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The Monterey Bay Aquarium will use an iterative program development process to strengthen and expand its teen programming to inspire youth to conserve the ocean and its vast resources. The Teen Pathways: Inspiring Future Ocean Stewards project will increase the number of teens the aquarium engages in ocean science, environmental research, service learning, and conservation action. The project will create opportunities for middle and high school teens to strengthen their knowledge, skills, and commitment to conservation that will continue into and beyond college. The project team will complete an ongoing development process by implementing new project-based science and conservation programs for 7th-9th grade students that provide a pathway to the aquarium's high school programs. The team will also revamp its existing leadership program for high school students and refine its other teen offerings. The programs will align with Next Generation Science Standards and the Ocean Literacy Framework.
Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest will enhance learning opportunities for visitors by designing and building a network of wayside and trailhead exhibit stations along a new entrance road to the plantation. The stations will use interpretive and site orientation signs; artifacts and touchable reproductions from the Poplar Forest's archaeological collections; touchable, interactive props; and life-sized sculptural figures to invite visitors to explore the lives of Jefferson and all the free and enslaved people who lived and toiled on his plantation. The interpretive goal of the project is to illustrate Jefferson's relationship to slavery and how his life and accomplishments, at Poplar Forest and elsewhere, were inextricably intertwined with the system of slavery in the young nation.
Boston Children's Museum will complete final design and fabrication for Our City, an immersive exhibition dedicated to exploring identity, diversity, prejudice, and social justice, using the city of Boston as the context. Building on a previous IMLS grant award, the exhibition will apply research conducted to upgrade an exhibition that addresses the divisive public discourse and the upsurge in incidents of intolerance, and introduce new research-based approaches to reducing prejudice. Designed for children 4-10 years old and their families, the exhibit areas will foster interaction within and among visitor groups, as well as connection, reflection, and conversation. Component design will present playful challenges which depend on cooperation and collaboration for success. Post opening, the project team will conduct any exhibition remediation needed. Once fully remediated, the museum will conduct a summative evaluation of the exhibition.
The Children's Creativity Museum will strengthen its mission to nurture creativity and collaboration for all children and youth by renovating its outdated Making Music Studio. By adopting a maker approach that encourages creativity through hands-on, project-based activities that emphasize "doing," the new exhibit will provide an immersive, multi-sensory, and learner-centered space for children aged 2-12 and their caregivers. Exhibit components will feature an interactive music box; pods for families to digitally record musical compositions; a track-mixing station; and opportunities for children to create musical instruments. Prior to finalization, the museum will install a pop-up exhibition featuring prototypes of the proposed components, where the staff and evaluators will conduct formative evaluations with thousands of children and parents. To increase the museum's capacity for reaching underserved audiences, the project will invite families of the Filipino Cultural Heritage District to experience the prototypes, offer their suggestions, and share their musical traditions and instruments with staff.
The Brookfield Zoo will launch the Zoo Explorers Club to provide underserved middle school students with free informal STEM education in public libraries and community centers in majority African American and Latino neighborhoods in Chicago, Cicero, and Melrose Park, Illinois. The program will consist of two four-week units per year, themed around STEM topics of interest to sixth-eighth graders. Students will participate in informal sessions that include hands-on science experiments, outdoor observations, craft projects, or animal experiences designed with the varied learning styles of middle school students in mind. Students will also participate in a free field trip to a zoo, nature center, museum, or other destination related to the unit topic. The curriculum will be designed to facilitate science learning through inquiry for up to 180 students per year, and empower young people to see themselves as agents of conservation solutions.
In partnership with early childhood service providers and elementary school systems, the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry will expand the reach of its programming to share its hands-on, play-based approach to STEM education with targeted children and educators. The museum will create a Power of Play curriculum with lesson plans that reflect best practices and focus on play-based activities to teach STEM concepts tied to grade level and state standards. The museum will train and support 40 teachers and educators from ten Head Start/First Steps early childhood centers and ten Title I elementary schools, and provide them with free Pop Up Tinker Shop (a museum on wheels) outreach visits. The trainings will build teacher confidence, promote best practices for play-based learning, support a community of practice, and enhance young learners' engagement, fascination, and attitude towards STEM. The Power of Play Curriculum will be published as a bound resource and shared with other children's museums and service providers.
