Museum Studies alumna Shawna Meiser and the Children’s Museum of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, has recently been awarded an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant. IMLS is a federally-funded institution designed to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning and cultural and civic engagement through the rigorous process of grant giving. This is the first IMLS grant awarded to the Children’s Museum, which received close to $25,000. The grant will be used to support expanded STEM programs, robotics kits for teacher check-out and help with enhancing the current prototype Maker Space exhibit, according to Meiser. The grant will also be used to fund a study on the feasibility of mobile STEM labs traveling to local schools.
“It is thrilling to have some substantial resources to share with my amazing staff and all-volunteer exhibit committee," says Meiser. "The grant reviewers also recommended we share our program evaluation results at AAM (the American Alliance of Museums Conference) down the line.”
Before accepting the directorship at the Children’s Museum in November 2013, Meiser worked for the Lewisburg Prison Project, a prisoners’ rights organization assisting inmates with the conditions of their confinement. While there, Meiser organized an art show and exhibition of prisoner’s art works. Since starting at the Children’s Museum, Meiser has been a member on the Board of Pennsylvania Museums.