Discovery museum

The Children’s Discovery Museum awarded more than $250,000 in grants to expand STEAM programming for the early years

The Children’s Discovery Museum at Uptown Normal will get a significant boost to its STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) early childhood programming through two new grants.

The largest grant of nearly $250,000 comes from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The grant will make the Children’s Discovery Museum’s “Growing STEAM Potential Through the Power of Play” pre-k program available at four new locations: the Sarah E. Raymond Early Learning Center of District 87, the Milestones Early Learning Center, the sites of the Unit 5 Early Learning Program and YWCA Young Wonders.

With the IMLS grant, the STEAM program will more than quadruple its reach – from 325 students to 1,500. The program, launched in 2011, creates field trips, classroom lessons and family events to enhance the program and provide young people students fun and playful experiences within STEAM.

HOM Executive Director Beth Whisman said the award is both an incredible honor and a game-changing resource for museum staff.

“This grant represents a significant increase in our reach and impact, allowing us to expand our program and serve twice as many classrooms per year,” Whisman said in a statement. “Our community partners’ initial investments in this program have served as a springboard for the kind of expansion we are now on the cusp of. »

The Children’s Discovery Museum also received a grant from the PNC Foundation worth $15,000. It will also go to the STEAM program. The PNC Foundation has provided nearly $500,000 to the Children’s Discovery Museum over the past decade.