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Partner Highlight: Discovery Lab Makes Informal Learning Accessible with Nano Exhibition in Tulsa OK

May 18, 2018

Lynnsey Childress, Discovery Lab, Tulsa Children's Museum

Discovery Lab in Tulsa, OK is continuing to find new ways to share the Nano exhibition and make museum experiences accessible for all families. In March, Discovery Lab launched a traveling exhibit program for Nano in partnership with The Housing Authority of the City of Tulsa (THA), the largest local public housing provider. Over the next 18 months, Nano will tour nine family housing community centers with the potential to reach 14,000 children and families.

“There are so many barriers that might prevent a family from having the opportunity to visit Discovery Lab or experience informal science learning. By bringing this exhibit to their home, we are eliminating a few of those barriers,” Ray Vandiver, Discovery Lab Executive Director, said.



The Nano exhibition will spend six to eight weeks at each housing community, offering families the opportunity to engage with STEM concepts and explore all things nano just steps from their front door.

The traveling exhibit program adds to a larger, ongoing programming partnership between the two organizations, including outreach classes and museum visits, under the auspices of the Museum’s Accessible Discovery Program, funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation.  While the exhibit is in residence at each community center, Discovery Lab will be enriching the experience by leading a hands-on, nano-focused outreach class for children and families in the community. Additionally, residents will be invited to go on a field trip and experience the other exhibits at Discovery Lab after Nano leaves their community.

“The goal of the Accessible Discovery Program is to increase the access and participation of underserved audiences in informal learning experiences. Through this new traveling exhibit program, we hope to inspire students, helping them build confidence with STEAM concepts, and bring families together, encouraging parents to engage with their children in learning and exploring,” Vandiver said.

To celebrate the exhibit opening, Discovery Lab hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony, March 15, and Discovery Lab educators helped facilitate dozens of families’ first experience with the exhibit.  The Museum and THA will be hosting similar openings at each site as it moves through its 18 month tour.

The traveling exhibit program has had a successful first month, engaging over 100 families with the Nano exhibition.

To learn more about this program, contact Lynnsey Childress at [email protected]


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