Creating multi-generational, science-rich learning experiences in community settings.
What are STEM Charging Stations?
We know that when families, schools, and communities work together, children do better academically, behaviorally, and socially. That is why Explora and community partners including New Mexico State Library, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM), UNM Early Childhood Services Center – Toy Lending & Resource Libraries, the New Mexico Public Broadcasting Station, and the Bernalillo County Early Childhood Accountability Partnership (ECAP) are building interest and awareness of the importance of early science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning experiences through a variety of different learning opportunities. Together we are planting the seeds of STEM and creating community based “charging stations” to support our youngest learners and their families.
Try out an activity, visit a library, take a course at CNM – click on the opportunities below to learn more.
IMLS Community Catalyst Grant
Press Release: November 14, 2017
Explora Receives Federal Grant to foster Early Childhood STEM Education in New Mexico
Explora, New Mexico’s premier science center and children’s museum in Albuquerque, NM, has been awarded a Community Catalyst grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, an independent federal agency that provides library and museum grants, policy development, and research.
IMLS wrote in its review of the project, “This proposal comes from recommendations from national and local reports on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) best practices, coupled with listening sessions and a track record of collaboration with the partners. This is a rare example within the applicant pool of a true community anchor proposal.”
Explora will partner with the New Mexico State Library, Central New Mexico Community College, UNM Early Childhood Services Center – Toy Lending & Resource Libraries, the New Mexico Public Broadcasting Station, and the Bernalillo County Early Childhood Accountability Partnership (ECAP) to create and support “STEM Charging Stations” for young children and families. These stations will be places in the community, like libraries, early childhood centers, and more, where families can do STEM activities together, building interest and awareness of the importance of early STEM learning experiences for young children. Through an Early Childhood STEM Summit and a course for pre-service early childhood providers co-developed with CNM, Explora’s project also will build capacity among childcare providers, librarians, and parents to provide quality STEM learning activities for young children.
Explora’s Deputy Director and Director of Community Engagement, Kristin Leigh, says, “We are thrilled to be working with such important partners on this two-year project to address critical issues for young children in our state. As part of Explora’s Cradle through Career STEM Learning Strategic Focus, this project will bring local STEM organizations together to give our youngest learners the best chance for future successes in life, school, and career.”
The project will address a critical community issue: the achievement gap between low-income children and their more economically advantaged peers. The partners will support parent-child engagement in early STEM learning and provide increased opportunities for young children (birth through age four), parents and caregivers, and a variety of early childhood service providers to engage in STEM learning at existing community venues already serving low-income families. This will turn these sites into access points for STEM learning and exploration and will improve access for low-income families to multi-generational, science-rich learning experiences in community settings.