NSF Awards Competitive Grant in Support of Tornado Alley

Giant Screen Films is thrilled to announce that the National Science Foundation has awarded a competitive grant in support of Tornado Alley, a giant-screen film and educational outreach initiative. While the film will introduce global audiences to the groundbreaking research of the NSF-funded VORTEX2 project—the most ambitious effort ever made to understand the origins, structure, and evolution of tornadoes—the very generous grant will allow Giant Screen Films to advance its outreach work in unprecedented new directions. Among the many programs planned are screenings of the film in tornado-effected communities that would otherwise not have exposure to the film, vehicle tours, and interactive events with the VORTEX2 researchers that will help introduce kids to exciting careers in science and meteorology.

Grant funding was provided through the NSF’s Informal Science Education program, in partnership with NSF’s Physical and Dynamic Meteorology program and the special programs of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and Lower Atmospheric Facilities Oversight Section.    

Don Kempf, president of Giant Screen Films, said, “We are delighted by the NSF’s incredible level of support for Tornado Alley. There is already a tremendous amount of popular interest in tornadoes. Combine this with the uniquely immersive power of the giant-screen medium, and we believe that Tornado Alley has the potential to engage and inspire audiences on this subject as never before. In addition, the film and the associated educational outreach activities funded by this grant will provide a unique window into the world of tornado research and the groundbreaking scientific achievements that are ongoing in this field. We hope that the film project, as a whole, will serve as a model for the informal science education community going forward.”

Tornado Alley will release in March of 2011. The film is a collaboration of award-winning producers Graphic Films, Giant Screen Films, and Sean Casey, with support from the Giant Dome Theater Consortium, a newly-founded partnership comprising seven leading museum institutions.


About Giant Screen Films

Over the past decade, Giant Screen Films (GSF) has established itself as a pioneer in the large format/ IMAX® industry. Since 1997, the company has built a reputation for producing and distributing films that, through the magic of immersive sight and sound technologies, offer viewers an inspiring perspective on the world presented on giant IMAX® canvas. GSF’s mission is to create and share films that push the boundaries of the large-format medium, challenging the imaginations of children and adults around the world. At the core of this mission is a dedication to the partnerships that bring a diverse range of subjects to the screen and, through meaningful educational collaborations, extend each film’s impact far beyond the theater.


About The National Science Foundation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 responsible for promoting science and engineering through research programs and education projects. The NSF promotes and advances scientific progress in the U.S. by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and development in the sciences, mathematics and engineering. The ISE program supports innovation in anywhere, anytime, lifelong learning, through investments in research, development, infrastructure, and capacity-building for STEM learning outside formal school settings.

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