January 7, 2021Gini Philipp, WOW! Children's Museum
Like so many museums and institutions around the country who have been impacted by COVID-19, WOW! Children’s Museum in Lafayette, CO had to temporarily closed our doors in Spring 2020 and make the quick pivot to providing virtual education programs for children and families. Our small (but mighty) dedicated team embraced this challenge head-on and quickly ramped up our online presence to ensure we could continue to connect with families in our community. Through our social media channels and our website, we have been able to provide a number of virtual programs and host several virtual events. We are so grateful to have received so many of the NISE Network kits over the years and we immediately utilized some of the kit activities to create new videos and virtual opportunities. Most recently, we collaborated with ELPASO (Engaged Latino Parents Advancing Student Outcomes), a local community support resource, to explore Molecules in Motion and Stomp Rockets! It was a huge, virtual, success!
We quickly learned that creating digital content takes a lot of creativity and adaptability. One thing we have learned is that our videos and virtual events are going to have glitches! Our audience does not expect perfection; they are just excited to have resources for their families to explore. If your cat jumps into your lap while filming, that’s okay! Adapt to it! We have also learned that playing an important virtual role in our community’s lives takes fresh ideas. With very limited resources available, we had to think outside the box. We gathered supplies from our own homes, kitchens, and garages to create virtual experiments and experiences for our audience. This creativity resulted in new videos like our Littlest Learners Sustainability Series, Filtered Light Experiment, Static Electricity Experiment, Spooky Dry Ice Experiment, Bread Making, and so much more! Throughout it all, we have remained focused on being an educational resource for local families by providing new virtual content at least 3 times a week. Despite the fact that our doors are temporarily closed, we remain a Museum whose mission is open. We remain committed to inspiring children to learn through play even if it has to be virtually or at a distance for now.
You are welcome to access all of WOW! Children’s Museum’s resources on our website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel. We also have teacher and caregiver resources available to utilize at home.
Sustaining partnerships with so many incredible community leaders like NISE Network has been incredibly beneficial to us! Please feel free to reach out to Gini Philipp, Director of Early Childhood Education, email@example.com, with questions, ideas, or thoughts.