In November 2019, National Children’s Museum will reopen as the first hybrid children’s museum and science center. The museum will feature exhibitions focused on science, tech, engineering, arts and math(STEAM) for children 12 and under. I am very proud to announce that we are partnering with the museum to help bring these exhibitions to life with a monetary gift of $300,000, as well as a donation of technology made possible by Microsoft Philanthropies.
As a staple of the Washington, D.C. community for the last 45 years and a key cultural center for the region, National Children’s Museum has played an integral role in shaping the lives of young people for generations. With Microsoft technology, we hope to empower the next generation with access to coding and digital skills to further strengthen the museum’s mission.
As a company, we are strong proponents of early childhood development and recognize the importance of increasing STEAM education, both locally and across the country. STEAM education remains a critical skillset in today’s workforce and will be a driving factor in preparing children for the careers of the future. Our philosophy is to focus first on experiential learning, especially with young children, and integrate technologies to deepen these experiences. For this reason, Microsoft has committed to a 5-year partnership with the museum to provide technology that will help enhance the experience for all visitors.
When guests enter the facility, they will see the Dream Machine, the museum’s centerpiece climbing structure and slide. Content within and surrounding this experience will be focused on early discovery of computer science. Using Microsoft technology and block-based coding stations on the concourse and plaza floors, visitors will use simple loops and programs to create custom color, light and other atmospheric reaction sequences.
As part of the partnership, Microsoft technology will also power the Tinkerers Studio, an interactive hub built to look like a 21st-century classroom. The space offers project-based and hands-on learning that we hope will spark a passion for STEAM from a young age. In partnership with the museum’s education team, Microsoft will offer monthly coding programs and provide Surface Pro tablets for those who take advantage of this interactive space.
We want to give young people the tools they need to forge their own paths and make their dreams a reality. Providing access to this technology through National Children’s Museum is just one way we are honored to be a part of this new chapter in the museum’s history.