Vision: Awaken the creative potential of all people.
Mission: Promote and develop play and innovation in science and art.
Objective: Establish a children’s museum within our community to serve as a rich, hands-on creative learning environment for children and families, caregivers and teachers.
We are developing a Children's Museum for Brevard County. This will be an outgrowth of our work in the "Reuse" part of the Reusable Resources Adventure Center. We have conducted mobile workshops for years with reusable materials; these are being refined and reorganized and can be custom tailored to the needs of the interested group.
We have provided mobile workshops for these groups and more:
*Kids' World at the Melbourne Art Festival for 10 years
*After School programs with Brevard Cultural Alliance
*Bright Star Center for Grieving Children
*Teacher training inservice seminars for Space Coast Assn for Education of Young Children and other groups accross the USA.
From our Case Statement Flier:
Ask a teacher when her most enjoyable teaching moments are, and she will tell you: “After FCAT testing is finished, when we can dress like Egyptians and discover math in the pyramids and the science of living in a desert; when we can do project-based learning.” Ask any person about a point in their lives when they were motivated to learn, to study something, and you will find that their hands, heart and mind were actively, fully engaged,
We must inspire our children to be creative in any field, and especially in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines. This is critical in Brevard County where many high-tech and defense industries are located.
“In order to land a high-skilled manufacturing job after high school, students must be engaged in STEM by the fifth grade”, said Ed Swallow, vice president of Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems division; “More programs to engage elementary and middle school students are needed. What is needed is not more researchers, but more students who can create things,” said Swallow, and he emphasized the need for STEM education to take place at the local level. (1)
The Melbourne Children’s Museum Project encourages children to experience the STEM disciplines as fascinating, creative and fun from an early age. With both our future museum building and our current mobile outreach programs, we encourage children, teachers and parents to develop greater STEM literacy.
Steve Portz of Space Coast Junior-Senior High STEAM Academy said, “STEM disciplines are tools that can be taught to any motivated student. We need to inspire our children to want to explore these tools.” (2)
A well-regarded study started 50 years agoshows that the creativity scores of American children are in decline. Since 1990 the scores have been inching downward and the decline is now “very significant.” The article goes on to state that when looking for solutions, hands-on exploration and investigation build the brain processes needed for creative thinking. The children that develop these critical creative thinking skills while engaged in “play” will be our future entrepreneurs, business and community leaders. (3)
We are developing an interactive Children’s Museum dedicated to the life-long love of learning through play, a place that inspires innovation and self-discovery through the use of hands-on, open-ended materials and dramatic play possibilities, a place that improves the quality of education in our community.Children’s Museums are places where children explore, investigate and come to understand the power of their own creativity and ingenuity.
The Melbourne Children’s Museum Project is a professional development support system offering seminars and parent education programs. We provide unique learning experiences that benefit schools, families and businesses. In this way, we are a community partnership that strengthens leadership, environmental education, and advocacy for children and families.
Research conducted by the Melbourne Children’s Museum Project will help to create inviting play-based learning experiences. Our research will include:
· How play advances science and the arts
· How play impacts healthy human development
· How play promotes and develops creativity and innovation in the sciences and the arts
We propose creating a children’s museum with a central physical site and a mobile outreach program where outcomes include the following:
· STEM exploration comes naturally through play.
· Children and adults can express and develop their own creative process.
· A wealth of unique and unusual materials are available to engineer space ships, marble runs, robots or tents.
· Team problem-solving skills will be developed within schools, businesses and families.
· Our varied natural environment, properties of light, sound, motion, gravity and more will be exploredand understood.
· Families can spend quality time together exploring the sciences and arts in a safe, inspiring environment.