September 25, 2015
The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, California was one of 10 winners of the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation’s highest honor for libraries and museums that are serving their communities in exceptional ways. Community member Maria Arias Evans traveled with President and CEO Tim Ritchie to Washington D.C., in May to accept the award.
As principal of Washington Elementary School, Maria Arias Evans recognizes that students need a lot of support from their community in order to achieve their potential. Maria considers the nearby Tech Museum of Innovation a vital partner in serving her school’s students - 95 percent of the student body is socioeconomically disadvantaged, and might not otherwise be exposed to the type of resources that the museum provides.
Students regularly take a short walk to the museum to learn about everything from electricity to physics to space exploration through hands-on activities and labs. The Tech also offers staff development for the school’s teachers, STEM curriculum, and special events, such as Family Math & Engineering, a free weekend bilingual program that invites parents to learn with their children. Maria feels that the museum serves as a catalyst for her students’ academic success, sparking their desire to learn.
Maria says, “Happy children are eager learners and every interaction our children have with The Tech Museum of Innovation is joyous. Students come back from field trips talking about careers as scientists and engineers.”
IMLS is now accepting nominations for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. Nomination forms are due October 1, 2015.