Green-Wood Cemetery will deepen and enhance its educational programming for New York City schools. Project activities will include developing four new curricula which will consist of tours of Green-Wood and pre- and post-classroom activities; conducting professional development for teachers; hiring an education director and project staff; and establishing partnerships with local Title I schools. Based on a recent needs assessment, the activities will support the Common Core Learning Standards and the New York State Learning Standards for history, and will incorporate critical thinking, document analysis (using primary source items), and evidence-based reasoning. Project themes will focus on the American Revolution, the Civil War, immigration, and entrepreneurs. A developmental evaluation process will allow educators to develop a set of outcomes for themselves and the students.
The Children's Museum of the Upstate will expand its STEAM outreach programming to benefit both teachers and students in the Greenville County Schools. The museum will serve 2,000 students through STEAM programs held on-site at their elementary schools, with a focus on curriculum areas where standardized test scores indicate that students are struggling. A new program for preschoolers will be piloted in the school district's six child development centers. The pre-school classes will visit the museum for a field trip that includes free exploration time and a tailored storytime lesson. The museum will also present four teacher workshops reaching 400 educators to assist them in teaching STEAM topics. An independent evaluator will conduct an evaluation of the outreach programming and develop assessment tools to help determine how the curriculum can support student achievement and result in improved standardized test scores.
BRIC will launch Project New stART, an initiative to increase student interest in looking at, discussing, and creating art and media. The program will serve 6th-12th grade students by placing teaching artists in 12 schools in East New York, Brownsville, and Bedford-Stuyvesant. These three Central Brooklyn neighborhoods experience disproportionately high rates of gun violence and are home to several schools with high populations of students at risk of entering the juvenile justice spectrum or already moving along that spectrum, and the majority of public schools lack full or part-time arts teachers and consequently have a dearth of creative opportunities for young people. The program will provide school-based and community-based visual and media literacy and learning through contemporary art and media residencies combined with a variety of events at BRIC House as a strategy for redirecting the school to prison pipeline in the targeted neighborhoods. The project will reach 720 middle-school and high-school students over 432 total residency days.
The Bay Area Discovery Museum will address the need for STEM education by delivering engineering outreach programming to schools and libraries throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The museum's mobile engineering lab, Try It Truck, will introduce the engineering design process to students and teachers in grades K-5 with hands-on activities (both on and off the truck) where they can collaborate, experiment, and design solutions to engineering challenges. The Try It Truck will serve 21,600 children, parents, and educators throughout the Bay Area, with at least 50 percent of all participants coming from underserved communities and Title I schools. The museum will work with an external evaluator to design survey instruments for both formative and summative evaluation, analyze summative evaluation data, and produce a report. Museum staff will share project results with colleagues at national and statewide conferences.
Marbles Kids Museum will develop tools and strategies to train its staff, volunteers, and interns to engage infants, toddlers, and preschool children in activities and conversations that lay the foundation for critical early math skills. The staff capacity-building project will deepen the museum staff's understanding of early math skills, how to foster those skills, and why investment in early math is critical to long term success in school. With a content coach, the museum will research and develop early math resources, activities, and exhibit enhancements that engage children and their families. Additionally, the museum will seek to understand community needs related to early math learning, and create content for professional development video modules. The museum will modify the professional development modules to create caregiver workshops focused on fostering early math learning through everyday activities and play at home. Museum staff will share tools and lessons learned through a regional museum convening and at national conferences.
The Kidzu Children's Museum will create a focused, comprehensive and accessible approach to outdoor education within its learning garden through the Kidzu Naturalist Project. The project will feature a variety of activity modalities, including nine themed Discovery Packs, available for check-out by museum visitors, with accompanying materials and supplies and corresponding multi-lingual Discovery Activity booklets. The project will also offer, nine Outdoor Learning Centers-in-a-Box for homeschool groups; self-guided field trips, field camps and other group programs; interactive Discovery Maps of the garden's flora and fauna; and quarterly Outdoor Family Workshops on seasonal topics of interest led by local organizations. The project's multi-faceted approach will be designed to invite all learners to choose their own preferred learning methods as they play, explore, and wonder together in an outdoor learning environment.
