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Phil and Jennifer Satre have granted $250,000 from the Satre Family Fund at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada to the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum (The Discovery) to increase community access to the museum’s diverse educational programs, including school field trips, camps, admission and museum memberships. This is a five-year commitment with annual pledged gifts of $50,000.
“Over the past six years, The Discovery has established itself as Northern Nevada’s ‘go-to’ space for inspiration through science,” said The Discovery’s President and CEO, Mat Sinclair. “We could not be more grateful to the Satres for making the science center even more accessible to our community so that everyone can take advantage of what we provide here.”
Phil shared why he and Jennifer were motivated to get involved with The Discovery early on:
“Periodically, we had experienced the benefit of children’s museums and science exploratory institutes in other cities and we were eager to help make that kind of space a reality in Reno.”
Among the programs benefiting most from this support is the museum’s standards aligned school field trip program. The gift creates an opportunity for schools with 50 percent or higher Free and Reduced Lunch program (FRL) enrollment to visit the museum on a field trip.
Since opening in 2011, The Discovery’s field trip program has focused on increasing science literacy for pre-K through 8th grade students. In addition to exploring the entire museum, field trip participants take part in hands-on Discovery Lab activities tied to Next Generation Science and Common Core standards designed to foster inquiry and engagement with science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) concepts.
The gift also provides resources for children and their families to access the museum through its financial assistance program. The Discovery distributes about $70,000 in financial assistance annually for family memberships, admission to the museum, camps, field trips and other programs.
The Satres were asked what motivates them to support The Discovery’s educational programs, and Jennifer said, “As a former elementary school teacher, I’ve seen the value of hands-on learning and know that the experiences offered at The Discovery can spark interest for further learning in the minds of those who visit. We are thrilled that The Discovery is offering this to all the children in our community.”
Danielle Williams, The Discovery’s Development Director, added “While the museum does a great job earning income for its programs via ‘fee-for-service,’ community philanthropy is absolutely essential to provide the hands-on exhibits, educational programming and overall visitor experience that make The Discovery a dynamic cultural and educational asset in our community. Jennifer and Phil understand this, and we are very grateful for their investment in our mission and work.”
The generous gift follows the recent designation of The Discovery’s field trip program as a “Recommended STEM Program” by Governor Brian Sandoval’s Nevada STEM Advisory Council. The designation was given to 16 evidence-based, high-quality STEM programs in the state of Nevada. The Discovery’s field trip program and Desert Research Institute’s Science Alive program were the only two recognized from Northern Nevada.
Washoe County School District schools with 50 percent or higher FRL enrollment can take advantage of this opportunity to visit The Discovery on a field trip by making an online reservation. Eligible schools will be asked to complete a brief application and pay a $25 application fee to access financial assistance. Bus transportation to and from the museum is included.