The Museum at Prairiefire is set to receive $750,000 to boost its science, technology, engineering and math-focused activities.
As Black & Veatch’s Building a World of Difference Foundation’s first Global STEM Partner, the museum plans to use the gift to expand its educational resources for visitors and for its website.
Clint Robinson, Black & Veatch’s associate vice president of government affairs, said the firm chose the Museum at Prairiefire because the interests of the company and museum line up.
Overland Park-based Black & Veatch specializes in infrastructure development in energy, water, telecommunications and government services. While the museum is the company’s first Global STEM Partner, the firm has invested before in STEM-related projects, including a $1 million commitment to the Kansas Education Grant Program in 2011.
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Robinson said the museum, 5801 W. 135th St., Overland Park, is a place for children to “get excited” about STEM fields. That’s good for Black & Veatch, he said, which specializes in science and technology.
“It’s great having a space in our community where we can go celebrate the successes we have and share those,” Robinson said.
The Museum at Prairiefire will use Black & Veatch’s gift to develop educator guides for exhibitions, a STEM-focused storybook for younger children and engineering-based education inserts. Bus transportation from urban schools in the Kansas City area to the museum is also being planned.
“These will all be efforts that we will be able to broaden and deepen” because of Black & Veatch, said Uli Sailer Das, executive director of the museum. Expanded services will be rolled out over the next several months.
Opened on May 12, the Museum at Prairiefire is the first permanent venue that hosts traveling exhibits from the American Museum of National History. Its current exhibit, Water: H2O = Life, will be on display until July 13 and focuses on water and how people use it.
The museum also offers the Discovery Room for younger visitors. The exhibition and Discovery Room require paid tickets, but general admission to the Great Hall, which features a cast of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, is free.
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