The Franklin Institute receives generous funding from a range of government entities, including $10,000 annually from the City of Philadelphia. Financial assistance for Inspire Science campaign projects was provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Honorable Tom Corbett, Governor. Federal agencies fund the exciting projects described below.
Neuroscience in Your World
In partnership with the Center for Neuroscience & Society at the University of Pennsylvania, the Institute is developing a neuroscience education program, including an exhibition, a suite of educational programs, and modules for educator professional development, to build students’ and educators’ understandings of and enthusiasm for neuroscience, the brain, and related societal issues.
Education Consortium for the Advancement of STEM in EGYPT (ECASE)
ECASE is a partnership among World Learning, the Teaching Institute for Excellence in STEM, the 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education, and The Franklin Institute that works with the educators, administrators, and the Ministry of Education in Egypt to pilot 3-5 STEM high schools and develop and test innovative pedagogical tools and action planning frameworks that will serve as the foundation for STEM education in Egypt.
Transforming STEM Competitions into Collaboratives:
Developing eCrafting Collabs for Learning with Electronic Textiles
eCrafting projects involve the incorporation of embedded computers, sensors, and actuators into soft materials such as fabric and felt in order to create an e-textile. This project supports the development of technological fluency and understanding of STEM concepts by implementing design collaboratives that involve middle and high school students, parents and the community in eCrafting projects.
Broad Implementation of Science Festival Alliance
This project builds on the National Science Foundation-funded National Science Festival Network project to establish and support new festivals, develop online tools and educational resources, and create a plan to help sustain science festivals nationwide.
MRSEC: Center for Nanoscale Science
The Franklin Institute is collaborating with the Center for Nanoscale Science at Pennsylvania State University, an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) to support the Center's interdisciplinary research and education efforts. TFI develops hands-on, cart-based activities that are distributed to 15–18 museums nationwide on applications of nanotechnology in everyday life.
The Tornado Alley project is a comprehensive outreach program on the science behind severe weather events, in association with a large-format 2D/3D film produced by Graphic Films and Giant Screen Films. The project focuses on cutting-edge developments in the fields of meteorology and earth science, demonstrating weather monitoring technologies. The Franklin Institute created the educational products associated with the film and manages outreach to informal audiences.
Communities of Learning for Urban Environments and Science (CLUES)
This project teaches science to families in the Philadelphia-Camden region through a collaboration of the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences, The Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Zoo, Academy of Natural Sciences, and ten diverse community-based organizations. The project builds upon the previous work of Philadelphia-Camden Informal Science Education Collaborative (PISEC).
Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net)
This network is a national community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. The Franklin Institute serves as the network's hub for the Mid-Atlantic region. In addition to developing educational activities and teacher professional development resources, TFI facilitates network partner interactions, helps museum educators connect with researchers, hosts regional workshops and meetings, and provides support to partner institutions.
Secrets of the Universe
The project leader, K2 Communications, will develop an IMAX documentary film on particle physics investigated at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. As a project partner, TFI will develop educational materials to accompany the film, and study the effects of the film on girls’ learning.
The Franklin Institute and the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education have developed and field-tested a system that uses advanced visualization technologies and networked social learning to enhance visitors’ experiences with traditional hands-on museum exhibits.
This set of three related projects promotes children's engagement in science and literacy by integrating age-appropriate literature and hands-on science activities in community settings such as libraries, museums, and afterschool programs. LEAP into Science operates in 52 branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia and in ten states nationwide.
City Skies prepares neighborhood and community leaders in Philadelphia to use simple but effective observation tools and NASA’s educational web content to help their inner-city Philadelphia neighbors learn about space science and technology by exploring the city sky.
The Climate and Urban Systems Partnership works through networks of community-based organizations in Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh, to deliver coordinated programs and messages educating residents about climate change.
STEM 3D: Integrating Science into Afterschool
This project is developing strategies for afterschool facilitators to engage underserved youth and families in year-round STEM learning and career awareness through a combination of afterschool, home, and community activities.