ASTC awards more than $200,000 to 26 science centers and museums to advance equity in gender representation as part of the IF/THEN Initiative

The IF/THEN® Gender Equity Grant Program aims to increase the representation of women and gender minorities in STEM

The Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the first cycle of IF/THEN® Gender Equity Grants. Through the support of IF/THEN®, an initiative of Lyda Hill Philanthropies, more than $200,000 has been awarded to 26 ASTC-member science and technology centers and museums in the United States seeking to address equity in gender representation in their museum content.

IF/THEN logo

The IF/THEN® Gender Equity Grant program offers science centers the opportunity to launch projects aimed at increasing the representation of women and gender minorities in STEM, as part of their broader efforts to advance diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity. Over the next few months, round one grantees will advance a variety of projects, such as the following: revising exhibits and signage, developing STEM learning camps for girls, holding virtual events and resources, engaging the public through virtual chats with women scientists, and even creating collectible trading cards that feature women in STEM careers!

The round one grant recipients represent a diversity of institutions, including small and large museums, science and children’s museums, as well as multi-disciplinary institutions:

  • Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Cincinnati Museum Center, Ohio
  • Connecticut Science Center, Hartford
  • Creative Discovery Museum, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • EcoExploratorio, Museo de Ciencias de Puerto Rico, San Juan
  • EcoTarium, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Eugene Science Center, Oregon
  • Explora, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville, Oregon
  • Fleet Science Center, San Diego, California
  • Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Texas
  • Great Lakes Science Center, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Hands-On Science Center, Tullahoma, Tennessee
  • International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, Illinois
  • Kentucky Science Center, Louisville
  • Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach, Florida
  • Maine Discovery Museum, Bangor
  • McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, Concord, New Hampshire
  • Michigan Science Center, Detroit
  • National Museum of Mathematics, New York, New York
  • Paleontological Research Institution and its Museum of the Earth, Ithaca, New York
  • spectrUM Discovery Area, Missoula, Montana
  • Springfield Museums, Massachusetts
  • The Lawrence Hall of Science, Berkeley, California
  • The Tech Interactive, San Jose, California
  • Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

These recipients were selected in a competitive process open to all ASTC-member science centers and museums based in the United States.

Cristin Dorgelo, ASTC’s president and CEO, shared appreciation for the focus on this important work during a recent convening of grantees. “This is an unusual and challenging time for museums, as they respond with their communities to the COVID-19 crisis,” Dorgelo said. “We are grateful to Lyda Hill Philanthropies’ IF/THEN® Initiative for providing a powerful framework and financial support, so that science and technology centers and museums can continue to make progress in advancing equity in gender representation. I would like to thank all of the grantees for centering equity in their work and hope these projects provide a bright spot for their teams and communities.”

A recent Microsoft STEM Perceptions study found that 68% of girls who chose a high-tech career say they were inspired by one person, one event, or one class during their middle or high school years. Combined, ASTC members in the United States welcome more than 75 million visitors on average each year, providing them with a powerful opportunity to inspire visitors with imagery of women professionals in STEM careers.

The IF/THEN® Gender Equity Grant program is one element of ASTC’s commitment to advancing gender representation through the IF/THEN® Initiative. In February, ASTC released the IF/THEN® Gender Representation Toolkit, which is being used by science museums around the world to collect data on their visual representation of gender across different types of museum content. Through a partnership with the National Girls Collaborative Project, grantees will have access to the IF/THEN® Collection, a digital library of free photos and videos featuring inspiring women in STEM.

Launched by Lyda Hill Philanthropies, the IF/THEN® Initiative is built on the mantra that, “If we support a woman in STEM, Then she can change the world.” The initiative includes a large coalition of organizations that span science, media, fashion, education, philanthropy, entertainment, sports, and beyond.

In the coming months, ASTC will release regular updates about the grantees’ work as the project teams share what they are learning as they design and implement their ideas.

The second round of IF/THEN® Gender Equity Grants will be announced in November. Additional information about the grant requirements and application details is available on the ASTC website.


IF/THEN® is part of Lyda Hill Philanthropies®’ commitment to fund game-changing advancements in science and nature. IF/THEN® seeks to further advance women in STEM by empowering current innovators and inspiring the next generation of pioneers. Rooted in a firm belief that there is no better time to highlight positive and successful female professional role models, IF/THEN® is designed to activate a culture shift among young girls to open their eyes to STEM careers by: (1) funding and elevating women in STEM as role models, (2) convening cross-sector partners in entertainment, fashion, sports, business and academia to illuminate the importance of STEM everywhere, and (3) inspiring girls with better portrayals of women in STEM through media and learning experiences to pique their interest in STEM careers. To learn more, visit or follow IF/THEN® on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


Lyda Hill Philanthropies® encompasses the charitable giving of founder Lyda Hill and includes her foundation and personal philanthropy. As one of its priorities, Lyda Hill Philanthropies® funds transformational advances in science and nature. To learn more, please visit


Founded in 1973, ASTC is a network of nearly 700 science and technology centers and museums, and allied organizations, engaging more than 110 million people annually across North America and in almost 50 countries. With its members and partners, ASTC works towards a vision of increased understanding of—and engagement with—science and technology among all people. Visit or follow ASTC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @ScienceCenters.

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