The Pacific Science Center will develop new evaluation tools to assess the impact of Tinker Tank, a visitor-directed, hands-on design space in which participants are challenged to use their creativity, problem solving, and experience to understand the processes of design, engineering, and science. The project will allow the museum to determine which tools, adapted from both informal learning settings (such as timing and tracking studies, observations, surveys, and focus groups) and formal settings (such as design journals, digital portfolios, and badging),are most suitable for providing meaningful data about the learning and engagement occurring in its makerspace. By adjusting and refining the evaluation tools and methods, the museum will be able to measure learning in its makerspace, determine the extent to which it is achieving the goals and objectives of its Tinker Tank, and guide planning for expansion of making activities into different areas of its exhibition floor.
In response to increased attendance among the 13 to 21-year-old age range, the Contemporary Arts Center will expand its Teen Council and Young Adult Lab programs. The Teen Council will provide an extensive arts-focused experience to a group of 25 high-school-aged students capped with an event planned by the council members for hundreds of their peers. The program provides soon-to-be college bound teens with opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the arts, learn from working artists/creative professionals, strengthen their portfolios, and serve as arts ambassadors to their peers. The Young Adult Lab will be transformed from a pilot to a permanent program, providing free weekly drop-in programs that permit participants to experiment with mixed-media art making. The museum will hire a teen program gallery educator to facilitate the programming, and will evaluate the offerings through both attendance levels and pre and post participation surveys.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science will create two mobile museum experiences to engage underrepresented audiences in nature and science by going outside the museum's physical location. The museum will fabricate an expandable vehicle similar to an RV and a smaller, pop-up truck. The environmentally friendly vehicles will include exhibitry and programming designed to engage audiences in active, integrated nature and science experiences. Project activities will also include developing a marketing strategy to engage and foster relationships with people who might not visit the museum because of barriers including geographic distance, perceptions of a museum experience, awareness of the museum, cost, transportation, and time. An external evaluator will conduct a summative evaluation and the museum will disseminate results to the community and other cultural institutions.
Sciencenter will develop a touring exhibition, Engineer.Design.Build, to spark interest and build confidence in STEM by providing learning opportunities about the broad impact engineers have on the environment and society. The museum will partner with Cornell University's College of Engineering to develop scientific content which will be reviewed by an advisory board of representatives from the academic, business, and informal science education sectors. Partners from informal learning institutions will provide expertise on the educational content to ensure that it is accessible and engaging for the target audience of 5-11 year olds. Through a combination of focus groups, youth/guest feedback during exhibition development, and experts in girls' engagement in STEM on the advisory board, the museum will ensure that the exhibition and programming are designed to appeal to girls, and accessible to all learners. The project will include front-end, formative, and summative evaluation through observations and mediated interviews, collecting data from youth, families, and school groups.
The New-York Historical Society will develop and disseminate its free online women's history curriculum, "Women and the American Story." The museum will research, design, write, and disseminate the remaining six units, resulting in a complete, nine-unit digital curriculum resource. Presented on an interactive website, each unit includes an introductory essay; high-resolution images or 3D renderings of 10-15 primary images, documents, or artifacts from the museum's collection; resource descriptions providing historical context; and biographical portraits of fascinating individuals. Following the online posting of each unit, the museum will pilot and assess its effectiveness with its network of teachers, promote it nationally, host teacher trainings at partner museums and school districts around the country, and offer distance trainings for teachers via webinars. With a goal of reaching more than 5,000 educators nationwide, the project is intended to meet the need for primary source material and interpretive content to support the integration of women's experiences into classroom instruction.
The International Museum of the Horse will document and archive the history of African Americans in the horse industry and make it accessible through an online interactive website. The website will serve as a resource for K-12 students and teachers, college-level students and teachers, historians and scholars, on-site visitors, and African American descendants. The museum will work with a website development firm and hire a digital project manager to plan the design of the website by engaging potential audiences, partners, collaborators, and advisors in front-end, formal, and informal evaluation methods; prototyping; and user experience testing. The museum will engage multiple additional partners, including college professors and their classes, to find and digitize primary documents and other resources to populate the site prior to public launch. K-12 teachers will assist with the development of educational resources related to the site.
ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain will launch the Partners in School Science Excellence (SciExcel) project, designed to deliver high-quality STEM opportunities to low-resourced students by growing the capacity of northwestern Vermont schools that lack science subject specialists. Building on lessons learned from national and regional museum-school partnership models, ECHO will facilitate school self-assessments in which partner schools will evaluate their current STEM programs and identify actions for improvement. The museum will work closely with three primary schools and nine Head Start preschools to provide coaching, teaching methods, and curriculum consultation. The museum will also offer Community STEM Nights where partner schools will engage families in the celebration of science excellence. The project will allow the museum to strengthen its existing relationships with low performing primary schools and Head Start preschools while expanding its geographic reach to rural service areas.
