The Citizen Science Lab
The Citizen Science Lab

The Citizen Science Lab Receives $500,000 McAuley Ministries Grant for New Building in the Hill District

Pittsburgh, PA, November 08, 2022 --( The Citizen Science Lab, a Pittsburgh nonprofit that provides award-winning STEM programs to underrepresented youth, has been awarded a $500,000 grant from McAuley Ministries towards Project Dream--their new capital campaign to establish a state-of-the-art laboratory in the Hill District. The Citizen Science Lab plans to use the funding towards their proposed renovation of the former Martin Luther King Jr. Reading and Cultural Space on Herron Avenue.

“TCSL is honored to continue to partner with McAuley Ministries on strengthening the inspiring Hill District and providing outstanding service to the loving residents in that community,” stated Dr. Samuel, President and CEO of The Citizen Science Lab. “Furthermore, this helps us get one step closer to becoming a permanent science and culture asset to the Hill District!”

The Citizen Science Lab plans to expand operations to accommodate growth and provide youth with full access to premier hands-on STEM programs by relocating to the Martin Luther King Jr. Reading and Cultural Center at 636 Herron Avenue in the Hill District. Plans for the new space include a state-of-the-art life science laboratory, a changing public art space, a chicken coop, greenhouse, drone and rocket launching site and other exciting spaces designed to spark excitement for all things science.

Marisol Valentin, Executive Director of McAuley Ministries stated, “One of the areas that McAuley Ministries has been investing in for the past decade has been the after-school enrichment opportunities in our neighborhoods. This project by The Citizen Science Lab not only brings the agency back to its roots in the Hill District, but also broadens the continuum of education enrichment by opening a new center that expands in-school curriculums with new STEAM technologies and creates a neighborhood hub that provides citizens of all ages with opportunities to learn and explore science in new ways.”

Located in the center of the revitalization zone, TCSL’s new facilities at the MLK Cultural Center will provide a more accessible space to connect young people with opportunities to increase STEM knowledge and strengthen our STEM pipeline for communities of color. The new location will have the technical capacity to serve as a “Digital Learning Hub'' for on-line learning when area students are unable to access the internet at home or in school. TCSL will work closely with an MWBE architecture firm to renovate this historical space into an environment that is optimal for a hybrid of in-person and cyber programming to accommodate any unforeseeable future shutdowns as a result of incidents such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic​.

About The Citizen Science Lab
Founded in 2015, The Citizen Science Lab (TCSL) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that has become a city leader in providing interactive STEM programming for the residents of Pittsburgh. Located in the Hill District neighborhood and South Hills region, The Citizen Science Lab provides an accessible space to connect young people with opportunities to increase STEM knowledge, academic achievement, and self-confidence. It incorporates state-of-the-art laboratories that provide hands-on exposure to life science, biomedical, robotics, and biotechnology education for students, teachers, biomedical startups, and adults. The Citizen Science Lab has served over 5,000 students from communities including, but not limited to, the Hill District, Homewood, The North Side and Souths Hills. In addition, through online programming, TCSL has worked with youth from across the nation including those from Washington, DC, Tennessee, Arizona, and California.
The Citizen Science Lab
Nikki Feagin