Science center partners with Delta Dental and Dart for initiative
LANSING, Mich. — Impression 5 Science Center is providing meaningful STEM education kits and oral health resources to young children to supplement the loss of access to hands-on, interactive learning opportunities during the global pandemic. The science center has been awarded a grant in partnership with the Delta Dental Foundation and the Dart Foundation for the initiative.
900 to 1600 physical STEM education kits will be delivered to Head Start children 3 to 5 years old in the tri-county area every other month. Virtual tutorials and “pro-tips” will also be provided with the kits.
“STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy and enables the next generation of innovators,” said Erik Larson, executive director of Impression 5. “We want to encourage STEM education during the pandemic with our kits.”
The STEM education kits combine science and oral health with concepts of social and emotional development, literacy and math. These are also the focus areas of Head Start.
“Through this STEM kit planning process, we were able to add items that utilize a play-based approach, consistent with early childhood education evidence-based practices demonstrating that young children learn best through play,” said Dr. Nolana Nobles, director at Capital Area Community Services Head Start. “We are excited to expand our services to at-home learning through hands-on learning opportunities for the families of Head Start and Early Head Start in the Tri-County area.”
Kits will be assembled and delivered every other month, beginning in January. There are six unique themes for each month. The theme for the January and February kits will be children’s oral health in celebration of National Children’s Dental Health Month, and math. The theme for the March and April kits will be plant science, recycling and Earth Day, with future kits following thematic suit.
"Hands-on learning is a compelling way to introduce young children to STEM concepts, engage their critical thinking skills, and even empower them to make healthy choices," said Holli Seabury, executive director of the Delta Dental Foundation. “The Delta Dental Foundation is excited to be a part of the team helping Michigan children experience Impression 5 in their own homes."
Impression 5 Science Center was awarded a grant of over $100,000 to provide the STEM education kits.
“Because of the loss of hands-on and interactive learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students aren’t receiving the STEM education they need to be successful,” Larson said. “Kids can learn from home in a fun way with our STEM kits.”
To learn more about Impression 5 Science Center visit https://impression5.org.
Impression 5 Science Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that offers a dynamic, interactive space for families to play, create and challenge their understanding of science together. The purpose of Impression 5 is to encourage exploration of the world and make meaningful connections to science using all five senses.
The Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) is a nonprofit, charitable organization established in 1980, which serves as the philanthropic arm of Delta Dental of Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina. DDF is dedicated to developing and enhancing partnerships and programs to improve oral and overall health and health equity.
The Dart Foundation is a private family foundation established by Dart Container Corporation founder William A. Dart and his wife, Claire T. Dart. The foundation supports projects that enhance education, especially in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math, and those that improve the quality of life in specific communities.