Officials leading the merger of two non-profit science organizations hope their combined efforts will translate to more STEM professionals in Kansas City.
A science museum, Union Station’s Science City is merging with Kansas City-based Science Pioneers to offer complementary science events, activities and programs. The merger — which will be complete July 1 — aims to create a stronger STEM community in Kansas City.
Founded in 1956, Science Pioneers is a non-profit organization that hosts the Greater Kansas City Science & Engineering Fair. The fair is among the oldest and largest showcase events in the U.S. for student scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians.
Union Station CEO George Guastello said the merger represents a major opportunity for science education in Kansas City.
“The opportunity to bring the deep experience and outreach of Science Pioneers to our table was perfectly timed,” Guastello said in a release. “We simply can’t imagine a better union between two brands with common purpose and community-affirmed outcomes.”
The merger arrives nearly a year after Science City earned international recognition for its offerings. In September, Science City was one of only two museums to earn the EDGIE Award for visitor experience, an award doled out by the Association of Science-Technology Centers. At 80,000-square-feet, Science City features hundreds of interactive exhibits and in 2017 will expand to a new outdoor space.
LeAnn Smith, executive director of Science Pioneers, said that the merger is great news for STEM education in Kansas City.
“This is what innovation looks like,” Smith said in a release. “By bringing together complementary but not overlapping programs, we create a stronger organization that’s capable of delivering even greater support for STEM learning in Kansas City, all in a vibrant, internationally-recognized and energy-filled science center.”
Smith will become director of STEM programming and outreach at Science City. Tom Sack, CEO of MRIGlobal and the board director of Science Pioneers will join the Union Station board.