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Sciencenter Receives International Leading Edge Award

December 21, 2005

ITHACA, NY - The Sciencenter has been awarded the Washington, DC-based Association for Science-Technology Centers's first Leading Edge Award for Innovation in Business Practices. The award, newly created in 2005, recognizes the Sciencenter for its Wall of Inspiration, a donor-recognition program that celebrates the museum's sponsors while promoting diversity and educating the museum's visitors.

The Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC) is an international organization of more than 422 science centers in 42 countries dedicated to furthering the public understanding of science among increasingly diverse audiences. The new award recognizes extraordinary accomplishments by science museums around the world.

"What is so wonderful about the Wall of Inspiration is that it recognizes donors to the museum while simultaneously raising public awareness for science and careers in science, technology, engineering, and math," said Bonnie VanDorn, executive director of ASTC. "This project directly connects donors with the mission of the Sciencenter."

The Sciencenter's Wall of Inspiration is a permanent exhibit that pays tribute to over 110 scientists and inventors. Donors were encouraged to pick a scientist or inventor whose life and work they admired, and the Sciencenter then created a plaque with an image of the scientist, an inspirational quote, description of his or her achievements and a donor-crafted dedication.

According to Charlie Trautmann, executive director of the Sciencenter, "the real excitement of the Wall of Inspiration is that by personally connecting donors with real stories of discovery, innovation and invention, the exhibit is a poignant reflection of the community's connections with science."

Over 500 individual, corporate and foundation donors to the museum's recent capital campaign made the 27,000-square-foot museum expansion possible. "It's only fitting to have these very special donors be a living part of the museum. Their generosity is what allows us to engage over 100,000 people each year in hands-on science at the museum and in the community," says Trautmann.

The Sciencenter is a hands-on science museum for people of all ages with over 200 exhibits, educational programs, an outdoor science park, a seasonal 18-hole miniature golf course and a museum store. The Wall of Inspiration is on permanent display in the Community Room at the Sciencenter. For membership information, current programs and activities, please visit www.sciencenter.org. The Sciencenter is a proud member of Ithaca's Discovery Trail; more information can be found at www.DiscoveryTrail.com.

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