Science museum grant to fuel evolution of high-tech classrooms
Miami Museum of Science is getting $11 million to train the state's
educational leaders in how to use technology in the classroom.
$5.5 million grant was awarded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
and is to be matched by funds from the Florida Department of Education.
Brown, vice president of program development and research for the
museum, said the museum operated the Florida Technology Trainer Enhancement
Center for 10 years in conjunction with the state's department of
we produce training material to help school districts deliver good
quality technology training statewide," Ms. Brown said.
years ago, she said, the museum expanded the center to include Making
Technology Happen a training program geared toward school administrators.
grant is to expand those programs, she said.
are going to be working with the Florida Association of District School
Superintendents and school principals to integrate technology in their
ongoing programs through a series of workshops," Ms. Brown said.
large part of the program, she said, helps administrators find classroom
resources via the Internet. The program also helps administrators
understand computer networking and infrastructure, she said.
Gallagher, state education commissioner, said he hopes other businesses
will see the importance of leveraging their dollars to support technology
training for public schools.
grant is great news for the state," Mr. Gallagher said. "We
commend the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their investment in
education. This type of partnership we hope other business organizations
Etling, president & CEO of the Miami Museum of Science, said the grant
demonstrates how museums can play a role in enhancing the quality
of public education.
feel we are advancing the definition of how science centers can impact
their communities," Mr. Etling said. "This is a great step
in improving the Florida State educational system."
terms of the grant and proposal can be seen on-line at www.miamisci.org,
Etling said the grant is a contracted grant and will not be used for
the museum's proposed expansion.
the help from a $1.8 million state grant in 1997 executives conducted
a study to determine the feasibility of building a larger museum.
That study determined the museum would inject $44.5 million in direct
dollars with a new home. A 365,000-square-foot building has been proposed
for an undetermined site, Mr. Etling said. He said museum board members
have reportedly looked at a site on Watson Island but have not confirmed
whether it will work.
the just-concluded Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce goals conference,
Mr. Etling and others from the museum lobbied the chamber to seek
Bicentennial Park land for the museum's new home. One volunteer said
the museum had studied more than 20 sites and concluded that Bicentennial
Park was its preferred location.
(305) 646-4200 or Florida State Department of Education, (850) 487-1785.