RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 50 science centers across the state will soon be receiving grant awards as part of the second year of the North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program.

The program, which awards $2.39 million in grants, is one of the ways that the state of North Carolina invests in sustaining and advancing the nationwide network of science museums.

Grants were awarded based on criteria that promote the priorities of state government, with a primary goal of enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics education opportunities for the public, particularly in low resource communities.

Awards ranging from $15,688 to $75,000 will be applied to the 2017-2018 fiscal year budgets of these science centers. Of the state’s 100 counties, the 40 most economically distressed counties received the largest awards.