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Da Vinci Science Center Launches New Science Initiative Sponsored by Billionaire, Astronaut Jared Isaacman | WDIY Local News

Norah Moran – NASA – Johnson
CC BY 2.0, Via Flickr
The crew of Inspiration4 visits the Johnson Space Center in March 2022. Jared Isaacman, who along with his wife Monica is sponsoring and supporting the Isaacman Next Generation Science Institute at the Da Vinci Science Center, stands second from left.

A new educational program, supported by a local commercial astronaut and entrepreneur, has launched at the Da Vinci Science Center. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

The Da Vinci Science Center officially launched the Isaacman Next Generation Science Institute during its Science Under the Stars event over the weekend.

According to a release, the Institute’s launch is designed to support the adoption of new science, environment and ecology, technology, and engineering standards in the state, and to create an opportunity for schools to update their vision for science education.

Karen Knecht, Senior Director of Education for the Da Vinci Science Center, said in a statement that the initiative will give educators additional tools and resources to help meet the new standards, and will also promote equity in classrooms.

The program was designed in partnership with area school districts and national experts, in response to the need for new teaching strategies that enable students to explain natural phenomena and design solutions to problems.

The initiative is sponsored and supported by commercial astronaut, pilot, philanthropist and entrepreneur Jared Isaacman and his wife, Monica.

Isaacman is the founder and CEO of the Allentown-based payment processing firm Shift4 Payments, and also co-founded the civilian air defense firm Draken International.

In September 2021, he commanded Inspiration4, the first all-civilian human spaceflight to orbit the Earth, which raised money for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

Isaacman is currently scheduled to command the upcoming Polaris Dawn private spaceflight mission, which is planned to include several scientific research goals and the first-ever commercial extravehicular spacewalk.

(Original air-date: 9/20/22)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky is WDIY's Interim News and Public Affairs Director.
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