Amazeum Part of National Initiative to Engage Underserved Youth in STEM

September 24, 2019

Scott Family Amazeum Part of National Cohort to Support STEM and Making

Partnership with New York Hall of Science to Impact Underserved Youth

 BENTONVILLE, Ark. — The Scott Family Amazeum is one of seven museums and science centers across the country receiving part of $1.9 million in funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to introduce underserved youth to STEM and making-based activities.

Lead by New York Hall of Science (NYSCI), the project provides elementary and middle school students with engaging activities to inspire an interest in science, technology, engineering and math with the goal of improving retention in STEM disciplines.

The expansion of scope and scale of this national project equips museums and science centers with making activities, resources, tools and training, enabling them to train up to forty 21st Century Community Learning Centers across eight states with a goal of reaching 1,000 students.

This is the second round of funding awarded the Amazeum to develop sustainable after school programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. “This grant allows the Amazeum to continue engaging underserved students in Northwest Arkansas in STEM-rich, interactive learning experiences in their communities,” said Amazeum Educational Partnerships Specialist Sarah Weeden. “Our partnerships with educators are also enhanced through training and co-teaching, along with the tools and supplies to impact five school sites in Springdale, Decatur and Rogers.”

“STEM-based learning is vital for young people to thrive in today’s world, no matter their interests, backgrounds or the professions they may ultimately choose,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “By strengthening the inquiry skills that are inherently part of STEM learning, museums are uniquely positioned to spark curiosity among youth about the way the world works.”

“This multi-layered, cross-sector collaboration brings together the best possible resources from children’s museums, science centers, and afterschool providers,” said Paula Gangopadhyay, Deputy Directory of Museum Services. “By leveraging collective learning and making significant programmatic improvements, we are looking forward to impacting more than double the number of underserved students than before.”

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About the Scott Family Amazeum

The Scott Family Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum featuring Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) activities for families. Located at the intersection of J Street and Museum Way in Bentonville, the Amazeum experiences include a climbable tree canopy, indoor cave, the 3M Tinkering Hub, Hershey’s Lab, Nickelodeon PlayLab, the Market sponsored by Walmart and nearly one acre of outdoor space. For more information about the museum, visit


About the Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. IMLS advances, supports, and empowers America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development. The vision of IMLS is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities.