The Lowell Milken Center grew out of vision that that through diligence and proper use of resources it is possible to foster teaching excellence and high quality student performance in American schools. The Lowell Milken Center strives to change the world by developing projects that include the concepts of respect and understanding in the curriculum of American schools. Their innovative projects address various under-recognized aspects of the education system and work to change those elements as they encourage both students and teachers to spread respect, understanding and recognize the accomplishments of hidden heroes.
The nucleus of the Center began in 1992 when philanthropist Lowell Milken and educator Norman Conrad were looking for ways to collaborate on their shared goal of promoting a strong and vibrant American school system. Milken and Conrad agreed that educational projects that stimulated students to think and produce quality research were vital to promoting excellence in education and for the spreading of tolerance and respect. In 2007 they established the Lowell Milken Center (website: www.lowellmilkencenter.org) from where additional programs could be launched into America's schools.
Individual students as well as groups of students are invited to develop their project with the Lowell Milken Center. The projects may include a documentary, performance, website, exhibit or essay which focus on unsung heroes. Students are required to keep records of their research which should include a thesis, data analysis, project outline and research involving both primary and secondary resources.
One of the Center's first projects, a student-based research assignment, morphed into the acclaimed Lowell Milken Center Discovery Awards. The Discovery Awards are a pioneering innovation in which students from around the United States are invited to develop quality projects that focus attention on "unsung heroes." Prizes are awarded for these endeavors. To date the project has reached over 625,000 American students and produced numerous additional projects which may then be studied by other students and teachers.