Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative

Promoting Science Education Throughout North Carolina

The Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative is the only statewide partnership of museums dedicated to inspiring and educating today’s youth and adults in science and technology for North Carolina’s competitive future.

Grassroots Science Museums are located in communities across the state of North Carolina – from the mountains to the coast. These museums serve millions of citizens annually through general visitation, teacher training and special programs. Programs include both onsite and offsite presentations and reach students in every North Carolina school district.

Citizens from all 100 counties visit these museums each year and are served through outreach programs. School children not only visit nearby museums, but travel across county lines to other member museums. Museums travel, too, offering outreach programs across the state.

Museums are important partners in inspiring and educating youth and adults in science and technology – connecting classroom learning to real-world experiences. Moreover, museums are one-of-a-kind places where visitors learn together through engaging, interactive environments.

Explore our website to learn more about the collaborative and our goals. In addition, our website has the only comprehensive statewide listing of grassroots museums and statewide events. We also have a listing of online resources as well as information about grassroots programs. Be sure to watch our short informational video and sign-up to receive our free email newsletter with valuable information about statewide programs and initiatives.

STEM and the Grassroots Museums' Role in the State's Economy

North Carolina is attempting to emerge from its history of low-wage industrial and farming base that was narrowly dependent on textiles, furniture, and tobacco. Now, as the global economy is shifting to a knowledge - / innovation-based economy, and as North Carolina seeks to position itself to take advantage of these market-based shifts, it is becoming increasingly necessary that the state’s citizens possess greater proficiencies in science and technology that begin with awareness of basic science literacy and progress through to higher-level acquisition of marketable skills and the capacity and capability for ease of retraining to respond to acute market-based opportunities.

As a state, we have traditionally relied on the public school system to provide a sufficient educated population that can travel the workforce development pipeline entering specific post-secondary programs or go directly into the workforce. However, that model is no longer adequate in generating a base of awareness of the innovation economy, pathways to its evolving and emerging occupations, and the timely development of marketable skills. Concurrently, North Carolina is blessed with not only having a system of 34 informal hands-on science education institutions distributed across the state, but these science centers and museums are part of the only statewide collaboration in the US – The NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative (NC GSMC).

Tools for Success: STEM and The State’s Innovation Economy

If North Carolina is to take full advantage of the growing opportunities in the innovation economy, it must be willing to utilize all of the tools in its tool chest. The Grassroots’ Museums engage thousands of North Carolina citizens daily and millions annually, conduct a vast array of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) educational experiences and professional development opportunities for educators, and are valued educational resources in communities throughout the state – from the mountains to the coast in areas both rural and urban.

These science centers and interactive museums are community-developed community-valued facilities that possess depth and breadth in STEM experiences, engage the whole family, are partners with schools (public and private) and homeschools, and are prepared to play increasingly significant roles in linking learning to STEM-based business and industry while championing and communicating the importance of STEM in advancing the state’s innovation economy and its competitiveness globally.