Additional provisions in the December COVID relief and appropriations bill

ASTC is reading through the text of the almost 5,600-page omnibus spending and COVID relief bill for provisions relevant to the ASTC community. This is the third in a series of blog posts about the legislation in which we highlight other COVID relief provisions beyond changes to the Paycheck Protection Program including the opportunity for …

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Congress poised to extend Paycheck Protection Program and allow second draw

ASTC is reading through the text of the almost 5,600-page omnibus spending and COVID relief bill for provisions relevant to the ASTC community. This is the first in a series of blog posts about the legislation in which we highlight changes to the Paycheck Protection Program. Please also see another post discussing the new Grants …

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Two ASTC members earn grants from National Endowment for the Humanities

Two ASTC member institutions have received grants from the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). They are among 213 projects supported by $32.8 million in grants and fellowships from this independent federal agency established in 1965. Although NEH generally supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities, science-based …

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Science center visits down almost 75% from 2019, but slowly increase after reopening

Members of the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) that have reopened to the public after closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic have seen visitor attendance that is down 74 percent from the same time period in 2019. This is one example of the sobering information shared in a recent ASTC report detailing the …

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Science centers have lost more than $600 million in revenue due to the pandemic

A new report from the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) estimates that ASTC museum members around the world have lost more than $600 million in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, almost overnight, every one of the ASTC’s nearly 500 member science and technology centers and museums closed their doors to …

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ASTC 2020: New Frontiers Keynote Session

As we count down to the start of the ASTC Virtual 2020 Annual Conference, we’ll be highlighting the plenary sessions that will bring the community together. New Frontiers Keynote Session This multi-part session will include several speakers and discussions on the way that science, communities, and policymakers work in partnership to address humanity’s most pressing challenges, while ensuring that …

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IMLS seeking nominations for National Medal for Museum and Library Service

The U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is now accepting nominations for the 2021 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor awarded to libraries and museums for service to their communities. Since 1994, IMLS has presented the award to institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to community service. …

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Nominations open for Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) is seeking nominations for the 2020­–2021 cycle. The awards represent the nation’s highest honor for individuals and organizations who work with and serve those that are underrepresented in STEM education and the workforce. Individuals and organizations in all public and private sectors in …

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Institute of Museum and Library Services opens applications for six grant programs

On August 18, the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) issued notices of funding opportunities (NOFOs) for six museum grant opportunities: Museums for America Inspire! Grants for Small Museums Museums Empowered National Leadership Grants for Museums Museum Grants for African American History and Culture Native American/Native Hawaiian Museum Services ASTC members have historically …

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Chambers of Commerce Send a Second Request to the U.S. Congress in Support of Cultural Institutions

On August 6, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with New York’s Capital Region Chamber of Commerce, sent a letter to U.S. Congressional leadership addressing the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on cultural institutions and requesting an increased allocation of funds for the Institute of Museums and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Endowment …

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U.S. Department of Education FY 2020 Education Innovation and Research Early-Phase Competition

The U.S. Department of Education has released details about a new funding opportunity that may be of interest to the ASTC community: the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Program’s Early-Phase Competition. As described in the Federal Register notice describing the program, The Department expects that Early-phase grants provide funding to support …

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#InviteCongress for an August visit

This post was written in collaboration with the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) and is cross posted on the ACM blog. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on science and technology centers and museums, natural history museums, children’s museums, and other STEM-rich, place-based institutions. Our field is beginning to get a sense of …

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Museum Community Sends a New Set of Requests to the U.S. Congress

On July 13, ASTC and other national museum associations sent U.S. Congressional leadership a letter raising up the continued threats our sector faced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through the joint letter, the coalition requests several legislative actions be included the next Federal relief bill that would provide support for our community. These requests include: Emergency Funding Programs …

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