The Walker Art Center will enhance its family programs with new activities to reach the specific needs of two target audiences. The museum will engage community organizations and teaching artists from a diverse range of backgrounds--with a focus on Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) communities--as key partners to present culturally-relevant performances, workshops, and hands-on art-making activities, including programming in major languages other than English that are spoken in Minnesota, such as Spanish, Hmong, and Somali. The project will diversify family programming; produce more inclusive and sensory-friendly resources and marketing materials; develop and deepen partnerships with community organizations serving neurodiverse and CALD audiences; and create professional development and employment opportunities for CALD artists. The museum will hire a contract evaluator as well as an outreach and evaluation assistant to assist with project activities and to produce and disseminate a report on the initiative to share with the field.
Clark Planetarium will partner with the Salt Lake County Library System to extend STEM education for adolescent audiences throughout the regional community. The planetarium will create STEM classes in up to 18 different county libraries, with up to four library activity sessions each week. With each activity session, the project will engage middle school and high school aged participants in hands-on science, technology, and engineering activities that explore complex concepts and principles through simulations of robotic missions. Each visit will engage learners in STEM-focused activities that emphasize group work such as building robots, collecting and analyzing data, and solving problems. Over the span of three years, the project will reach over 7,700 teens. The Utah Education Policy Center will use observation, program records, and a brief online survey to measure the program's impact on STEM interest and improvement in confidence, attitudes, and behavioral intentions around STEM.
The Oakland Museum of California will create a space inside its newly renovated Gallery of California Natural Sciences dedicated to intergenerational exploration and learning for visitors ages two to five and their adult companions. Through the Family Nature Play Room and related components, the museum will better serve a newly developing, but regularly attending, audience with science and nature-related learning. Project activities will build staff capacity to serve families with young children, use collections and specimens in new ways to promote family learning and discovery, and prototype an early childhood space and exhibition components for possible replication within temporary exhibitions or within the Galleries of California Art and History.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology will reinstall its permanent Africa Galleries to enhance public engagement with its African collections. Redesigned with public instead of academic audiences as the focus, the galleries will double the permanent gallery space, maximizing the use of the collections as a public teaching tool to promote a greater understanding of the diversity, history and cultures of Africa. The galleries' design is based on community outreach initiatives and front-end testing that identified how to present the community with an accessible and engaging learning experience. Once the new galleries are installed, the core project team will conduct a summative evaluation to measure success in achieving knowledge and attitudinal changes in visitors. The evaluation findings will inform potential improvements to the galleries and provide guidance to the museum as it works to reinstall additional permanent galleries.
The Adirondack Museum will introduce a new and comprehensive training program to strengthen staff interpretive skills and enhance visitor engagement. The project will build on the museum's shift towards a more immersive approach to learning by including professional development and training in coaching for year-round program managers, and new onboarding and training for the museum's seasonal staff of interpreters. The project is intended to serve as a model for museums that employ seasonal staff and that seek to incorporate active learning for all ages in exhibition and other settings. Project evaluation will include a "reflective practice" process of evaluation for the interpreters, along with ongoing program refinements and coaching over two seasons to enable staff to deepen visitor engagement. Additional evaluation will assess visitor experiences with the newly trained staff.
Miami Children's Museum will redesign its Construction Zone Gallery into a STEM-learning space providing children, primarily ages eight and under, with a stimulating and interactive experience. The exhibition will incorporate 13 distinctive exhibition components, allowing full engagement in a variety of STEM-based learning activities. The museum will conduct focus group activities with field interpreters, specialists and educators working in STEM fields to guide and refine content development of the script and exhibition layout, followed by testing of the themes, programming activities, exhibition props and tools, software concepts, and learning outcomes. The project team will develop accompanying programming for children to be presented at the museum and at area public libraries. All components of the exhibition will support Florida's Early Learning Standards, and will meet the evolving educational needs of its youngest learners.
