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Igniting Innovation at the Science Center

Last week we announced the Science Center’s call for community support through the Ignite Innovation campaign. Our goal is to raise $3 million over the next two years to bolster the growth of our programs as we move to our new home at 3675 Market Street. This campaign will allow us to fuel the future of discovery and expand access to resources for the entire community. In a nutshell, here’s what we hope to accomplish through the Ignite Innovation Campaign:

Build More Businesses Out of Breakthroughs

As Quorum triples in size, and spans over two floors with street-level access, we’re looking to deepen the impact we already have on entrepreneurs in the region. Joining the Venture Café Global Network is a gamechanger for Quorum, and for Philadelphia. This fall, Thursday nights will become synonymous with Venture Café programming powered by Quorum, broadening, including and connecting the innovation ecosystem to improve the human condition. Since Quorum opened in 2011, we’ve hosted over 1,000 programs and events, and welcomed more than 70,000 people through our doors. We’re excited to watch these numbers grow at 3675 Market.

Expand Pathways for the Minds of Tomorrow

FirstHand, our STEM-based educational program for middle school and high school youth, serves over 600 children, families and teachers annually, inspiring a new generation of curious minds from under-resourced schools in Philadelphia. Thus far, over 1,800 students have participated in FirstHand programming. That means 1,800 students have discovered a passion for science, worked with mentors they can relate to, and made discoveries that can change their world – and impact the wider community. FirstHand’s new lab will feature 5,000 square feet of open classroom and lounge space, two wet/dry labs, a makerspace and a digital studio. “FirstHand’s new lab will allow many more Philadelphia youth to engage with real-world science and entrepreneurship and explore future STEM careers," says David Clayton, Director of FirstHand.

Bolster Programs for Entrepreneurs Inventing the Future

Where else can you meet entrepreneurs who are creating a flushable, discrete, biodegradable pregnancy test, leading the fight against cystic fibrosis, or improving the quality and safety of products in the food and wine industry. Lia Diagnostics, Talee Bio, and Invisible Sentinel aresolving different problems. But they have one important thing in common – they’ve all participated in our science and technology programs. As we Ignite Innovation at 3675 Market Street, we’ll increase our capacity to better advance the discoveries being made by scientists and entrepreneurs alike here at the Science Center.

Ignite Innovation supporters are advancing the inclusive ecosystem we’re building at the Science Center, where students interact with scientists, business advisors mentor startups, and entrepreneurs build their dreams. We’re one-third of the way towards our $3 million goal thanks to generous contributions from Wexford Science + Technology and the University of Pennsylvania. Further support from our donors, friends and partners will get us across the finish line, and help us realize our dreams.