The Gulf Coast Exploreum Science Center will reveal its new and awesome Community Outreach Program on Monday, April 3 at 2 p.m. in the Exploreum Courtyard. A highlight of the “reveal” will be the outreach vehicle that will spark excitement in the community, just by its design and “right fit” for the Exploreum’s efforts – to take science education to schools, community meeting places, festivals, libraries, senior centers, and parks. The new initiative has been funded by the Daniel Foundation, Alabama Power, and Wells Fargo.
“The Exploreum’s Science To Go program will allow our experienced educators to travel to many locations throughout the Gulf Coast Region and into other states, furthering our goal to increase science literacy,” said Jan McKay, Executive Director. “Our current program, while strong, was hampered by lack of dedicated staff, funds, and transportation. These donors have changed all of that for us, and we are very grateful.”
In the last fiscal year the Exploreum took experiments, science and engineering activities, and presentations to 13,000 people at 40 different events and locations. A summer partnership with the Mobile Public Library’s Summer Reading Program reached 2,000 attendees. Earth Day at Fairhope, festivals in Mobile, Baldwin County Library presentations, a monthly visit to the children’s ward at Women and Children’s Hospital in Mobile, are just a few of the outreach locations.
The new program will substantially increase these efforts. In this new program, nineteen confirmed presentations will occur in the next three months, with three booked as far away as Enterprise, Alabama. To have tried to accomplish this distance with equipment and convoys of educators would not be possible. The new and customized Science to Go van will provide easier logistics and movement of supplies and physical equipment. Local dealership, Bay Chevrolet, was also pivotal in acquiring the van once sponsor funds were secured.
The Exploreum offers to two separate programs through its outreach program:
An auditorium show, an engaging 45-60 minute long performance that encompasses multiple areas of science such as Bernoulli’s principle, endothermic and exothermic reactions, and polymers. These popular performances engage school children and audience members to investigate some of the most fascinating principles of science. This program is best suited for large groups in gymnasiums or auditoriums.
Classroom programs that run 45 minutes on a wide range of topics. Exploreum educators travel to schools with all of the materials required to inspire and instill a curiosity into the sciences. Each in-depth lesson includes demonstrations and activities designed to meet the requirements of the Alabama Course of Study and foster a life-long interest in science. A wide range of themes and topics are available including It’s just a State of Matter, Slime Time, and Lucy the Fin Whale.
“Strengthening and expanding this program is something we have wanted to do for a while,” said McKay. “It is exciting to see our efforts come to fruition, and it is an exciting time for learners of all ages. Plus the van is a show-stopper. You won’t be able to miss that the Exploreum is coming to your neck of the woods, I guarantee it.”
Inquiries on program details and pricing on programs can be directed to the new Outreach Coordinator, Olivia Moye at 251-208-6849. Omoye@exploreum.com.