HOLYOKE, MA – Children and their families from seventeen different communities gathered at the Holyoke Children’s Museum Monday morning, to celebrate a continuation of STEM activities they enjoyed as part of their family center and playgroup experiences this year. The children’s educational “STEM play” continued at the museum, and the event included rides for all on the museum’s carousel. The carousal ride provided an extension to a children’s story about a carousel ride that is available at all playgroups and family centers.
Family center and playgroup coordinators invited 175 children and their families. Books were incorporated into their weekly gatherings that connected their playgroup work and the educational activities at the museum. “Children see quickly that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning can be fun,” said Desiree Lalbeharie-Josias, the Director of Early Childhood programs at the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES), which hosted the event.
Hailey, two years old, from Monson, and her mother Cathy, investigated how different types of light makes shadows in the shadow room. Desirae, a mother from Palmer, brought her three daughters to the museum. Five year old Akasha enjoyed making different sounds on a set of differently sized drums, while two year old Akirah learned the mechanics of a machine that lifted balls up to a drop point to roll down at different speeds. “It will be hard to get them to leave”, noted Desirae, “they are enjoying these activities!” Children and their adults worked as teams using pulleys to make bubbles, build structures with different shapes of material, and learned about motion, movement and water currents at the different museum activity stations.
The playgroups and family centers are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care, through the Coordinated Family and Community Engagement (CFCE) Grant. The centers provide programming for children and parents that help strengthen the path to learning with diverse and helpful programs for children and adults. All children at today’s event received copies of the books “I am a Scientist” and “Benny’s Big Bubble” to continue their learning journey at home.
Family Centers and Playgroups are places to grow for families and children from birth to kindergarten, located in seventeen local communities and run by the Collaborative for Educational Services in Northampton, MA. The programs are free and run all year round. For more information about these programs, visit www.collaborative.org/early-childhood/parents, or contact Carolyn Mazel at early firstname.lastname@example.org
The Children’s Museum at Holyoke is located at 444 Dwight Street in Holyoke, and provides educational activities for children to introduce the arts, the sciences, and the world around them. Parents and adults who bring children are encouraged to participate in the exhibits. Learn more about the museum activities and museum hours at www.childrensmuseumholyoke.org