July 22, 2020 (Columbia, SC)
“As we reopened our doors last week, we knew we would be challenged with providing hands-on educational experiences in a socially distant environment and our education team tackled it head-on,” said Lisa Hailey, EdVenture’s President and CEO.“EdVenture is known as the perfect venue for families to come to have a great time together and we are proud to be a place that promotes the power of learning science, engineering, and technology through play.”
Since opening in 2003, the museum has aligned all its programs with the state’s standards, including school and group programs, camps, and outreach activities.
“This summer our activities will be different from ever before. The safety and wellbeing of our guests will take high priority and how we do floor programming has to accommodate for social distancing, meaning smaller audiences,” added Dr. Kathie Williams, the museum’s health and safety advisor.
The museum is taking several steps to make accommodations for its guests to enjoy the exhibits, as shared by Matt Wicker, EdVenture’s education director, “for instance, our Tinker Lab is a small enclosed space, making social distancing nearly impossible. However, it’s walls are glass, allowing for families to direct robots inside the lab through a maze using block coding while remaining socially distant.”
This partnership will help offset the costs associated with making the many accommodations needed to ensure the staff has adequate supplies to replace after each 90-minute block of time. There is STEM-based pop-up activities throughout the museum that are designed to reinforce the state’s curriculum standards.
Wicker highlighted the education team’s plan to host chemistry and aeronautic demonstrations in larger gathering spaces, adding that “we will also be conducting our engineering and biology lab programs with more frequency but with fewer participants, and providing pop up activities to support the learning of aeronautics in the Flight Gallery.”
In addition to the enhanced public programming, the museum is promoting its efforts to ensure the underserved areas in our State are aware of the growing number of resources EdVenture provides, including its
Yes, Every Child
initiative that helps offset the costs of admission for families receiving SNAP, WIC, or Medicaid benefits.
“As a way to the support families virtually, we created Today’s Play, a resource for online learning. When we closed in mid-March, we immediately began creating this collection of educational videos and hands-on activities focused on STEAM, Literacy, Health, and Healthy Cooking, to help parents find creative ways to keep their children engaged in learning. Providing these resources to families throughout the state is so important to our work,” Hailey added.
The museum is now open to guests who register to attend one of the four 90-minute blocks of time. Guests are encouraged to visit edventure.org for more information about registration and the museum’s health and safety protocol.