expERIEnce Children's Museum

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Your donation allows the Children’s Museum to provide several Pay as You Wish admission days for the community, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) Summer Camp scholarships to local elementary students and STEAM Mobile Museum outreach to community events throughout Erie County.

Organization description

The expERIEnce Children’s Museum is a place that has been inspiring creativity and imagination in children for over twenty years. The museum is a non-profit organization located in the historic cultural district of downtown Erie whose entire mission is to provide a safe, family-centered educational experience that inspires creativity, exploration, and imagination through play, interactive exhibits, and innovative programming.

The museum is a place where children can race a boat, paint a painting, shop healthy, imagine a career, explore magnets and produce a play. The Children’s Museum provides a safe, family-centered educational experience that inspires creativity, exploration and imagination through play, interactive exhibits and innovative programming.

To achieve this, the museum believes in:

  • Creating powerful tools to enhance school readiness and enrichment of children ages birth – 8 years
  • Being a community resource for information focused on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math)
  • Playing a role in Community Outreach to allow accessibility for all through strategic partnerships
  • Creating an exciting experience where families can interact and learn together

 

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How will donations be applied?

Donations made to the experience Children’s Museum through UAF will be used to provide several Pay as You Wish admission days for the community, STEAM Summer Camp scholarships to local elementary students and STEAM Mobile Museum outreach to community events throughout Erie County.

ECM has a vision to provide high quality learning experiences for all children. To fulfill this mission, the Mobile Museum program travels to reach children who may not have the opportunity to visit the Children’s Museum. This STEAM-based outreach brings educational learning to the children in our community who need it the most. This program, along with our STEAM Summer Camp scholarship program and our Pay as You Wish admission days, break down cost barriers for low-income families.

STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) learning is essential in preparing children for future success in a global workforce. STEAM teaches 21st century skills, such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, collaboration and innovation skills. These crucial skills are required for a pathway to jobs in STEM (National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2018), the demand for which will have grown 14% by 2020, doubling the national average for all job sectors (Department of Education).

Development of early STEAM learning is an increasingly necessary part of elementary schooling and a foundation for continuing progress in school and future success in life. With Erie’s child-poverty rate comes a threat that students from low-tax base schools will be challenged when it comes to educational resources and opportunities. The ECM has aimed to meet these community stressors through its STEAM Summer Camp scholarship fund, (4) Pay as You Wish admission days and the Mobile Museum Outreach.

  • Annual Pay as You Wish admission days see an average of 200 children and their families who may not otherwise be able to come to the Children’s Museum.
  • The STEAM Camp Scholarship Program provides qualified low-income families with tuition-free camp enrollment and Children’s Museum family memberships.
  • In collaboration with eight city and county partners including Our West Bayfront, Neighborhood Art House, Erie Arts and Culture, Penn State Behrend, Gannon University, Corry School District, City of Erie, and the Perry Square Alliance, the Mobile Museum annually exposes and engages 12,000 children and adults in STEAM learning at no charge.
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Impact and outcomes

The expERIEnce Children’s Museum (ECM) is an educational institution for the children and families of Erie and surrounding communities. It is a place where hands-on inquiry based learning inspires life-long learning, which is essential in developing 21st century skills including creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking. It is a place where families and schools come together to create, imagine, and explore. The Children’s Museum has experienced tremendous growth in the past four years in both annual attendance (60,000 annual visitors) and family membership (1,300 family members). Through exhibit design, educational programming, and community outreach the Children’s Museum serves the Erie community by providing unique child-centered learning.

ECM has a vision to provide high quality learning experiences for all children. To fulfill its mission ECM has a strong desire to support the EPS and provide educational programming that encourages interest in and increases STEM learning. Funding will allow ECM to bring unique learning STEM programs, led by experienced educators and aligned with state and national education standards, to the entire EPS kindergarten class (nearly 1,000 students) visiting ECM for a field trip.

 

Program Participants: Children and families in our community who may not otherwise have the opportunity to visit the Museum

Inputs: No cost admission days, community outreach, camp scholarships

Evaluation Outcomes to be measured:

  • Increase the number of STEAM summer camp scholarships available for students whose families qualify with low-income
  • Increase attendance at no cost admission days, STEAM mobile museum outreach events