The Museum’s Explore It Enrichment Pods will be run after school, 2:00-5:00pm on weekdays, and will complement in-school learning by focusing on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) themes that inspire children to explore, create, and discover. During the first six-week session, content will cover six STEAM-themed topics including: In the Wild, In Your Imagination, In Outer Space, In the Construction Zone, In the Water, and In the Human Body. The pods will be led by Museum educators and will emphasize hands-on engagement and learning, using the innovative and child-centered approaches that are hallmarks of Boston Children’s Museum’s work. The program will welcome families who are part of existing learning pod groups, as well as families interested in joining a pod through the Museum. Explore It Enrichment Pods will accommodate pods of no more than 10 children, ages 5-10 years old.
Boston Children’s Museum offers a unique physical environment for immersive play and learning that cannot be replicated at home or in a classroom. Participants in the Explore It pods will have access to the full Museum over the 6 week session, and children within a pod will have the opportunity to play and discover with their other pod members in a safe and structured way. The pods will incorporate Museum exhibits and creative spaces, such as the STEAM and Art Labs, to support the exploration of themed content. The activities emphasize developing key STEAM habits of mind - ways of thinking - such as curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, persistence, and problem solving. Children will be supported in developing these habits of mind through hands-on inventing, experimenting, and creating across STEAM disciplines.
"With the disruption to school, work, and childcare, families are seeking solutions that include in-person learning and creative childcare options," said Carole Charnow, President and CEO of the Museum. "We believe our new Explore It Enrichment Pods offer something not currently available to families, which is a unique, hands-on, high-quality learning and play environment that is also safe, combined with innovative content that allows kids to discover their gifts and potential. We want to assure families that in offering this new program that safety is our highest priority. We have been operating with ex-tensive safety practices in place since we reopened in July, and we will bring those practices to the pods."
The Museum has created a website for families to learn more and register for the pods: ExploreItPods.BostonChildrensMuseum.org. Participation in a pod will cost $300 per week per child. Boston Children's Museum is working with city and corporate partners to create scholarship opportunities to increase access to pod experiences for all families. The pods will follow all existing Museum safety practices, including physical distancing and requiring masks. In the initial offering, the program will require the presence of one adult parent or caregiver per pod group while students are in the Museum.