The Museum of Science in Boston has announced a $50 million gift from former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who grew up in nearby Medford.
Awarded through Bloomberg Philanthropies, the gift will provide an endowment for the museum's education division, which will be renamed the William and Charlotte Bloomberg Science Education Center, in honor of Bloomberg's parents. The single largest gift in the museum's history also will provide funds to design, test, and disseminate computational thinking and computer science curricula and activities and develop food-science initiatives.
"Michael Bloomberg has propelled the museum forward in its ability to excite visitors with interactive experiences and continue the educational focus we've had for decades," said Christine Reich, vice president of exhibit development and conservation. "Fostering STEM habits of mind — questioning, imagining, creating, testing — has always been at the heart of the museum. With this gift, we can continue our inspiring educational work into the future."
During his youth, Bloomberg often traveled to the museum on weekends and credited those trips with inspiring him to become an engineer. "Those mornings were the highlight of my weeks, and they helped define the course of my life," said Bloomberg. "The Museum of Science is where I learned to ask questions, to recognize just how much there is to learn about in the world, and to follow the science wherever it leads."