Children's Museum of Pittsburgh gets $425,000 award to develop programming

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The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded $425,192 to the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh to develop "makerspaces" and programs.

The award, approved by the National Museum and Library Services Board, makes the Children's Museum the lead agency in a partnership that includes the North Carolina State University Library, Exploratorium, Chicago Public Library, Make Education Initiative and others.

Since 2011, the Children's Museum has had a makerspace in which children can make articles involving sewing, electronics or other techniques.

The project will help provide museum and library professionals with tools, resources and professional development for such efforts.

In a news release, IMLS director Susan H. Hildreth said, “It is exciting to know that this IMLS investment will enable museums and libraries to bring their unique spaces, expertise, and collections to the makers movement. This grant positions libraries and museums as innovation hubs and reinforces their roles as anchor learning institutions in their communities.”

Also in the news release, Children's Museum executive director Jane Werner said, “Since 2011, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh has played a major role in connecting the maker movement to the informal learning sphere on both a local and national level in alignment with its mission to provide innovative museum experiences that inspire joy, creativity, and curiosity.

“We look forward to working with IMLS to coordinate a national program focused on building a field-wide understanding of making in museums and libraries, and sharing knowledge and tools to build the capacity of libraries and museums to develop effective makerspaces and programs.”

Education writer Eleanor Chute: or 412-263-1955.

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