The Works Museum
Every culture engineers. We may use different words and materials, but we all share a need to design solutions to everyday problems. Through the We Are All Engineers project, The Works Museum will leverage the organization’s expertise in elementary engineering education and the cultural knowledge of community partners to co-create and deliver new elementary education programs that align with the cultural benchmarks in the Minnesota State Science Standards introduced in June 2019. The museum will also co-create an interactive station for the museum gallery to extend learning beyond the classroom and with museum visitors. During the grant period, these new programs will provide a projected 47,000 children and families with culturally authentic experiences that engage them meaningfully in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) while highlighting the engineering contributions of Dakota, Ojibwe, Hmong, Mexican, and Somali cultures.
Myra Peffer (Bemidji, MN): Myra was the Executive Director of a children’s museum in Vermont, and has consulted with many museums (including the Children’s Discovery Museum) as a now-resident of Minnesota. She was recommended by the Children’s Discovery Museum, and recused herself of that scoring/discussion.
Bette Schmit (St Paul, MN): Bette Schmit is the Exhibit Developer at the Science Museum of Minnesota – recommended by Carol Aegerter, her expertise is in exhibit design and support.
Josh Ney (Minneapolis, MN): Josh Ney is a board member of the Minnesota Humanities Center, and also has experience working with the legislature and the Legacy Committee.
Minnesota Humanities Center
$625,000 each year is for grants to other children’s museums to pay for start-up costs or new exhibit and program development. Funds are to be distributed through a competitive grant process. The Minnesota Humanities Center must administer these funds using established grant mechanisms.
Outcomes for We Are All Engineers are aligned with the three project goals:
1) Goal: To successfully implement The Works Museum’s first co-creation model to develop two new 90-minute workshops that support Minnesota teachers in implementing the Science Standards and an associated interactive station for our museum gallery.
- Partners from the Dakota, Ojibwe, Hmong, Mexican, and Somali cultural communities will have shared elements of their cultures and made connections with The Works Museum’s family and school audiences.
- The project team will have developed two new workshops that support Minnesota teachers in implementing the Science Standards and will have created an associated interactive station for our museum gallery.
- The Works Museum will have demonstrated the ability to successfully co-create programming with members of communities who are historically underrepresented in STEM, document the co-creation process, and establish partnerships with representatives from these five cultural communities.
- The Works Museum will have increased our capacity to co-create programs, providing an important foundation for incorporating the diverse Minnesotan community in our work long-term.
2) Goal: To create authentic, meaningful primary resource experiences that allow children to explore the Dakota, Ojibwe, Hmong, Mexican, and Somali cultures through the lens of engineering and that allow kids from non-dominant cultures to see themselves represented in STEM.
- Students from non-dominant communities will see their cultures represented in The Works Museum’s programs, feel welcomed at the museum, and engage more meaningfully in STEM experiences.
- Workshop participants and museum visitors will interact with and gain a better understanding of engineering contributions from Minnesota American Indian and other non-dominant Minnesota cultural communities.
3) Goal: To provide opportunities for children from the five cultures represented in the project, for children from under-resourced schools, and for all museum visitors to engage with these cultures through hands-on exploration and play.
- The Works Museum will deliver new workshops to all 2nd and 4th grade students at each of the six partner schools, selected for their high percentages of students representing the five cultures, reaching an estimated 1,000 students.
- An estimated 1,000 children from under-resourced schools will participate in the new programs with subsidized bus and program fees.
- In addition to the 2,000 students served through program delivery to partner and under-resourced schools, we estimate that an additional 45,000 museum visitors will engage with these cultures through hands-on exploration and play in the museum gallery during the grant period.
In progress; no measurable outcomes reported to date.