become the leading science center worldwide in expanding the public’s access to, understanding of, and critical thinking around engineering, technology, and the sciences.
About the Museum of Science, Boston
One of the world’s largest science centers and New England’s most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces about 1.5 million visitors a year to STEM via programs and interactive exhibits. An extraordinary variety of learning experiences span the Yawkey Gallery on the Charles River, Hall of Human Life, Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, 4-D Theater, and Butterfly Garden. The Museum’s National Center for Technological Literacy® curricula, including the award-winning Engineering is Elementary®, have have reached an estimated 10.5 million students and 122,400 educators. The Museum sparks teens worldwide to use digital technology via The Clubhouse Network and has led a $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums and university research centers. Visit: http://www.mos.org.
About Bloomberg Philanthropies
Bloomberg Philanthropies’ mission is to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Public Health, Environment, Education, Government Innovation and the Arts. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. Bloomberg Philanthropies founder Michael Bloomberg has pledged to donate all of his wealth to philanthropic efforts. To date, Michael Bloomberg has donated $4.3 billion to a wide variety of causes and organizations. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed $510 million. For more information please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg