616-466-4335 helpme@thensi.org

Your Impact

There is a great need for improved STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Manufacturing) education.

The U.S. Department of Education is projecting that the number of STEM related jobs in the Country will increase by 14% by 2020. However, students are not prepared for these careers. Only 16% of American high school seniors are proficient in mathematics and interested in a STEM career. If these trends continue, high paying jobs will go overseas to countries that have a better prepared workforce.

However, there is a problem.

STEAM education requires expensive specialized machinery and equipment as well as specialized instruction which is beyond the reach of most individuals. There are very few places where ordinary people can affordably access equipment/tools and explore ideas related to the physical sciences at their own pace. Even in traditional higher level learning environments, use of equipment/tools is relegated to curriculum and formal class time. This hampers the free pursuit of ideas, prevents the development of new products and concepts, and decreases the potential success of those seeking to learn. Without opportunity, there is no chance of triumph. But there is a solution.

The National Science Institute fills an important gap by providing a physical and virtual place to discover, invent and learn through making — to explore ideas with the right tools and collaborative people.

The National Science Institute is open to:

  • High school and college aged students who want to explore and learn in a hands-on environment for career advancement or just to explore an interest, develop skills, or gain work experience in a meaningful STEAM area
  • Entrepreneurs who want to research and develop new products with the aid of state-of-the-art design software and equipment as well as access experts from across the globe
  • Small businesses that need a place to improve an existing product and/or a manufacturing process
  • Artists who need a place to create
  • Hobbyists who want to expand their skills and help others learn

The National Science Institute offers an extensive, web-based knowledge network that provides how-to videos and connections to people around the world.

Members can watch, learn, share and participate in each other’s work through the power of virtual connections. The National Science Institute also offers a physical space in Grand Rapids that members can use for their work. With 43,000 square feet and state-of-the-art equipment and laboratories, the Main Campus is an unparalleled treasure trove for creative-minded individuals of any skill level.

We need your support to continue providing high-quality services at a cost to the end user that is reasonable.

The National Science Institute is funded largely through small donations from a large community of supporters located throughout the world. This support is crucial to servicing a growing membership/user base and continuing to provide innovative solutions to STEAM education. Please consider donating to The National Science Institute today. Every little bit helps and you can make a difference.

  $10 Replace consumable tools and components as members use them
  $20 Provide practice materials for students and members to learn on
  $40 Provide one training session in a new tool or software
  $50 Build a computer for a family in need
  $60 Stock the facility for one month with cleaning supplies and paper products
  $100 Replace one of our lights to LED, increasing efficiency
  $250 Upgrade a camera to our Live Broadcast & Security system
  $500 Provide a hands-on field trip to a classroom of 20-50 students
  $1,000 Install ID card access to a door, increasing security and tracking
  $1,500 Repair and upgrade the Fire Truck, improving our field trip experience
  $1,500 Create a new instructional training video to be used in our facility and online
  $2,500 Expand our compressed air system to a new lab, increasing direct tool access to our membership
  $5,000 Build a new demonstration, in High Voltage, Robotics, or Engineering
  $5,000 New air and vacuum system for the Sheet Router, increasing the types of project people can make
  $10,000 Install ID card access on all external doors, allowing for 24/7 access
  $15,000 Build a new interactive demo, including our flight simulator, or robotic rollercoaster
  $45,000 Buy new manufacturing equipment for member use, such as a CNC laser cutter, water jet, or welding stations