CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The South Carolina Aquarium received a $2 million donation from Boeing to support its mission to bring additional educational programs to the downtown Charleston area.
News 2 previously reported that the Aquarium was looking to expand its footprint with an additional learning space at the nearby Charleston Maritime Center.
The ‘Boeing Learning Lab,’ which is set to open in 2024, will become the first waterfront multidisciplinary learning center on the peninsula.
Leaders say the additional space will revolutionize the way the community connects with the natural world and allow the SC Aquarium to offer thousands of additional students free STEM education programming.
“The place where sky meets water will become their classroom; they’ll breathe in the salty air and experience the sights and sounds of the Charleston Harbor,” said Brian Thill, director of education for the South Carolina Aquarium. “For some, this may be their first or only trip to the coast; For others, this will be the catalyst that leads them to become the next generation of conservation stewards and STEM professionals.”
According to the SC Aquarium, the Learning Lab will help deliver a “robust slate of educational programming. They’ll also partner with scientists and researchers to deliver groundbreaking interactive presentations on diverse conservation and resilience topics.
“The Learning Lab will serve as an experiential learning hub for current education programs — Dominion Energy School Programs, Virtual Programs, Education Outreach, High School Intern Program and more — and will act as the launchpad for new offerings to better serve students across the state in the future,” Aquarium leaders said.
The SC Aquarium previously told News 2 they hoped to teach about 20,000 students in the revitalized space each year.
Charleston City Council last year agreed to a Memorandum of Agreement with the South Carolina Aquarium, enabling them to invest up to $5 million on the city facility with a long-term lease to create the educational space.
Learn more about the project by clicking here.