Children's museum to use grant to further STEAM learning

By Dee Dee McDevitt
DuPage Children’s Museum
Posted11/3/2017 11:43 AM

DuPage Children's Museum is about providing children with hands-on learning, and a $20,00 grant from Vistex Foundation will further that mission.

The museum will use the grant to implement the Cardboard Automata Program, which provides children in Title 1 schools with learning experiences that enhance their understanding of STEAM fundamentals and promotes the child-adult learning partnership crucial for a student's academic success. Title 1 schools are schools with a significant number of students living at or near the poverty level.

The Cardboard Automata Program will benefit more than 200 fourth-graders in eight classrooms. Each student participates in two in-school classes in which museum staff facilitates an activity that enables students to create a cardboard automata -- a mechanical sculpture that furthers an understanding of simple machine elements such as cams, levers and linkages. Final projects will be displayed in the museum for an evening when students can show them to their families, use them and engage with the museum's exhibits and hands-on activities. Museum staff also will have stations throughout the museum on the night of the gallery opening featuring STEAM-based hands-on activities.

"The Cardboard Automata Program engages students in a truly unique engineering challenge," said Chris Barry, DCM's school program manager. They are exploring and uncovering a combination of science, engineering, art and design elements in this hands-on building opportunity, while utilizing easily accessible everyday materials. The response from the students has been overwhelmingly positive, and their projects are imaginative and playful -- and they work."

The first unveiling of the automata project will take place at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, with a ribbon cutting and special guests. Students from Marquardt Elementary District 15 in Glendale Heights and their families will be on-hand to showcase their works at the museum. Members and visitors are invited to the event.

For information about sponsorship opportunities, contact Elaine Drikakis, director of development, or (630) 637-8000, ext. 1340.

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