Nature Makers Program at the Hands On Children's Museum
The Hands On Children's Museum will build on two of its most distinctive features-an Outdoor Discovery Center and a Young Makers program-to create a Nature Makers program. The interdisciplinary project will link nature-based learning with maker activities that use natural materials. Partnerships with Native American tribes, scientists, maker groups, and others will enrich the staff-led offerings. Nature Makers addresses two of the most significant needs in early learning-inspiring early STEM education and connecting children with the outdoors. Nature Makers will increase children's exposure to outdoor tinkering to build the foundation for STEM success in school; educate parents, caregivers, and teachers about the important role outdoor exploration plays in STEM achievement; and stimulate children's curiosity about the natural world and increase the time they spend outside. Evaluation findings will be shared internally to inform continuous improvement of program offerings, and externally to serve as a model for outdoor making activities.