Saluting the Stars of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
On April 18, the Museum's annual signature event, The Science Behind the Stars, began with a moment of silence, led by Chairman of the Board Howard Messing, for those affected by the bombing at the Boston Marathon.
The somber start gave way to a warm celebration of the Museum's 2013 Stars of STEM, Liberty Mutual Insurance, with President and CEO David H. Long accepting the award, and Dr. Pendred (Penny) Noyce and the Noyce Foundation.
This fourth annual signature event was held at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel — in Boston's Innovation District — as the Museum prepared Nichols Gallery for the Dead Sea Scrolls: Life in Ancient Times temporary exhibition. Mike Wankum hosted the event.
Liberty Mutual Insurance, which marked its 100th anniversary in 2012, has been a Museum of Science supporter since 1970. Liberty Mutual's $100 million philanthropic program is one of the largest corporate giving programs in the country. Through its Education Initiative, they have invested almost $9 million in proven educational programs, including STEM education, that serve Boston's neediest students. In addition, Liberty Mutual awarded a $1 million grant to the Museum's Engineering is Elementary® curriculum during its formative years.
"At Liberty, we put a lot of stock in our belief that the surest path out of poverty is education," said David Long. "The Museum of Science makes learning fun, intriguing, and accessible; it brings a sense of wonder and awe to our natural world and engineered spaces."
The Noyce Foundation was established in 1990 by Ann Bowers and Penny Noyce to honor the legacy of Robert Noyce, cofounder of Intel and inventor of the integrated circuit. The foundation's focus of support is the teaching of math and science in the public schools and expanding opportunities for students to experience hands-on science in out-of-school settings. Penny Noyce, who serves on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, is the author the STEM-themed young adult novels Lost in Lexicon and The Ice Castle (Scarletta Press).
In accepting the Stars of STEM award, Dr. Noyce said, "The Noyce Foundation wants to see kids inspired by the challenges and possibilities science offers. Kids need to know that through their knowledge of science and engineering, they can make the world a better place. Science museums, afterschool programs, and great teachers are all key to making that inspiration happen."
A live auction raised $28,600. Attendees bid on five amazing experiences: front-section seating at the Boston Pops Fourth of July Fireworks Spectacular, including catered dinner and dessert, access to a private tent, and limousine transportation to and from the Hatch Shell; an opportunity to tour the Brookline studio of America's Test Kitchen, attend a taping of the popular PBS show, sample food prepared during the show, and take home four signed copies of the New York Times bestseller The Science of Good Cooking; lunch with Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, co-hosts of MythBusters, and a behind-the-scenes tour of M5 Industries, where their popular TV show is filmed; a one-of-a-kind commissioned sculpture by local artist and Museum overseer Christopher Frost, crafted to reflect the highest bidder's interests, passions, or whimsy; and a gourmet meal for eight prepared by Museum president and director Ioannis Miaoulis and co-hosted by KISS 108 media personality and T.V. Diner host Billy Costa.
Introducing a special Fund-a-Need segment of the auction, Xavier Rivera, a senior at Fenway High School who'll be studying mechanical engineering at Wentworth Technical Institute, shared his experiences as an intern at the Museum of Science. His story helped to inspire 61 gifts, totaling $26,420, to fund 9 paid interns and 25 summer course scholarships.
Through ticket sales, sponsorships, and the auction, this year's event raised over $420,000 to support a variety of Museum programs and initiatives.