The S.T.E.A.M. Power! class, slated to start April 5, is designed to prepare children ages 3-5 for their elementary education. The class combines science, technology, engineering, arts and math to provide a cohesive learning experience. According to Museum Executive Director Amy Hever, these subjects are key to staying competitive in the global marketplace of today and the future.
“The role of the Schoolhouse is to inspire life-long learning by targeting educational areas that are of great need to our youth,” Hever said. “The years before a child reaches kindergarten are among the most critical in his or her life to influence learning.”
The parent-child class implements hands-on activities, such as counting, dancing, block play and story time, to emphasize crucial S.T.E.A.M. concepts. The course series will be assessed by modeling the Preschool Child Observation Record (COR) and tests will be administered at the start of the class and at the conclusion to gauge if children’s school readiness has increased.
Thanks to a partnership with Pathways to Prosperity (P2P)/Bridges at Boynton Beach and funding from the Quantum Foundation, the Schoolhouse is able to offer S.T.E.A.M. Power! to the community free of cost.
“There is no question that children in schools that are struggling have less of a chance of success in ALL areas,” said Kerry Diaz, president of Quantum Foundation. “Anything we can do to give them a bit of an extra boost is in line with Quantum’s agenda of improving science and health education.”
Diaz also believes that by giving kids the tools necessary to build a love and understanding of science early on will help them to better grasp S.T.E.A.M. concepts later in life, ultimately inspiring them to pursue a career in one of those fields.
According to Nayeli Martinez, parenting coach at P2P/Bridges at Boynton Beach, many children’s needs are not being fully addressed due to the many challenges families are facing today. In turn, many children never reach their full potential. This new program will give children and parents the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills to transition into kindergarten as well as bring these new skills to the home environment.
“We believe that the S.T.E.A.M. class will have an immediate and positive impact,” Martinez said. “Children will be introduced to a curriculum that models what the schools and other programs already have in place or are planning to roll out in the near future.”
The S.T.E.A.M. Power! classes will be offered at St. John Missionary Baptist Church, a service site of P2P/Bridges at Boynton Beach. It will allow parents to actively participate in their child’s program, witness their child’s progress and learn how they can be supportive in the growth of their child’s education.
“By taking ownership in the role of the first teacher, parents will feel more confident and competent in their abilities and be able to take advantage of all teachable moments,” Martinez said. “The classes will also foster positive engagements, which will, in turn, improve the parent-child relationship.”
S.T.E.A.M. Power! is also being offered on-site at the Schoolhouse Museum for parents and children on Thursdays at 10:15 a.m. starting April 5 and taking place through May 24. The cost is $6.50 per class for Museum Members; $7.50 per class for Non-Members. Multi-session discounts are available.
About the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center:
Nominated for the 2012 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the Schoolhouse Children’s Museum & Learning Center engages young children in playful discovery through hands-on, interactive, learning environments that integrate the arts, humanities and sciences in a historical setting.
The Schoolhouse is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission prices are $4 for children ages 1 - 17, $4.50 for seniors, and $5 for adults. Members and children under 1 are free. The Schoolhouse is located at 129 East Ocean Avenue in downtown Boynton Beach. For more information, please visit www.schoolhousemuseum.org, or call (561) 742-6780.
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Experience South Florida's history through 2 floors of hands-on, interactive exhibits for ages 2-12. Learn art, music, the sciences and more through educational programs and special events. Membership and birthday party packages are also available.