Considerable research demonstrates the value of museums and science centers for hands-on, informal, educational enrichment programs that can’t be recreated in classrooms. Today, they also represent a promising, new platform promoting critical thought, analysis, creativity, and tangible excitement about learning and teaching in the new century. White Oak Associates Museum Planners and Producers notes that “A new format for changing visitor experiences is now possible given advances in museum research and practice, new audience expectations including participation, and matured digital technologies. But the innovation should bravely create a new and distinctly different kind of changing museum experience—a new presentation format combining immersion and interactivity into a new platform for STEM learning, revenue generation, and museum vitality.”
Some museums are already moving in this direction, but The New England Auto Museum presents a unique opportunity to lead the way not just because of this kind of planning, and of course to preserve amazing autos, but to directly help fill the growing demand for talented workers in the STEM and related arts fields (STEAM). There are all kinds of possibilities for curriculum and enrichment.
The goal is to help break the more than100-year-old process of separating technical and academic subjects, and unite the silos of science and engineering via the Next Generation Science Standards and other programs. Students not only need to be able to succeed academically to get into these promising careers but to be motivated to do so. With an artificial separation they lack motivation, or the “growth mindset.” The walls between formal and informal learning professional fields are only beginning to crumble. There is too little transfer of practice, learning, and community. Martin Storksdieck, the director of the Board on Science Education at the National Academies, suggests that advocates still have a lot of work to do in convincing policymakers and the public that informal science <and engineering and technical> learning merits increased investment. With your support we can make this happen!
I bring 60 years of experience in the world of auto collecting, as my father was a collector. I serve as secretary of the Valley Collector Car Club that donates 92% of all proceeds to charities. We still have his primary pride and joy, this 1929 Packard Roadster 640, that won the Lou Biondi Award in 2014 at the Klingberg Family Centers annual car show, hosted by Wayne Carini and his dad. ( See F-40 Motorsports) At the Klingberg site you’ll see honorable mention of the Packard’s owner, the late Charles Walker. At Blurb you can download a free, 79-page Klingberg Auto Show Anniversary ebook with this auto on page 8 and at the end.
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