Nothing does my heart quite as much good as seeing children in the museums. School groups, little ones in strollers, babies in their parents’ arms—the noise and life and energy children inject into the galleries is delightful.
Seeing children in the museums also makes me just a little nostalgic. Many years ago, when my son John was very small, we spent most Sunday mornings at the Philadelphia Museum of Art or The Franklin Institute, amazed by the arms and armor collection or crawling through the giant replica of a beating heart. Two years ago, on his wedding weekend, he suggested a tour of Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts would be a fun excursion for the bridal party. I thought to myself, with satisfaction, that those childhood hours of fun had made him a museumgoer for life.
In this issue’s cover story, you can read about how museums contribute to those formative years of early learning. Museum experiences for children are instrumental in creating the critical thinkers, dreamers, makers, and problem solvers of the future. They tap into children’s innate curiosity and sense of wonder, and stimulate young imaginations. Those of us lucky enough to work in museums see it on their faces every day.
That’s what science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning at the Science Center is all about: encouraging young children to be curious, to question, and to fearlessly solve problems. When Science Center educators partner with caregivers and teachers in finding new and effective ways to help children explore the world around them, amazing things happen.
Museum experiences for children are instrumental in creating the critical thinkers, dreamers, makers, and problem solvers of the future. They tap into children’s innate curiosity and sense of wonder, and stimulate young imaginations.
Science starts from being inquisitive, observing and investigating the world around you, asking questions and considering what your own answers might be. One of the most exciting developments noted in this issue is the Science Center’s work with Head Start programs, including a new Pittsburgh Public Schools Head Start classroom to open on-site at the Science Center for the 2018-19 school year. I can’t imagine a better place for a Head Start program!
We’re proud to be a partner in learning for so many young children, their families, and their teachers. Whether it’s the Science Center’s early learner programs, The Andy Warhol Museum’s “year of the family” programming, summer camps for young artists, classes for homeschoolers, or overnight adventures for young kids and the lucky grown-ups who come with them, we offer countless experiences that enrich and enliven childhood imaginations and family relationships. And, in doing so, we are creating the museumgoers of the future.
Whether you are an educator, parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, neighbor, big brother, or big sister, think about bringing a child with you the next time you visit the museums. I promise you will see everything through new eyes!
Jo Ellen Parker
President & CEO
Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
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