Early Learners Initiative

Early Learners Initiative

In celebration of its 10th Anniversary, the Museum of the Earth is renovating some of its permanent exhibits and adding new ones to make the Museum more accessible and appealing to Early Learners—our youngest visitors between the ages of two to five. Our first phase involves a new interactive exhibit on the science of glaciers, Our Dynamic Climate: Glaciers, opening
in May.

Creative play allows young children to best learn the foundational concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Our Early Learners Initiative will help families across our region prepare for STEM-focused lessons in elementary school. This project will build more than just fun exhibits—for children, it will inspire curiosity, exploration, and inquiry—the basis of all scientific investigations. For parents, it will build another trusted, enjoyable learning experience to share.

Learning science doesn’t start with elementary school. Those concerned with the issue, from University child development experts to producers of television shows at PBS Kids, have been working to develop a national campaign—aimed at parents, caregivers and educators of young children—to promote the use of playful, everyday activities to strengthen STEM skills during early childhood, because the road to success begins with early childhood. The two main criteria for “kindergarten-readiness” are: “Do they display a sense of curiosity?” and “Are they asking questions?”

Through focus groups work of parents and teachers, as well national early-learning education standards and best practices, we have identified important development foci. The Museum’s new exhibits, therefore, promote gross and fine motor skills, tactile experiences, cooperation, art, basic knowledge of the natural world, and scientific skills, such as comparing and contrasting objects. Given our mission and practice, we are uniquely qualified to conceptualize, develop and produce innovative, sensory-rich exhibits that provide fun, immersive, and effective learning opportunities in the earth and life sciences.

For more information or for a copy of the complete Early Learners Initiative case statement, please contact our Development Department at 607.273.6623 x15 office, or through email at development@museumoftheearth.org.