MONTEREY, Calif. -

The 10-year science education partnership between the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pajaro Valley Unified School District and the Watsonville community has been honored with the Noyce Foundation's "Bright Light" award.

The collaboration is one of seven museums and science centers nationwide to receive the prestigious award.

The collaboration includes free aquarium school programs for Watsonville-area students and initiatives such as  Young Women in Science, Watsonville Area Teens Conserving Habitats, Teacher Professional Development, and affordable access programs for low income families.

The Bright Lights Community Engagement Awards recognizes select museums and science centers for the depth and breadth of their community outreach work - particularly that which focuses on science, technology, engineering or math.

Other recipients of this year's awards included the San Jose Technology Museum, Hands on Children’s Museum in Olympia, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.