DuPage Children's Museum will enhance visitor engagement by incorporating current research on infant and toddler development to redesign two exhibits and develop an educational program for low-income caregivers. The museum will partner with two community-based organizations, Teen Parent Connection and Family Focus DuPage, to collaborate in the project and refer clients to participate in the educational programs. The museum will present twelve onsite sessions that will enable parents and caregivers to nurture an understanding of STEM fundamentals at the museum and at home for their young children. Participants will be given educational videos and take-home kits that correspond with the educational sessions. Project activities will also include training to help museum staff use the exhibits to further a visitor's learning experience. The museum will disseminate project results to other children's museums and early childhood educators and professionals.
The New Bedford Whaling Museum will develop, implement, market, and evaluate a suite of educational programs and resources to complement its new permanent exhibition, Whales Today. The project will primarily serve southeastern Massachusetts students and teachers in grades 2-12, with an emphasis on fourth-sixth graders in the New Bedford Public School system. Project activities will include the development of a marine science curriculum, with corresponding professional development for teachers, and the implementation of new structured field trips with corresponding docent training and web content for students and teachers who visit the museum exhibit. The museum will design all project components to reinforce Next Generation Science Standards and Massachusetts science curriculum frameworks. The Whales Today exhibit and related educational programming will address a significant need for life science education in the New Bedford Public Schools as well as supporting improved student scores on statewide science and technology assessments.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston will produce an educator-tested, curriculum-based resource to expand opportunities for high school teachers using the arts to augment traditional, in-classroom teaching. Working with a cohort of area students, high school teacher fellows, and educator evaluators, the museum will conduct an in-depth study to assess the connections between formal and informal learning environments, as well as educators' and students' perceptions of museums as places for teaching and learning. Based on these findings, the project team will establish best practices for collaborative work between the museum, school administrators, educators, and students, and co-develop and test interdisciplinary curriculum lesson plans, using works of art from the museum's modern and contemporary collections. Project deliverables will include professional development opportunities for high school educators, reimagined school tours, and new teen programming at the museum. The museum will disseminate project findings and outcomes through professional meetings, online reports, local presentations, and submissions to national publications.
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will engage the visiting public, community members, institutional leadership, and other stakeholders in a comprehensive process to develop an Interpretive Master Plan for its 86-acre California native plant garden. The garden will engage audience research and interpretive planning consultants to support key phases of the project, resulting in a written and illustrated plan to shape and guide the interpretative narrative of the public's experience, along with an evaluation and sustainability plan so that staff can continue with implementation over the next five to seven years. The project's primary goals are to raise public awareness and influence engagement in native California plant species and habitat conservation and promote sustainable landscape and water conservation practices in California. The interpretive master planning process will link core elements of the garden's mission with the public's role as environmental stewards, as active participants in their communities, and as citizens.
The Harvard Museums of Science and Culture will improve the ability of middle school teachers to use museum-based digital resources to support classroom instruction aligned with state and national science standards. Working with advisory teachers from five collaborating school districts, the museum will co-create classroom activities, based on digital resources from its collections, along with associated teacher professional development programs at three sites across urban and rural Massachusetts. The project will provide schools with access to classroom-ready resources that successfully support student learning. Teachers will learn how to use these materials, integrate them into their teaching, and enhance their skills to teach science content and practice. External evaluators will assess the project's effectiveness by measuring teacher implementation of the digital resources in the classroom, requests for information and assistance, and changes in teachers' confidence and comfort levels.
Connecticut Landmarks will develop an interpretive plan for the Palmer-Warner House, which presents an intact, rich collection of gay rural life as lived from 1945-1971. The House represents the first historic site in Connecticut with a primary focus on LGBTQ history. The project team will convene a panel of scholars and museum practitioners to firmly base the interpretive plan in current scholarship and best practice. Project activities will include the identification and refinement of key site themes based on current LGBTQ scholarship and the house's archival and object collections; conducting oral histories with key individuals; researching and writing the site's gay history and amending its National Register of Historic Places nomination to include that history; testing prospective audience groups and interpretive themes; and training staff in engaging visitors in conversations about challenging topics. Connecticut Landmarks will establish an advisory committee, and collaborate with the University of Connecticut's Rainbow Center and True Colors LGBTQ youth services organization.
