Westchester Childrens Museum Makes School Debut
Larchmont, NY - Westchester Children’s Museum (WCM) recently visited the Mamaroneck school district’s Murray Avenue School in Larchmont as part of the nonprofit’s educational outreach program, Museum Without Walls.Roughly 320 children in kindergarten through second grade engaged in a two-week series of interactive lessons focused on germs, microscopes and machines to coincide with the school’s annual science fair.
Murray Avenue is the first school in which Museum Without Walls has conducted its programming. Since launching in March 2010, Museum Without Walls has completed more than 150 programs, reaching nearly 3,000 youth at a variety of community-based organizations.
"We're thrilled to be partnering with Westchester Children's Museum to offer our students in grades K-2 a hands-on, interactive science experience," said Murray Avenue school principal Jennifer Monaco. "The response from the children has been terrific. The children have been engaged and fascinated by this new material, and it has served has a wonderful enhancement to our science curriculum."
The “Machines at Work” lesson for kindergarteners explored cars, trucks and other “things that go.” Donning yellow construction hats, the students learned about the basic principles of physics as they experimented with pulleys, levers, inclined planes and axels. Meanwhile, the “Peek-A-Boo… I See Germs” lesson for first-graders helped to unravel the mysteries behind germs. Using ultraviolet light, youngsters got a good look at the germs on their hands until – after repeated washings – the germs were gone. Last but not least, second-graders delved into the “Mighty Microscope World.” Dressed in lab coats, the young scientists drew pictures of their microscope observations, including human red blood cells, heart muscle, bone, the intestinal wall and skin. They also observed chromosomes in a cell that was preparing to divide.
All Museum Without Walls programs are delivered by experienced educators and supported by trained volunteers, many of whom are former and current scientists and classroom teachers. WCM looks forward to expanding the program to other schools across the county, and ultimately will reach 5,000 children in 2011. To learn more, visit www.discoverwcm.org.
“Our educators draw from an extensive knowledge base, using their expertise together with a nurturing approach to ignite a love for learning,” explained WCM program coordinator Bev McAllister, a Larchmont resident. “Their lessons offer children opportunities to experience the joy of exploration and discovery.”
Museum Without Walls programs are supported by donations and grants from individuals, foundations and corporations such as the Beyer Family Foundation, Con Edison, Junior League of Greenwich, Junior League of Pelham, Junior League of Westchester on the Sound, LEGO Children's Fund, TD Charitable Foundation and Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation. Programs have been conducted in community centers such as the Port Chester Carver Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of New Rochelle, Greenwich and Northern Westchester, the White Plains YMCA & YWCA and the Lois Bronz Children’s Center.
The Westchester Children’s Museum will host their annual Explore-a-thon event on Sunday, June 5, 2011 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Rye Town Park and Playland Boardwalk. The interactive recreation and educational event for families is designed to provide a real children's museum-type experience while raising funds to construct the walls of the region's first children's museum to be built at Rye Playland. The event includes such fun as balloon boats, rockets, color wheels, bubbles, art, and music. Participation cost is $75 per family. To register for Explore-a-thon, please call 914-241-5050 or sign up at www.discoverWCM.org.
For more information about Westchester Children’s Museum (WCM), please visit www.discoverWCM.org.