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In the Community: Finding Magic at Chicago Children's Museum

Dinosaur Expedition
Visitors unearth the past at Chicago Children’s Museum Dinosaur Expedition.

Part of the Navy Pier® recreational and exhibition facility, Chicago Children’s Museum is committed to creating a community where play and learning connect.

Striving to make learning fun, Chicago Children’s Museum (CCM) offers innovative, hands-on exhibits and programming that reinforce educational concepts in literacy, science, math, performing arts, and health. On-site, CCM has 15 permanent exhibits for children as young as 1 year old to age 10. Exhibits focus on such things as water, dinosaurs, and other topics having to do with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The most recent exhibit – Skyline – teaches how the tallest buildings in Chicago remain standing and allows children to try their hands at architecture and designing their own buildings.

Child learning.

Children learn about other lands during Passport to Korea.

CCM provides a broad range of educational experiences, letting kids play and pretend while learning. According to Natalie Kreiger, public relations manager, “We aspire to be a place of beauty, joy, wonder, and magic.”

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING IN MUSEUMS AND BEYOND

Subaru of America Foundation funding helps to support CCM’s Collaborative Learning in Museums and Beyond (CLIMB) program. CLIMB provides materials to prepare teachers for the learning experiences at the museum so those experiences can be directed toward classroom work in science and mathematics. Intended for Chicago Public Schools teachers of prekindergarten through third grade, the program reinforces informal learning and strengthens the classroom/museum connection.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS

CCM also serves as a dependable resource for families, caregivers, and educators. “We look to be as much of a resource to educators and parents outside the museum as we are at the museum,” added Kreiger.

The museum provides several outreach programs. For example, CCM to Go puts together materials that allow an educator to re-create museum experiences in his or her own classroom or community center. The Community Connection Team partners the museum with up to 400 community organizations and individuals throughout Chicago. “We aim to reach every corner of the city and to take the experiences to them,” said Kreiger.

Waterways Exhibit

Waterways and other exhibits allow visitors to learn and play at the same time.

CCM also has a student visit program – which serves approximately 50,000 students a year – as well as a partnership with Chicago Public Schools.

CCM YESTERDAY AND TODAY

The museum celebrated its 25th anniversary in October 2007. In 1982, it was founded as the Expressways Children’s Museum. The name was changed to Chicago Children’s Museum in 1991.

CCM currently plans to build a new facility at Daley Bicentennial Plaza in Grant Park in the next two to three years.

For more about Chicago Children’s Museum, visit its Web site at www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org.


Subaru in the Community
Subaru of America, Inc. believes in supporting the communities in which its employees live and work. To that end, Subaru builds community partnerships with organizations that share its drive and passion. These organizations are primarily ones that enhance the academic learning experience for young people.