The Hall recognized as 2017 IMLS National Medal Finalist

March 20, 2017

A young scientist experiments with the Hall’s Tesla Coil at the Lafayette Library in Lafayette, CA. Lawrence Hall of Science educators regularly take our science activities and programs on the road to local schools, libraries, and community centers.

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March 20, 2017–Berkeley, CA Today the Lawrence Hall of Science was named as one of 30 finalists for the 2017 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. The National Medal, awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. The National Medal will be awarded to five museums and five libraries later this spring.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our long-standing educational impact and community service and are honored to be named among this prestigious group of finalists,” said Susan Gregory, Deputy Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science.

For 23 years, this award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities. The Lawrence Hall of Science was selected as a finalist after an extensive application process that included support for the nomination from Reps. Mark DeSaulnier and Barbara Lee.

“The innovative work the Hall does in our East Bay community cannot be overemphasized,” said Lee in a letter supporting the Hall’s nomination. “The Hall’s programs are a vital component to the educational development of local students, and greatly enrich the community of the greater Bay Area.”

The Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley’s public science center, inspires and fosters science, technology, engineering, and mathematics learning for all, especially those who have limited access to science. Every year, over 200,000 visitors enjoy exhibits, planetarium programs, and activities that ignite their curiosity about the world around them, engage them in meaningful exploration and discovery, and inspire them to learn more. Hall-developed programs and curricula also reach students and educators in the local community, across the country, and around the globe. All told, some 12 million young people learn science through Hall programs and materials every year.

Founded in 1968, the Hall will celebrate 50 years of STEM education in 2018.

“As the Lawrence Hall of Science approaches its 50th anniversary, we reaffirm our commitments to catalyzing discovery and innovation; inspiring and preparing young people to face complex global challenges; and expanding access to high-quality STEM learning locally, nationally, and beyond,” said Rena Dorph, Interim Director of the Hall.

The Hall will be featured on IMLS social media channels on Monday, April 24. IMLS is encouraging community members who visited the Lawrence Hall of Science or participated in a Hall program to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your Story, please visit

About the Institute of Museum & Library Services

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and approximately 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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