PNC Foundation Funds McWane Science Center’s New Digital Technology Initiative

Programs Will Support and Engage Preschoolers in Exploring the Wonders of Science


PNC Foundation Funds McWane Science Center’s New Digital Technology Initiative

Programs will Support and Engage Preschoolers in Exploring the Wonders of Science

October 7, 2020

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.–McWane Science Center and the PNC Foundation have announced a $25,000 grant as part of an effort to expand science education accessibility for more than 20,000 of the region’s youngest learners. The funding, made possible through the PNC Foundation as part of its signature philanthropic early education initiative, PNC Grow Up Great®, will support the establishment of a new virtual science initiative offering digital access to interactive science programming for local students, educators and families.

“We’ve had the privilege of funding several early learning initiatives and interactive exhibits with McWane Science Center, and this latest grant reflects our continued commitment to investing in quality programs that engage the entire family in science education,” said Nick Willis, PNC regional president for Alabama.

Virtual Itty Bitty Science will offer children and families engaging, hands-on digital programming, using live video and social media to deliver teacher training, parent/child workshops and at-home science activities, along with virtual field trips featuring Itty Bitty Magic City.

“We’re so thankful for the generous support PNC continues to provide to help sustain our mission to spark wonder and curiosity through science. For eight years, McWane Science Center and PNC have worked together to ignite a love of learning in our young children, helping educate and inspire tomorrow’s innovators, problem-solvers, and community leaders,” said McWane Science Center CEO Amy Templeton.

Here’s a look at some of McWane Science Center’s new digital early childhood programming:

Little Labs Live: Little Labs uses digital video to introduce young children to science concepts through a story or experience.  The children receive an activity or experiment that they can do at home to help reinforce the subject matter.

Digital Word of the Week videos: “Word of the Week” episodes will be developed and delivered to the community through social media, e-blasts, and community partnerships. Each segment features a science vocabulary word and an accompanying experiment to demonstrate how the vocabulary word applies to real life.

Kitchen Science:  Families will be encouraged to use household items to introduce and engage their young children in science exploration. 

Virtual Teacher Training Workshops with classroom kits: McWane Science Center’s early childhood experts work directly with teachers from preschool classrooms to provide them with tips and resources to help them teach science to young learners. Participating teachers receive lesson plans to help them impart scientific knowledge with their students.

About PNC Foundation

The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (, actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a bilingual $500 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.

About McWane Science Center

McWane Science Center is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) science center, children’s museum, natural history museum, aquarium and IMAX with Laser Dome Theater. Designed to “spark wonder and curiosity about our world through hands-on science, McWane Science Center was named “Alabama Tourism Attraction of the Year for 2020 and has welcomed millions of visitors since opening its doors in 1998. The McWane Collection houses the largest collection of fossils in Alabama. Visit for more information.


Media Contact: Melanie McCraney  (205) 910-1323