The ASTC VISTA Community STEM Initiative

For 2015/16, we are running a pilot project in seven science centers to determine the use and cost effectiveness of fulltime AmeriCorps VISTA members as capacity builders for science centers in reaching low income youth with STEM programming and career development. A report to the field will be made available in summer 2016 along with instructions on how to apply for VISTA volunteers for your institution. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers the VISTA program, usually requires some degree of cost-share when providing VISTA members to sites. ASTC will endeavor to obtain further funding for the continuation of the project in future years. Additional support for this program has been provided by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

The current sites, chosen by our sponsor, are:

New York Hall of Science   ·   Exploratorium   ·   Lawrence Hall of Science   ·   Bishop Museum
Chabot Space and Science Center   ·   Discovery Cube L.A.   ·   California Science Center

VISTA work is designed to assist organizations with capacity building – they are not allowed to provide direct service to the public and cannot replace existing staff. To find out more, visit the CNCS website at

How to Get Involved

The first cohort of participating science centers is up and running for 2015/16. To be considered as a potential site for 2016/17 (pending further funding), please contact Peter DeCarolis, ASTC VISTA Project Director, at

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