$40,000 Community Anchor grant to fund aerospace themed programming for K-12 students

The Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC) has been awarded a Community Anchor designation by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as well as funding to provide a series of aerospace-themed STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education programs to area youth.
On March 16, 2023, NASA announced the Flint Hills Discovery Center as one of 17 institutions to become a Community Anchor, recognizing it as a local hub to bring NASA STEM and space science to students and families in traditionally underserved areas.

The FHDC project is titled “Flying Cleaner and Faster: Connecting Kansas Kids to the Future of Aviation” and will focus on reaching and inspiring underserved youth in the STEM fields to pursue future education and careers in aerospace. The grant award of $40,000 will directly support onsite programming at the Discovery Center over the coming year, including aerospace summer camps, field trips, and a special community event.

This grant award is part of NASA’s Teams Engaging Affiliated Museums and Informal Institutions (TEAM II) Community Anchor Awards. It is funded through NASA’s Next Generation STEM, which supports kindergarten to 12-grade students, caregivers, and formal and informal educators in engaging the Artemis Generation in the agency’s missions and discoveries.

“I am so excited to partner with NASA to bring these STEM learning opportunities to community youth,” said Sally Dreher, FHDC Curator of Education. “The Flint Hills Discovery Center is already a local destination for STEM education but this new focus on aerospace and connecting with underserved youth will help a new diverse population access the next-generation Kansas aviation industry.”

The Discovery Center project includes a planned “Aerospace Day” at the FHDC on Saturday, August 26 in partnership with Kansas State University Salina Aerospace and Technology Campus. This ties directly into the summer traveling exhibit titled Mission Aerospace, which will be on exhibit at the FHDC from May 20 through September 10, 2023.

Additional details and a list of all funded projects can be found here: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-selects-21-new-learning-projects-to-engage-students-in-stem

For more information about the Flint Hills Discovery Center and the NASA Community Anchor award, please contact Stephen Bridenstine, FHDC Assistant Director, at bridenstine@cityofmhk.com or 785-587-2742.