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CU System
4 million grant funds museums SECU Daily Planet
RALEIGH, N.C. (12/2/09)--Members of State Employees' CU (SECU) via the SECU Foundation have announced a $4 million grant to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, funding the centerpiece--the SECU Daily Planet--of the museum's planned Nature Research Center (NRC).
Click to view larger image The SECU Daily Planet will be the centerpiece of the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences' planned Nature Research Center, said the SECU Foundation in announcing its $4 million grant to the museum. (Photo provided by State Employees' CU)
The SECU Daily Planet will be a three-story multimedia program area with cutting edge audio and visual technologies to provide the backdrop for live presentations on key environmental issues and recent scientific discoveries. Also, the SECU Daily Planet will draw on live feeds of the latest science news and provide daily outreach to audiences statewide through the North Carolina Research and Education Network, Research Channel Consortium, NASA-TV, WRAL-TV, UNC-TV, North Carolina Public Radio (WUNC), webcasts and podcasts. NRC, an 80,000 square-foot wing of the museum is under construction just west of the current museum building. The museum projects the research center will attract more than 200,000 visitors annually from all counties in the state. The museum has also partnered with Microelectronics Center of North Carolina, a non-profit organization, to use networking technologies and systems to improve learning and collaboration throughout the state's K-20 education community. Its network will connect to every elementary, middle and high school in the state to facilitate delivery of distance learning programs. Dr. Betsy Bennett, museum director, said SECU gift "is the largest private gift we've received since the NRC capital campaign was launched in fall 2008." Shirley Bell, chair of the SECU Foundation board, noted that since SECU serves employees of the state's public schools, community colleges and universities, the project is "a natural fit."
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