GFF Grantee Kohl Children’s Museum recently debuted its newest access and inclusion program, the Mobile Learning Lab. The converted Sprinter van allows the museum to bring specialized programming to children in northern Lake County who might not be able to visit the museum’s primary Glenview campus.
“The mobile lab plays a large role in fulfilling our commitment to ensuring that every child has access to high-quality learning experiences right in their communities,” said Mike Delfini, the museum’s president and CEO.
This summer, the lab has been visiting schools, parks, libraries, and other facilities in Zion, Waukegan, Round Lake, and North Chicago, targeting locations where statistics show children more at risk of academic failure due to lack of resources.
Activities — all provided for free — vary each week to encourage repeat visitation. Giant blue Imagination Playground building blocks and snap circuits stimulate engineering learning, while science concepts are introduced through insect observations and experiments with transparent, translucent, and opaque materials.
The Mobile Learning Lab grew out of the museum’s well-received Pop-Up Museum concept, which debuted in 2018 and transformed unused storefronts and public conference rooms into short-term museum experiences. Over the last three years, six pop-ups have welcomed thousands of visitors at no charge.
“While we loved providing the Pop-Up, the Mobile Lab gives us more flexibility than anchoring in one space for two months at a time,” said Stephanie Bynum, vice president of programs.
“We can now be much more integrated into smaller spaces that our community partners already have and that their audiences know and trust.
“The museum has the know-how of sparking education, and with the support of like-minded supporters like Wintrust, we now have the means of providing that access to high-quality education programs,” Bynum said. “We want every child to feel included in the right to learn.”
For more information about the Mobile Learning Lab, visit www.kcmgc.org/outreach-programs/mobile-learning-lab.Kohl Children’s Museum