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Kids Discovery Factory Receives $120,545 Grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.

Kids Discovery Factory received $120,545 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support capacity-building, programming growth, and capital projects.

The grant was awarded through a competitive application process supported by Lilly Endowment’s Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana initiative. The aim of the initiative is to help youth-serving organizations working throughout Indiana improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical and social well-being of young people, ages five through 18.


Grant funding will support staff professional development, expanded STEAM experiences for kids 5 to 18 years old, and future exhibit installation. Over the next three years, Kids Discovery Factory will transition existing programs to better meet the needs of the community and reflect the growth of the organization. This includes transition-planning and revitalization of core existing programs during upcoming construction and renovation, enabling Kids Discovery Factory to strategically explore new opportunities for after school classes, scout programs, sensory-friendly hours, Girls in STEM programs, and more. Grant funding will also assist in the installation of an innovation and invention focused exhibit that will be central to visitor experience and field trip programming.

“Kids Discovery Factory is experiencing tremendous growth,” said Emili Uden, Executive Director of Kids Discovery Factory. “Our outreach capabilities have skyrocketed, and we are eager to begin expanding our physical footprint. The Strengthening Youth Programs Grant from Lilly Endowment allows us to strategically move our programming forward while we navigate needed construction and renovation of our building in downtown Batesville. Having the support to evolve our key programs and explore new program opportunities positions us for success now and in the future.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana Initiative in 2022 with an invitational round of grants to nine national youth-serving organizations to help them expand and enhance the work of their Indiana affiliates or chapters. Kids Discovery Factory is one of 187 organizations receiving grants through the initiative in 2023.

“Indiana’s youth-serving organizations are crucial to the healthy development of children and youth across the state,’ said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “The challenges these organizations have faced in meeting the needs of young people in recent years have made their work increasingly difficult. Lilly Endowment is pleased to support their efforts to strengthen programs and serve more youth more effectively.”   

About Lilly Endowment Inc.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons Eli and J.K. Jr. through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the Endowment, it is a separate entity from the company, with a distinct governing board, staff and location. Although the Endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

About Kids Discovery Factory

Kids Discovery Factory provides youth the opportunity to discover their passions and realize their potential through engaging exhibits, interactive learning programs, and the exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). Through programming at the hands-on children’s museum, Mobile Factory, or STEAM Camp, children develop skills through engaging play experiences that last a lifetime, creating the future leaders and workforce of tomorrow. Kids Discovery Factory supports STEAM education in more than eight counties in Indiana, as well as portions of southwestern Ohio. For more information visit or call 812-932-5437.          

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