The Worcester Art Museum will complete the development and design phase for a permanent Arms and Armor Gallery, featuring a newly-acquired collection of over 2,000 global objects, including items from ancient Greece, Egypt, and late medieval and early modern Europe. Working directly with target audiences, and in collaboration with a team of consultants and community partners, the museum will finalize interpretive materials, a digital production plan, and an accessible and inclusive gallery design strategy. The project team will develop school curricula and conduct front-end and formative evaluation with a focus on three target audiences: intergenerational families, students and teachers, and people with disabilities. The museum will establish a two-year curatorial project fellowship to assist the project director with the completion of project deliverables.
The Museum of the Moving Image will reimagine its core exhibition through a planning process that reflects its mission, addresses an evolving understanding of its subject matter, and is culturally and physically inclusive. The current exhibition, first opened in 1988, documents the technologies and crafts behind the commercial U.S. film and television industries. The project team will produce a new, fully accessible exhibition design to reflect best practices and innovations in the field; be more accessible to a broader audience; and provide greater access to the museum's permanent collection. Staff and board members will work with scholars, community liaisons, an accessibility consultant, and an exhibition designer to define a narrative scope and interpretive approach for the new exhibition, and identify associated artifacts, interactive experiences, media clips, and other elements. The preliminary design will incorporate the perspectives and needs of diverse learners to more effectively serve people with disabilities and cultural barriers.
In partnership with the Pasadena and Los Angeles Unified School Districts, the Armory Center for the Arts will develop and implement comprehensive visual art-math and visual art-science curricula for grades two through five at Title I elementary schools. The curricula will be developed in conjunction with Armory teaching artists and educators, and will align with the Common Core Standards for math and science, and with the National Core Visual Arts Standards. The museum will deliver the program in 48 classrooms over a three-year period. Professional development, paired with in-class program modeling, will enable participating teachers to implement arts integration strategies into their teaching practice, with an overall goal of creating a sustainable and long-term impact on student learning. An external evaluator will oversee program assessment in the schools. The museum will post sample lessons from each curriculum online to demonstrate the style and scope of the program for possible use by additional school districts.
The Yerba Buena Center for the Arts will refine its Creative Ecosystem initiative through in-depth evaluation, and develop the framework as an adaptable model for the field. As a vehicle for both community-driven and artist-inspired change, the Creative Ecosystem connects a broad group of citizens through convening and fellowship, providing platforms for shared exploration and learning to foster innovative ideas for addressing community challenges. During the two-year project, the museum will convene two annual summits where community members and creative changemakers come together to discuss pressing questions affecting area neighborhoods and produce three key community-related issues to guide that year's Creative Ecosystem program. The museum will follow each summit with an open call for 60 individuals to engage in paid fellowships, meet together to pool their collective knowledge, and find and test solutions to the key issues raised in the summits. The Fellows will present their responses to issues during yearly Public Square events where community members can engage with work-in-progress solutions.
The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate will expand access to its immersive civics learning experience to enable educators to incorporate inquiry-based civics activities in their classrooms. The museum will develop and test digital tools to allow students to participate from their classrooms in a Senate debate on a real-life bill based on its "Today's Vote in the Classroom" program, currently offered on-site in its full-scale reproduction of the United States Senate Chamber. Project activities will involve the development of a web portal prototype, and the design and production of instructional video and web tools. A Beta test site will host program materials that will be shared with teachers in several states where participating educators will use the materials in their classrooms, and participate in a formative evaluation phase. The museum will partner with WGBH in the full implementation phase, which will involve the enrollment of nationwide participants, ongoing professional development, and maintenance of the online program.
The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will leverage its partnership with NASA Kennedy Space Center to design, equip, and operate an inclusive and interactive scientific research workspace. The new makerspace will provide visitors of all ages an opportunity to contribute to identifying solutions to food production issues. Preparation of the Growing Beyond Earth Innovation Studio will involve equipping the space with state-of-the-art tools and materials for designing and monitoring growing experiments, installing plant growing equipment, and furnishing the space to maximize experimentation, collaboration, and learning. The garden will invite K-12 students, families and casual visitors to collaborate on plant science experiments, allowing them to address questions relevant to current NASA research on food production aboard spacecraft, and within habitats on the surface of Mars.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry will inspire diverse youth and families to use 21st century skills by creating hands-on Design Challenges where visitors work together to design and test multidisciplinary sustainable solutions to real-world problems. The museum will work closely with Oregon MESA, an organization that uses human-centered Design Challenges to teach STEM, invention, and 21st Century Skills to middle and high school students historically underrepresented in STEM fields. Project deliverables will include three Design Challenges; a Design Challenge Collaboration Playbook outlining how to develop Design Challenges using human-centered design in collaboration with MESA youth, families, and staff; and A MESA-OMSI Collaboration Sustainability Plan that lays out how to continue the partnership and programs beyond the grant. The impacts on families will be explored during front-end, formative, and summative evaluation activities.
