Thursday, January 11, 2024

NC Science Museums Grant Program awards $2.4 million to 53 science centers across the state

Jan 11, 2024

From the North Carolina Arboretum to Port Discover, 53 science centers across the state have been awarded a total of $2.4 million in grants as part of the sixth year of the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program. The program is one of the many ways that the State of North Carolina invests in sustaining and advancing one of the most diverse and widespread networks of science museums in the country. Grants were awarded based on criteria that advance the goal of enhancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education opportunities for the public, particularly in low-resource communities.
“Science museums and educational centers spark curiosity and foster a love for scientific inquiry, helping to cultivate the next generation of innovators and problem solvers,” said N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary D. Reid Wilson. “Reliance on high quality science is essential to our ability to meet our state’s big challenges in the future.

“We have more science museums in North Carolina than any other state and this funding supports them as they advance science education,” said Darrell Stover, head of the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

The awards, which ranged from $14,804 to $75,000, will be applied to the 2023–2024 fiscal year budgets of these science centers. Another round of grant awards is scheduled for the next fiscal year.

Avery County
Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum: $46,465.25

Beaufort County
Aurora Fossil Museum Foundation, Inc.: $60,000.00
North Carolina Estuarium: $60,000.00

Bertie County
Roanoke/Cashie River Center: $75,000.00

Brunswick County
Bald Head Island Conservancy: $27,306.96
Ocean Isle Museum Foundation, Inc.: $39,572.51

Buncombe County
Asheville Museum of Science: $46,988.95
North Carolina Arboretum Society: $26,191.24

Carteret County
Core Sound Waterfowl: $51,687.09

Caswell County
Conservators Center: $75,000.00

Catawba County
Catawba Science Center: $60,000.00

Chatham County
Carolina Tiger Rescue: $26,789.98

Cumberland County
Cape Fear Botanical Garden: $25,974.21
Friends of the Parks Found. Inc. (Fascinate-U): $75,000.00

Davie County
Cognition - Davie: $21,601.74

Duplin County
Cowan Museum of History and Science: $75,000.00

Durham County
Museum of Life and Science: $50,000.00
Sarah P. Duke Gardens: $43,616.82

Forsyth County
Kaleideum: $60,000.00

Gaston County
Daniel B. Stowe Botanical Garden: $23,380.79
Schiele Museum of Natural History: $60,000.00

Guilford County
Greensboro Science Center: $60,000.00
Miriam P. Brenner Children's Museum: $27,836.43

Halifax County
Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park & Eco-Center, Inc.: $75,000.00

Henderson County
Hands On! - A Child's Gallery: $42,242.44
Team ECCO Ocean Center and Aquarium: $14,826.94

Iredell County
Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center: $16,073.98
Iredell Museums: $18,332.30

Macon County
Highlands Nature Center & Botanical Garden: $60,000.00

Mecklenberg County
Carolina Raptor Center: $24,302.40
Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville: $37,062.32
Discovery Place Nature: $34,718.97
Discovery Place Science: $36,692.89
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens: $14,804.50

Nash County
Rocky Mount Children's Museum & Science Center: $75,000.00

New Hanover County
Airlie Gardens: $26,996.53
Cape Fear Museum of History and Science: $20,705.53
The Children’s Museum of Wilmington: $21,528.03

Onslow County
Sturgeon City Environmental Education Center: $36,804.27

Orange County
Kidzu Children’s Museum: $28,966.84
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center: $21,063.64
North Carolina Botanical Garden: $32,034.67

Pasquotank County
Port Discover: $60,000.00

Pitt County
River Park North: $30,585.05

Richmond County
Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham: $75,000.00

Robeson County
Exploration Station: $35,209.64

Rowan County
Rowan County Nature Center and Wildlife Adventures: $60,000.00

Rutherford County
KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum: $75,000.00

Surry County
Mount Airy Museum of Regional History: $75,000.00

Transylvania County
Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site: $60,000.00
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute: $23,162.40

Wake County
Marbles Kids Museum: $38,889.71

Wilson County
Imagination Station- Science Museums of Wilson: $75,000.00

For more information about the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program or to apply for the next grant cycle, visit

About the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. In addition to two downtown buildings showcasing seven floors of world-class exhibits, the Museum runs Prairie Ridge Ecostation, a 45-acre outdoor education and research facility in west Raleigh, as well as satellite facilities in Whiteville, Greenville and Grifton (Contentnea Creek). Our mission is to illuminate the natural world and inspire its conservation. Downtown Raleigh Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. General admission is free. For more information, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit

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