Thanks to a $10,000 grant from the APS Community Fund, a component of the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF), the Children’s Museum of Phoenix will be able to offer thousands of students at Title I schools the opportunity to experience its In The Pipeline hands-on STEM kit during the 2018-19 school year.
In the Pipeline allows participants to construct cubes, ladders, chairs, tunnels, mazes, forts, cages and cars: all with their bare hands. By connecting different lengths of PVC pipes and connectors, attaching colorful fabric panels, and creating their own space for imaginative play, the children will develop communication skills, cooperative interaction skills, logic skills, and spatial awareness.
Jessica Larsen, principal at Aguilar Elementary School, who has hosted the In the Pipeline exhibit at her school, says the experience was extremely beneficial. “Students were making connections not only to math, but also to everyday structures that they see,” she says. “They were able to build ‘homes’ and describe why they built their home the way they did. It was exciting to watch them collaborate with their peers and create some pretty amazing structures.”
In the Pipeline was developed as one of the Children’s Museum’s original exhibits and used in community outreach prior to the Museum finding a permanent home in the renovated, historical Monroe School. The original In the Pipeline set was used in classroom programming at the Museum for several years after the Museum opened, then made available for community members, schools, etc. to check out or borrow and use in their community as part of the museum’s strategic plan to create an outreach exhibit. Grant funding has allowed the Museum to offer In the Pipeline to many different school districts throughout the state of Arizona.
“The $10,000 grant from APS and ACF will enable participating school districts to check out the In the Pipeline traveling exhibit for a five-week timeframe,” explains Children’s Museum of Phoenix development director Liz Zelazo. “Overall, we are hoping to reach 4,000 Title I students during the 2018- 19 school year with this unique learning experience.”
This grant, funded from a $1 million endowment established by APS at ACF in 2001, is one of 23 grants recently awarded from the APS West Valley Fund. This year, a total of $210,747 was awarded to West Valley nonprofits and school districts.
“Our relationship with APS is helping to build healthy communities,” said Jacky Alling, Chief Philanthropic Services Officer at the Arizona Community Foundation. “Through annual grant distributions to effective nonprofits and school districts in the West Valley, this public-private partnership is truly enriching the lives of hundreds of Arizona residents.”