WASHINGTON (WENY) -- Washington is looking to build upon educational offerings in the Southern Tier, with the award of nearly $300,000 in grants.

The Museum for America grant program supports projects that increase and enhance the experience and service provided to the public. Categories for this program include learning experience, community anchors and collections, and stewardship.

The Sciencenter will receive $202,163 to strengthen rural engagement in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). This will include hands-on and inquiry-based STEM activities for families and children. The museum will connect with Moravia Central School District and Groton Public Library in partnership to facilitate the project, bringing STEM education to rural audiences in new and exciting ways.

The Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution will receive a grant of $93,450. The funds will be used to increase public access to specimens in the Cornell University Malacology Collection. Malacology pertains to the study of mollusks. These specimens will also physically be added to the museum's existing modern mollusk collection. The more than 28,000 specimens will be publicly available online one a searchable database.

"Grants such as these allow museums to expand and continue to provide excellent services for visitors and community members," Representative Tom Reed of New York's 23rd Congressional District said. "Expanding access to education and information is something we care about and we are proud to deliver this grant for people who both live in and visit Ithaca."

The grants are awarded through the Institute of Museum and Library Services.