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum will amplify its partnership with Hart Magnet School, a Title 1 elementary school in urban Stamford, Connecticut, by increasing exposure and access to the arts for first-fifth graders, their families, and educators. A new program model, leveraging the museum's artist exhibitions, will focus on technology and an inquiry-based approach to science. Students, educators, and families will be encouraged to see and think in new ways through on-site STEAM tours at the museum, artist-led workshops at Hart, teacher professional development, and afterschool family activities. Outside evaluators will work with the project team to develop goals and associated metrics to measure how the model of museum-school partnership can enhance student achievement, engage families more deeply in their child's school experience and community, and contribute to teacher professional development. The evaluator will also train museum staff on best practices for program assessment.
The Ontario Museum of History and Art will develop a permanent exhibit and related programs devoted to an examination of the history, present, and future of water conservation in Ontario, California, and the surrounding region. The project will reflect current best practices and knowledge through partnerships with water agencies, school districts, libraries, and area colleges to provide a cohesive approach to water education and community engagement. The exhibit design will focus on dynamic and interactive qualities and will showcase student projects that explore water conservation. An online component will include teacher resources and lesson plans tied to Common Core and state standards. The museum will also develop mobile apps for visitors to use both on and offsite to help tell the story of the community's relationship with water. An external evaluator will design and conduct front-end, formative, and summative evaluation activities to measure the accomplishment of the project's intended results.
The Armory Center for the Arts will strategically expand its Art High initiative for at-risk, in-crisis, and incarcerated teens in Los Angeles County. Art High provides free, year-round, sequential standards-based instruction in visual and media arts for teens. All courses are designed and delivered by professionally trained Armory teaching artists, each of whom maintains an active arts practice that informs their teaching. The museum will deepen the reach of Art High programming by expanding its network of partner sites in low-income neighborhoods, and at Los Angeles County juvenile camps, halls, and day reporting centers. Art High programming will provide crucial teen engagement opportunities, driven by participant feedback, including mentorship by the teaching artists, portfolio development, career guidance, opportunities to participate in the museum's paid Teen Apprentice program, and numerous opportunities for teens to exhibit their work in public exhibitions.
To further its mission to preserve and constructively interpret the history of civil rights in education in Prince Edward County, the Moton Museum at Longwood University will expand its educational programming by launching the Young Visitors project. The museum will expand and enrich learning experiences for K-8 visitors, specifically 4th and 5th graders, who will study Barbara Johns, the leader of the 1951 Moton High School strike, as part of the revised Virginia Standards of Learning. The museum will develop online educational resources and lesson plans for teachers and students, on-site field trip programming, and professional development programs for museum volunteers and educators. The museum will hire an assistant director of education to fully implement all aspects of the project.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden will establish a new institution-wide baseline for inclusively welcoming and serving visitors with special needs. The project will address priorities for increasing accessibility and inclusiveness at the garden identified in prior work with community members, by past professional assessments, and learnings from new pilot programs. Project activities will include additional assessment, technical assistance, resource development, and the establishment of a new Best Practices Working Group. A part-time access coordinator will also be hired. The garden will train staff and instill best practices in welcoming and serving visitors and learners through a diverse range of activities. Staff will also create new tools and communications to welcome audiences, develop new specialized programs, and improve current programs to increase inclusivity. Tangible project deliverables will include a website fully accessible to a range of assistive technologies, new pre-visit tools, interpretive and wayfinding materials, and new signage.
Based on a pilot series of programs created for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), the Center for Puppetry Arts will partner with the Emory Autism Center to expand this programming by developing and providing six ASD sensory-friendly days designed for children ages 4-12. Through this project, the center will develop new relationships with groups serving students with ASD. The project will include the creation of six new social stories designed to increase patrons' comfort level prior to their visit. The stories will be in the form of online guides, giving visitors a preview of what to expect at the center. The center will engage an external evaluator to observe each program and provide suggestions for program improvement that families themselves may not be able to articulate. Through this project, the center will develop new relationships with groups serving students with ASD.
