Charleston, SC (March 17, 2022) – The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry (CML) is pleased to announce a $150,000 grant from The Boeing Company to provide supplemental science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning experiences for elementary students in Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton and Dorchester Counties. This brings Boeing’s total investment in CML to more than $650,000.
As the Lowcountry leader in STEM programming for early childhood education, CML has been providing students with hands-on, learn-through-play experiences for nearly 20 years. The incorporation of a mobile unit, conceived and designed before the COVID-19 pandemic, was imperative to providing rural communities with CML’s educational opportunities.
“Since COVID-19 eliminated school field trips, we weren’t able to reach students through traditional, on-site programs,” said Jennifer Sanders, CML Director of Education. “While we had already been working on the mobile unit, COVID-19 instilled a sense of urgency to reach these schools who were struggling with engagement. It also allowed us to offer a little relief to teachers who were still trying to meet core curriculum standards.”
The mobile unit, referred to as the Pop Up Tinker Shop, includes hands-on exhibits designed for children ages 2-10. The Pop Up Tinker Shop programming guides, students through lessons using individualized Brown Bag STEM challenges, which are designed to include all of the materials necessary to create learning experiences and can be repeated at home.
With Boeing’s investment, CML will reach more than 4,500 students in tri-county Title 1 schools as well as more than 500 students in Colleton County, where all the public elementary schools are qualified Title 1.
“Boeing has allowed us to bring programs to Colleton County for the first time,” adds Sanders. “This funding enables CML to reach audiences at a significant distance from the museum. And we know that in this climate, rural communities need supplemental education opportunities now more than ever.”
“Boeing is proud to partner with the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry to help young learners gain early exposure to STEM concepts,” said Lindsay Leonard, senior director of National Strategy and Engagement and Government Operations at Boeing South Carolina. “Through learning programs like these, we have the ability to spark curiosity and interest in STEM at an early age, which will provide the right foundation for exploring future STEM-based careers. A focus on safety is embedded in every step of each activity; developing this mindset early on is imperative for a future in aerospace.”
Additionally, Boeing continues its support of CML’s museum experiences, including the Boeing BrightLab and Air Air Everywhere display. The BrightLab, which opened in 2021, is the first-of-its kind makerspace in the Southeast, which allows early learners the chance to innovate and explore using a variety of tools and technology, just like an engineer. The Air Air Everywhere experience features the use of air in everyday life, from suspending lightweight spheres in the air to flying paper airplanes.
Boeing also donated a large-scale 787 Dreamliner model to the exhibit in early March, which visitors will see above the paper airplane display.
“Boeing has been an enterprising partner of CML for the past five years, and we are so grateful for the continued relationship,” said Nichole Myles, CML Executive Director. “Both organizations understand the impact of early STEM education on our economy and the success of our communities. We are honored that Boeing recognizes and supports CML’s commitment to equity in STEM opportunities for young scholars.”