Museum of Science to Receive $5 Million from The Gordon Foundation

Award will fund initiatives to educate and inspire future engineers and innovators


The new award will support digital versions of EiE storybooks, among other initiatives.
Thursday, April 9, 2015

BOSTON, Mass. -- The Museum of Science, Boston announced today a $5 million gift from The Gordon Foundation, established by Sophia and Bernard M. Gordon. The gift significantly expands the Museum's ability to transform engineering and technology education across the United States and inspire young people to embrace the rewards and rigors of becoming engineering leaders. It includes support for new Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) initiatives, among other Museum programs.

In 2006, a $20 million gift made The Gordon Foundation the largest private donor in the Museum's history and launched the $250 million Campaign for the Museum of Science. The Foundation's support fueled the mission of the National Center for Technological Literacy® (NCTL®), established by Museum president and director Ioannis Miaoulis in 2004 to integrate engineering as a new discipline in schools and museums nationwide.

"Our country's future depends on its ability to motivate and educate 'real' engineers," says Gordon, an engineering visionary and Analogic Corporation's founder. "Such people can lead, think creatively, relate to society, break complex problems into manageable tasks, and take risks that may result in new products benefiting society. With this gift, my wife and I continue to recognize the Museum's important work, strengthening engineering as a discipline and encouraging talented young people to become engineers, thus helping to preserve our country's leadership in innovation."

Gordon himself has invented breakthrough devices that have enhanced how people live and work, even saving lives -- from his earliest contributions to the world’s first commercial computer to scanners at the core of modern medical imaging and counter-terrorism technology.

Since 2003, the Museum has reached an estimated 11 million people via engineering exhibits, programs, and curricula. The new $5 million gift increases NCTL's impact in the following areas:

  • Launching the Gordon Family Young Innovator Program to engage at least 500 young people in engineering practices through an annual large-scale event and school-based activities, sparking students to greater challenges, introducing them to engineering leaders, and sharing their creations with the public.
  • Bolstering the Engineering Design Challenges Program by supporting the development of the Tech Studio gallery -- a hands-on workshop featuring engineering design challenges. Our first-generation Engineering Design Workshop has hosted over 580,000 Museum visitors, as they designed, built, and tested solutions to engaging hands-on challenges -- from prototyping model sailboats to designing trampolines.
  • Enhancing the Engineering is Elementary® (EiE®) Teacher Video Program by creating eight new video teacher resources, documenting EiE's award-winning best teaching practices and sharing them broadly, including in a new National Academy of Engineering website. The 20-unit EiE curriculum integrates engineering with science, language arts, social studies, and math via storybooks and hands-on design activities, from creating water filters and solar ovens to developing submersibles. Educator resources include lesson plans, assessment materials, and professional development.
  • Converting the EiE curriculum from text to digital tablet versions, enabling more interactivity with integrated images, videos, definitions, and guiding questions, increasing participation by 15%.
  • Expanding Traveling Programs with four new hands-on engineering design activities aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, two new travel vans and new staff increasing weekly programs, and reaching rural and urban schools.
  • Creating New Out-of-School-Time Program activities with three new Engineering Adventures® for 3rd – 5th graders and six new Engineering Everywhere™ activities for 6th – 8th graders to increase participation by 60%.  Children design model earthquake-resistant buildings and safety helmets. Programs, which are free to download, can help close the STEM opportunity gap for underserved children.

"Bernard Gordon exemplifies the very best of engineering and innovation," says Miaoulis. "He measures success by how much good you do for society. Sophia and Bernard have given our city, region and country a tremendous gift. Their extraordinary generosity underscores the importance of the Museum's mission. The gift will greatly expand our efforts. We are honored by the Gordons' continued trust in us."

About The Gordon Foundation's Past Contributions to the Museum of Science, Boston

The Gordon Foundation's initial gift led to creation of the Sophia & Bernard M. Gordon Wing. Unveiled in 2007 and measuring 32,000 square feet, it is the NCTL headquarters and houses the Museum Exhibits and Research & Evaluation teams. The Sophia & Bernard M. Gordon Endowed Fund has supported creation and presentation of engaging interactive engineering and technology programs in classrooms nationwide, at the Museum, and as a model for science centers worldwide. The gift also supported the creation of the Gordon Innovative Engineers exhibit highlighting innovations and career stories of engineering leaders; the Gordon Current Science & Technology Center with new live presentations featuring "real" engineers; and new Design Challenges, K-12 engineering curricular materials, and professional development.

About the Museum of Science, Boston

One of the world's largest science centers and Boston's most attended cultural institution, the Museum introduces over 1.4 million visitors a year to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) via dynamic programs and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Founded in 1830, the Museum was first to embrace all the sciences under one roof and is the nation's first science museum with a comprehensive strategy and infrastructure to foster technological literacy in museums and schools nationwide. The Museum's 10,000-square-foot Hall of Human Life draws on the latest discoveries in the life sciences to engage visitors in their own biology and health. Other highlights include the Thomson Theater of Electricity, Charles Hayden Planetarium, Mugar Omni Theater, Gordon Current Science & Technology Center, Butterfly Garden and 4-D Theater. Reaching over 20,000 teens a year worldwide via the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network, the Museum also leads a 10-year, $41 million National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network of science museums. Visit Follow the Museum of Science on Twitter at @MuseumOfScience or Facebook at


Museum of Science, Boston

A.J. Gosselin, Manager of Media Relations

Phone: 617-589-0251 Email:




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