The L.C. Bates Museum will deliver STEAM programming to neighboring rural, mostly low-income second grade children and their families through the Observing Ornithology science project. Over a two-year period, the museum will work with 40 teachers in 12 schools to support student learning tied to Next Generation core science performance measures. The project activities will use museum collections and other resources to present a series of three ornithology programs designed to motivate curiosity and engage children in observation activities that support a new approach to thinking, analyzing and solving. The museum will loan a new pop-up display to each of the 12 school libraries and will present four family and four children's museum bird days at the museum for participating students and their families during each year of the project. An external evaluator will measure the project's success in achieving defined performance measures that include strengthening the children's knowledge, understanding, and attitude toward the regional environment.
Zoo New England will bring a turtle conservation education program into 14 fifth grade classrooms in the Boston public schools and the Perkins School for the Blind. The Hatchling and Turtle Conservation Headstarting Program is designed to expose students from a diverse range of socio-economic backgrounds to the importance of wildlife in their community, giving them an opportunity to participate in a hands-on conservation project. Each classroom will receive three indoor sessions and one field trip at the end of the year, as well as two turtle hatchlings to raise in the classroom. Teachers will be trained to raise and care for the turtles. Presentations will be tailored to the age group of the students and will include opportunities for hands-on STEM-inquiry-based learning in alignment with the Massachusetts Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Frameworks. Pre and post classroom and field trip evaluation will be conducted to assess the cognitive and attitudinal changes among participating students and teachers.
The Delaware Children's Museum will engage community stakeholders and seek out industry best practices and expertise in a significant refocusing and re-visioning of two of its permanent exhibitions and the main lobby area to better meet the needs and interests of its target audience and to reflect technological and societal changes since opening its doors seven years ago. The museum will form an exhibitions task force including experts in museum exhibition design, merchandising, science, technology, engineering, and education. The task force will conduct focus groups and meetings with parents, children, donors and key organizational stakeholders. The project will include testing prototype exhibition elements, resulting in a design concept plan that will enhance its mission to provide playful, interactive STEAM-based learning experiences for children, and meet the changing expectations of Delaware educators, employers, and consumers.
The Children's Museum of Wilmington will renew and expand its STEM All-Stars program for at-risk and underserved youth to enhance and apply their knowledge of STEM concepts in a fun, safe, and contemporary learning environment. Twice per month from January through May in 2019 and 2020, a third-grade class will visit the Children's Museum of Wilmington for two-to-one student to faculty ratio workshops exploring states of matter, the wonders of the solar system, various science career paths, and more through activities which complement the NC Science Standard Curriculum. Students will document their workshop experiments, hypotheses, and findings in personal journals. Project goals include improving students' competence in STEM concepts, nurturing student enthusiasm for STEM subjects, and encouraging students to pursue careers in STEM-related areas. Teachers will be asked to participate in two assessments per year to evaluate the STEM All-Stars' impact on student interest and learning.
The New Children's Museum will partner with three contemporary artists and six San Diego community centers in underserved neighborhoods to implement an annual artist residency program. The project is designed to meet identified needs of both visiting and non-visiting families, as well as contribute to the ability of artists to engage in community practice. In addition to providing three one-year artist residencies, the museum will install three new art installations to support creativity, critical thinking, and imagination. The project will also support the Mass Creativity outreach program, offering 18 artist-run workshops and two community festivals which will reach over 7,500 people in underserved communities. The program will serve as a model for other museums to develop community-based exhibition and program development.
The Denver Museum of Art will launch the Creative Aging Project to provide in-community arts programs that advance Denver's priorities for the well-being of older adults, especially those who are unable to travel to the museum either due to physical or mental challenges or a lack of financial resources. Project components will include the development and evaluation of three program models: ten themed loan boxes filled with objects and activities designed to spark conversation and storytelling, shared memories, and group interaction, with associated training for care staff; three community-curated exhibitions co-created with older adults; and 20 artist-led sessions for art making, conversation, and guided mindful looking. The programs will be developed with community partners serving older adults and the City of Denver. A comprehensive evaluation plan will inform project development and refinement, assess impact on participants and community partners, and guide development of a framework to evaluate impact on healthy aging in the community over time.