Press "Enter" to skip to content

$6.3 Million in Grant Funds Awarded to 55 North Carolina Science Centers

From the Highlands Biological Station to the Museum of Coastal Carolina, Grandfather Mountain to Port Discover, 55 science centers across the state have been awarded $6.3 million in special grants as part of the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program. Funding for these special grants is made possible by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) as directed by the 2021 State Budget. Grants were awarded based on state legislated criteria that promote the priorities of state government, with a primary goal of enhancing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education opportunities for the public, particularly in low-resource communities.

“The North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program helps fund crucial science education across our state,” said D. Reid Wilson, secretary of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “This investment of federal funds by the legislature and the Governor will increase access to STEM experiences no matter where you live in North Carolina.”

The awards, which ranged from $70,000 to $185,000, will be applied to spending in a federal timeline for ARPA funding that covers expenditures from 2022 through 2025 at these science centers.

“The great work of these museums continues to place our state at the forefront of informal science education nationally and these grants support that endeavor,” says Darrell Stover, Head of the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences.

Macon County
Highlands Nature Center & Botanical Garden, $147,672.18

A full list of centers receiving grant awards is below:

Avery County
Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, $144,439.59

Beaufort County
Aurora Fossil Museum Foundation, Inc., $173,163.02
North Carolina Estuarium, $129,395.62

Bertie County
Roanoke/Cashie River Center, $150,636.55

Brunswick County
Ocean Isle Museum Foundation, Inc., $144,460.21
Bald Head Island Conservancy, $123,008.16

Buncombe County
The North Carolina Arboretum Society, $127,048.34
Asheville Museum of Science, $122,961.09
Friends of the WNC Nature Center, $96,904.49

Carteret County
Core Sound Waterfowl Museum, $133,850.50

Caswell County
Conservators Center, $126,111.92

Catawba County
Catawba Science Center, Inc., $106,363.61

Chatham County
Carolina Tiger Rescue, $104,765.26

Cumberland County
Friends of the Parks Foundation, Inc. (Fascinate-U Children’s Museum), $119,959.98
Cape Fear Botanical Garden, $107,028.71

Duplin County
Cowan Museum of History and Science, $123,908.56

Durham County
North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, $135,033.70
Sarah P. Duke Gardens, $76,488.53
Duke Lemur Center, $70,549.80

Forsyth County
Kaleideum, $97,148.45
Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, $84,372.49

Gaston County
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, $115,851.16
The Schiele Museum of Natural History, $111,180.63

Guilford County
Natural Science Center of Greensboro (Greensboro Science Center), $97,422.37
Greensboro Children’s Museum, $95,650.63

Halifax County
Sylvan Heights Waterfowl Park and Eco-Center, Inc., $185,242.83

Henderson County
Hands On! – A Child’s Gallery (Hands On! Children’s Museum), $106,619.86
Aquarium & Shark Lab by Team ECCO, $71,884.28

Iredell County
Iredell Museums, $78,242.45
Allison Woods Outdoor Learning Center, $112,783.94

Mecklenburg County
Carolina Raptor Center, $132,583.87
Discovery Place Kids-Huntersville, $101,664.21
Discovery Place Science (DPS), $83,146.84
Discovery Place Nature, $74,311.96
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens, $71,046.99

Nash County
Rocky Mount Children’s Museum, $127,042.80

New Hanover County
Cape Fear Museum of History and Science, $111,691.76
Airlie Garden, $108,077.69
Wilmington Children’s Museum, Inc., $89,760.07

Onslow County
Sturgeon City of Jacksonville, $109,191.73

Orange County
North Carolina Botanical Garden Foundation, Inc. on behalf of North Carolina Botanical Garden, $120,108.62
Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, $84,762.28
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Children’s Museum (Kidzu Children’s Museum), $76,623.13

Pasquotank County
Port Discover: Northeastern North Carolina’s Center for Hands-on Science, $148,032.71

Pitt County
River Park North(RPN) Walter J. Stasavich Science and Nature Center, $116,926.86

Richmond County
Discovery Place Kids-Rockingham, $142,496.09

Robeson County
Exploration Station, $123,754.33

Rowan County
Rowan County Nature Center and Wildlife Adventures, $141,079.25

Rutherford County
KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum, $154,998.09

Surry County
Mount Airy Museum of Regional History, $109,931.68

Transylvania County
Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site $117,770.91
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute, $106,789.89

Wake County
Marbles Kids Museum, $101,609.21

Wilson County
Science Museums of Wilson, Inc. (Imagination Station Science & History Museum), $126,450.12

For more information about the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program, visit

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, three science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 41 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C. Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, and the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please visit

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *