Herndon, VA, Dec. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Children’s Science Center and the Science Museum of Virginia announced a $10 million gift from the Northwest Federal Credit Union that will fund a future science center in Northern Virginia.

“The vision for a world class, interactive science center in Northern Virginia has taken a major step forward,” said Adalene “Nene” Spivy, executive director of the Children’s Science Center, at an announcement event Wednesday held at the Trajectory Event Center in Herndon, Va. “This transformational gift kick starts the private giving required for this public-private partnership and shows Northwest Federal Credit Union’s deep commitment to the community and leadership in prioritizing STEM learning in the region.”

The future regional science center in Northern Virginia will inspire a love of STEM learning that fuels the next generation workforce; showcases the community and the identity of Northern Virginia as a technology hub; and provides high-quality interactive, hands-on experiences for families, school children and learners of all ages to explore and create.

“I have special memories of taking my children to science centers, where their curiosity for the world around them was ignited,” said Jeff Bentley, president and CEO of Northwest Federal Credit Union. “I also recall the fun entire families shared together. The new Northern Virginia science center will fill a tremendous need in our community, and Northwest Federal Credit Union is proud to be a significant part of that.” Bentley added, “This partnership embodies Northwest's Why Statement, ‘Together, we serve and inspire to transform lives.’ I can think of nothing more transformational than an investment in education and families.”

Through this commitment, Northwest Federal Credit Union will be the lead building naming sponsor of the future science center, which has a total project budget of $75 million. With this gift and other major contributions coming from the Commonwealth and Loudoun County, 85 percent of the total funds have been committed to build a world-class science center in Northern Virginia for the region’s 2.5 million residents.

Until the opening of the Children’s Science Center Lab in 2015, Northern Virginia was the largest metropolitan area nationally without a children’s museum or interactive science center. Today, the Children’s Science Center serves over 70,000 visitors a year at the Lab and via community programs across the region. Growing demand and limited capacity at the Lab substantiates the need to move to the next phase in the vision. 

The new regional science center will be an extension of the Science Museum of Virginia, a state-wide organization that inspires more than 500,000 guests each year, and will benefit from shared resources and expertise from the Museum’s four decades of delivering inspiring informal STEM learning experiences at its locations in Richmond and Danville, Va.

“This region is home to some of the world’s best museums, but no science center,” said Science Museum of Virginia Chief Wonder Officer Richard Conti. “Science centers are the places that spark ideas that lead to innovations that might one day be on display in Museums. Northern Virginia’s science center will be a first of its kind for the region, serving as a bridge to STEM accessibility and encouraging guests to look at the world through the lens of science.”

Next steps for the project include design for both the building and the exhibits, branding work which will ultimately name the science center and continued private fundraising.

About the Children’s Science Center

The Children’s Science Center’s mission is to inspire a love of learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by providing unique opportunities to explore and create. The Children’s Science Center Lab is located at Fair Oaks Mall and is Northern Virginia’s first interactive museum where children, families and school groups can explore STEM concepts through fun, engaging hands-on exhibits, activities and programs. In addition to the Lab and community programs, the Center is working to fulfill the vision of a world-class interactive science center to be located in Dulles, Va. The Children’s Science Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Learn more at www.childsci.org or call 703-648-3130.

About the Science Museum of Virginia

The mission of the Science Museum of Virginia is to inspire Virginians to enrich their lives through science. Through hundreds of experiential exhibits, awe-inspiring artifacts and interactive technologies, the Museum presents dynamic science programming to hundreds of thousands of guests each year. The Richmond-based museum is home to three floors of interactive exhibits, the Dome theater – the largest movie screen in Virginia – and proudly hosts dynamic traveling exhibitions from around the world. Learn more at www.smv.org or call 804.864.1400.

About Northwest Federal Credit Union

Northwest Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution ranking among the largest credit unions in Virginia and in the top 60 credit unions in the nation. Established in 1947 and headquartered in Herndon, Va., Northwest Federal's Why is to serve and inspire to transform lives. The Credit Union currently serves more than 260,000 members and has assets in excess of $3.5 billion. Learn more at www.nwfcu.org or connect on FacebookTwitter or LinkedIn.

Attachments

Jason C. Werden
Children's Science Center
301-346-7523
jwerden@yesandagency.com