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The Powerhouse Museum’s Parramatta chapter receives a total of $ 30 million in donations to help children from western Sydney and regional NSW learn about science and technology. The Walker Family Foundation has pledged $ 20 million and Western Sydney University will provide the other $ 10 million, NSW Arts Minister Don Harwin announced on Friday. Harwin says that together these “simply extraordinary” gifts make up one of the largest donations ever to an arts and cultural institution in Australia. The Long Walker Family Academy, funded by the $ 20 million donation, will provide overnight stays at the museum and other STEM education experiences for over 10,000 high school students from western Sydney and the regions. There will be four state-of-the-art education and dormitory rooms so students and teachers can stay overnight. The academy, named after a billionaire developer, will start next year with STEM education programming in schools in the schools of Blacktown, Campbelltown, Liverpool, Bankstown, Penrith and Parramatta local authority areas. As the museum’s Foundation University Partner, Western Sydney University will integrate researchers there and fund a researcher-in-residence. It will also be a support partner for the Lang Walker Family Academy. Geoff Lee, parramatta MP and Minister of Skills and Higher Education, said the Powerhouse Parramatta would be “so much more than a museum”. “The STEM programs and opportunities from the Lang Walker Family Academy will prepare our children for the future and develop and inspire researchers, engineers and innovative thinkers that the future needs – right here in Western Sydney,” said Dr. Lee in a statement. The new website in Parramatta is set to open in 2023 with a focus on science and technology. Australian Associated Press

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