By JOE FISHER
Muskegon – The Muskegon Maritime Academy (MMA) K-5 naval academy will pick up steam quickly this school year when it invites the STEAM Museum to campus.
MMA will be hosting Mobile Ed Productions’ STEAM Museum on Wednesday, September 28. The museum is an interactive and entertaining learning experience that gives students a closer look into several fields.
The STEAM Museum, a mobile children’s museum featuring activities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics is a beefed-up version of Mobile Ed’s STEM Museum. The latest iteration encourages divergent thinkers to approach the various workstations from a new angle.
Franklin A. Fudail, the founder of the academy, said the STEAM Museum fits perfectly with the curriculum he and the rest of the faculty have designed.
“When I worked on the STEM curriculum with my team, I emphasized that our program must be hands-on, engaging, and fun,” Fudail said. “There is no reason learning and fun can’t be combined.”
The museum is described as an alternative to field trips. Instead, the field trip comes to the students in the form of portable stations. All that is needed is a 2,500 square-foot space, such as a gymnasium or multi-purpose room, and a few adult volunteers.
From there, the students are led through the workstations by a Mobile Ed presenter and team of volunteers. The structure of the activities is flexible though. If a student finds something of particular interest, they may spend more time at that station than another.
The stations include technology not available in your average classroom. These range from programming a robot to 3D printing.
By the end of the program, students will have learned about several subjects related to STEM fields, including manufacturing, geometry, gravity, friction, robotics and energy.
The STEAM Museum promises something for students of every grade at MMA.
“Mobile Ed Production is looking forward to visiting Muskegon Maritime Academy,” said Ken Jacobs, regional program manager for Mobile Ed. “After 45 years of delivering Educational Assemblies through entertainment we are very proud of being involved in the opening of this new school.
Mobile Ed Productions began leading school assemblies in 1979. The company has more than 40 educational programs which appear in schools throughout the United States. The excitement of hands-on learning at MMA will not end with the STEAM Museum, which will last about 40 minutes.
“We intend to engage our young students with hands-on learning throughout the year,” Fudail said. “Our goal is to create an environment where kids are eager to come to school. When they go home, we want them to tell their parents with enthusiasm what they learned at school that day”.
The fixture of STEM education will be on full display again in November. The Michigan Science Center will host a STEM Festival at Muskegon Maritime Academy on Nov. 10. The festival will include more interactive activities for students, along with science workshops and group presentations.
To enroll your child at Muskegon Maritime Academy visit www.MuskegonmaritimeAcademy.org.