Local Museum places importance on the “kid” within by emphasizing creative learning

Does the word museum typically conjure images in your mind of interactive, experiential learning platforms in which science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) take center stage? KID museum, located at the Davis Library in Bethesda, has garnered a reputation for precisely as such through various explorative activities, programs, and volunteer opportunities.

Birthed from desires to create an education center where children could tap into their creative spirit and embrace cultural diversity, the KID museum has been hosting a spectrum of STEAM workshops for children of all ages since 2011. In recent years, various Blake students have contributed to the museum’s mission by volunteering their time and skills through the museum’s Apprenticeship Program.

The Apprenticeship Program consists of a coalition of high school students that assist in the coordination of STEAM activities for elementary and middle school students. An apprentice begins their day by meeting with adult coordinators who inform and appropriately train them for the day’s upcoming workshops. Apprentices are then assigned to stations where they assist in the preparation, execution, and facilitation of various projects.

Apprentices’ duties—which can include designing classes, teaching after school, or coordinating offsite events across the county— are variable but prove integral nonetheless. Grace Center, maker educator and apprentice coordinator of KID museum, explains that the program is intended to simulate a real work experience for young adults. She says, “apprentices [have the opportunity to] build life skills, develop new technical skills, and earn student service learning hours.

Junior Jessica Nguyen, who served as an apprentice her freshman year, echoes Ms. Center’s words about the program. She says, “The program taught me how to better interact with people in a work setting…it really helped me get out of my shell and come into my own person.”

Nguyen expressed her appreciation for the friendly, creative, and unique environment surrounding the museum. KID museum is a “maker museum” which means that the museum is centered around promoting hands-on and experiential learning. Ranging from lessons in animation to 3D printers, from creating robots that color to lessons in origami—profound science, math, art, and technology projects encompass the museum at every turn.

Nguyen says, “The ultimate purpose of these projects is to foster children’s creativity and curiosity. Kids are bursting full of energy and ideas that can be used to create so many great things.” She adds that with the constant implementation of new projects and ideas, not only was the apprenticeship focused on teaching kids, but was a means for her to learn something new every day.

If you’re interested in applying for the summer 2018 Apprenticeship Program, applicants must submit an application and recommendation by April 16th. KID museum welcomes all candidates; there are no academic nor GPA requirements.

Open to visitors of all ages, the museum encourages planned visits. To do so or simply view more information, make sure to check out kid-museum.org.