DCM Wonder Clubs Extend Through the School Year


Last updated 9/28/2022 at 6:12pm

DuPage Children's Museum (DCM) worked in partnership with the Center for Success to deliver DCM Wonder Clubs, exceptional Arts and STEM programming designed to inspire students to wonder about the world around them and generate solutions to authentic problems. The Center for Success empowers both pre-service college students in education and PK-12 students enrolled in high-need schools in Chicago and Aurora with experiential education that provides access, resources, and opportunities. This summer, the Center for Success hosted camp for their Junior/Senior Scholars at DCM.

"DCM's role in the scholars program illustrates how our museum is working proactively to build diverse and inclusive partnerships to ensure that fun, engaging, hands-on Arts and STEM learning experiences reach all children," DCM CEO Andrea Wiles shared. Providing access to extraordinary learning experiences is one strategy DCM employs to ensure that all children thrive through joyful play and learning.

The DCM Play and Learning Team delivered a variety of learning experiences. Scholars were able to invent and play their own board games, express their creativity by making clay sculptures, and experiment with some very messy slime, oobleck, and other chemical concoctions. Students were able to engage in problem-solving investigations, hands-on learning, and discovery. Additionally, students practiced important social-emotional learning skills as they shared their wonderings and collaborated together to explore different Arts and STEM concepts. In order to ensure this partnership created student-driven and meaningful learning opportunities, DCM educators and Junior/Senior Scholar staff worked together during each session - making connections across the scholars' camp experience while also having fun themselves as they played and learned right alongside the scholars.

"As it was our first time to be back in person with our scholars, it was important to me to have a strong launch with a rich immersion experience for each of my students whose learning was compromised during the Pandemic. I was hoping to inspire curiosity and imagination in our scholars this summer and I found exactly that opportunity with DCM," Jan Fitzsimmons, Founder, Center for Success, shared as she reflected on this partnership. "The DCM staff really 'WOWED' my scholars, my staff, and me with their open and welcoming kindness each and every day. That 'authentic welcoming' created the foundation and all the right conditions for an invitation to learn. It is ideal for a partnership that is advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion in Arts and STEM, as well as a 'college bound' message to all!"

DCM's Wow Factor will continue to inspire the Centers for Success partnership throughout the school year. DCM will be the host location for their afterschool program. Students in grades 4 through 12 will be able to continue their academic enrichment, mentoring and participation in additional DCM Wonder Club activities.

Museums are essential partners in a community's learning ecosystem, perfectly and nimbly positioned to meet children and their families where they are, especially those in our most underserved and underrepresented communities. DuPage Children's Museum is evolving in order to meet the moment of today, in becoming true partners for community change. Through DCM Wonder Clubs, the museum collaborates with partner organizations to provide the training and tools, including easy-to-implement lessons, to help each organization facilitate hands-on STEAM learning experiences for their school-aged children, PreK–Grade 5. Organizations can learn more about DCM Wonder Clubs at dupagechildrens.org/wonder-clubs.

Everything the Museum does is framed through the lens of relationships, play, and joyful learning. Community support is crucial in DCM's role as a change agent –– inspiring, engaging, and empowering youth with the skills and confidence to become the next generation of solution builders. DCM Wonder Clubs are supported by The Robert R McCormick Foundation and Kinder Morgan Foundation. Learn more about DCM and please consider making a donation at dupagechildrens.org/give.


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