In an effort to help parents fill the void of traditional education, the Reading Public Museum pulled together its resources to produce S.T.E.M. (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) educational kits. Operating a “grab and go” drive thru in front of the Museum’s main entrance, staff distributed education packets filled with worksheets and an LED flashlight.
The museum offered the kits from 11am to 1pm. However, with only 100 available, the museum sold out within 30mins. Distributed free of charge, the museum requested patrons to make a donation to the museum.
“We’ve been working with the Association of Science and Technology Centers for the last several weeks. As the lead science center in the area, we’ve been looking at ways we can continue classroom learning while kids can’t be in the classroom” said John Smith, Director and CEO or the Reading Public Museum.
“We are normally sold out everyday for field trips and kids birthday parties, so we have all of these materials, it was just a matter of repackaging them so kids can do these activities at home.”
Today’s kits teaches kits about circuitry, science and assembly, and to have fun, but Smith has plans for different options in the future. “This is the first of several kits we want to produce and distribute. We are also working on a birthday party in a box and a make your our pizza kit with Mama’s in Wyomissing.”
Smith says he is not sure if future kits will be free by donation or will have a cost. He is working with a few local businesses and banks to look at options on funding the grab and go program.
“We’re facing zero income during this closure, which is very difficult for us. Our staff has already endured layoffs and pay-cuts, so we’re trying to figure out ways to keep the doors open virtually, as it were.” said Smith.