Montshire Museum of Science selected as hub in new Making-in-Schools Initiative funded by Google
As part of Making Spaces: Expanding Maker Education Across the Nation, a nationwide program supported by Google, the Maker Education Initiative (Maker Ed) and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (CMP), are partnering with Montshire Museum of Science to provide local schools with guidance, professional development, and support to jumpstart and sustain maker education in classrooms. The Montshire is excited to be building on the enthusiasm for tinkering and maker education that is surging across the country including in New Hampshire and Vermont. In particular, the Montshire will tackle the crucial topic of fundraising, working closely with local schools to launch a crowdfunding campaign, which will then help to fund makerspaces and maker programs in these schools.
Other confirmed hubs for the 2016-2017 school year include: Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville, AR; KID Museum in Bethesda, MD; Edventure Children’s Museum in Columbia, SC; Albemarle County Public Schools in Charlottesville, VA; Digital Youth Network in Chicago, IL; and San Mateo County Office of Education in Redwood City, CA.
CMP piloted a year-long run of the program in 2015-2016 with 10 schools in Southwestern Pennsylvania that collectively raised more than $100,000 to launch maker education in their schools. Based on lessons learned during this pilot phase, CMP is designing a toolkit that will allow hubs to effectively train schools in creating crowdfunding campaigns. “We are thrilled to be able to scale this program to the national level to get more youth the resources needed to start tinkering, creating and making,” says Jane Werner, Executive Director of Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh. “A unique program that began in our region can now be run by the Montshire Museum of Science to benefit youth in Vermont and New Hampshire.”
“We are excited to collaborate with partners across the country to better support making, engineering, and tinkering in northern New England’s rural schools,” says Montshire’s Director of Education Greg DeFrancis. “We have been engaging children in engineering for over a dozen years through both our school programs and summer camps. Our recent work with making and tinkering with students, teachers, and Museum visitors has allowed us to expand on these programs. For example, our 40 Schools Project last spring engaged students across Vermont and New Hampshire in engineering through the kinds of fun, whimsical, and STEM-rich learning opportunities that school-based Maker Spaces can support. The opportunity to join Google, MakerEd, and Pittsburgh Children’s Museum affirms Montshire’s role as a national leader in the field—it’s quite an honor.”
Maker Ed’s Executive Director Trey Lathe adds, “Schools are increasingly interested in maker education and establishing youth maker programs and spaces, but don't always have access to the training, resources, and community of support they need. We are excited that the Montshire will be working to expand that energy and momentum in a similar model.”
About Montshire Museum of Science
The Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vt., is a nationally recognized, interactive science museum with more than 125 exhibits on nature, technology, astronomy, and the physical sciences. The Montshire's unique 100-acre riverfront setting includes the Woodland Garden, nature trails, David Goudy Science Park, and the Hughes Pavilion. Visiting exhibitions, education programs, and special events are offered throughout the year for visitors of all ages. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Thanksgiving and Christmas).
About Maker Ed
Maker Ed is a nonprofit organization that provides educators with the training, resources, and community of support they need to facilitate engaging learning experiences with youth through maker education—a hands-on, youth-driven, and open-ended learning approach. Through this work, Maker Ed plays a national leadership role in both broadening access to and deepening the impact of maker education for youth. Maker Ed is a project of the Tides Center, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit public charity. For more information, visit the Maker Ed website and follow @MakerEdOrg for updates.
About Children's Museum of Pittsburgh
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh welcomes more than 302,500 visitors annually and provides “real stuff” experiences for play, learning and fun. The Museum’s permanent exhibit MAKESHOP® was built in 2011 to create a space for children and families to make, play and design using the same materials, tools and processes used by professional artists, builders, programmers and creators of all kinds. The Museum’s maker-focused initiatives include serving as a Maker Corps site for the Maker Education Initiative, Mobile MAKESHOP, Youth Maker workshops, MAKEnight (21+) events, and presenting Maker Faire Pittsburgh 2015 and 2016. For more information, visit www.pittsburghkids.org and follow @pghkids.
About Google’s Making & Science
Making & Science is an initiative from Google to inspire future scientists and makers. Learn more about our programs, events, media, and the new Science Journal app at makingscience.withgoogle.com.
Montshire Museum of Science
One Montshire Road
Norwich, VT 05055