Tomorrow's Explorers Inspired on Field Trips Thanks to Philanthropy

Written by: developer

More than 1,500 Students Benefit from Donors’ Generosity

Thanks to three generous gifts, the Space Foundation recently awarded Discover ScholarTrips, or scholarships, to various Colorado schools to experience a field trip to the Discovery Center.

The Discovery Center is the Pikes Peak region’s only space, science and technology center. It supports STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education through its Lockheed Martin Space Education Center, featuring the AGI Space Missions Simulation Laboratory and Mars Robotics Laboratory; Northrop Grumman Science Center featuring Science On a Sphere® and El Pomar Space Gallery.

Research shows there are many strong benefits of school field trips, including providing a long term learning experience more effectively than many single classroom lessons, and improving critical thinking skills. These benefits have been found to be much greater for students from rural areas and high-poverty schools, as well as minority students.

Funding from several donors provided three different Discover ScholarTrip offerings. A gift from Northrop Grumman Corporation funded scholarships for rural schools in Colorado. A gift from Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company provided scholarships to schools in Teller County. The third scholarship offering was funded as part of a grant from Lockheed Martin that will establish the Lockheed Martin Space Education Center at the Discovery Center, to be dedicated in 2015. These scholarships were for schools designated as Title 1, which serve high concentrations of low-income, at-risk and under-represented families.

After an application process, a total of 45 Discover ScholarTrips were awarded, serving more than 1,500 kindergartners through high school students. The ScholarTrip covers the admission fee, as well as a subsidy for bus transportation, one of the biggest obstacles teachers face — funds to get their students out of the classroom to experience engaging field trips, such as those to the Discovery Center. Each scholarship recipient chooses from a list of current courses that align with their academic needs. All courses meet state and national academic standards. Learn more about Space Foundation education programs at

The Space Foundation’s Discover ScholarTrips address not only the lack of proficiency in STEM subjects, but a lack of interest. The Space Foundation seeks to make STEM not only interactive for students and teachers, but also fun, in order to spark student interest in STEM, with the goal to ignite the flame within future scientists and engineers.

For more information on funding Discover ScholarTrips, please call Development at 719-576-8000 or email [email protected].

This article is part of Space Watch: December 2014 (Volume: 13, Issue: 12).