STEAM Residency

Kidzeum STEAM Residency Program for all District 186 Second Graders

In partnership with District 186

WHAT: Five-day immersive STEM/STEAM program for all elementary school students in grade 2 spread over the school year

WHERE: Kidzeum of Health and Science

WHY: Strengthen the elementary school science curriculum, enhance learning outcomes, and inspire students to consider careers in STEM fields while leveraging an underutilized community asset

WHEN: Each school year. Cohorts of 2nd graders from each elementary school will be bused from their home school for seven days, Monday – Friday during normal school hours with an after school add-on option.



Teachers in elementary school are stretched thin to cover math and reading concepts during the school day. Many struggle to find time for science and social studies. Kidzeum and District 186 are creating an immersive STEM/STEAM program that is project-based and cross-curricular, combining math, literacy, science, social studies and arts in one comprehensive program. Teachers will partner with Kidzeum educators to deliver the content in a museum setting, offering new opportunities to engage a variety of learners in a dynamic way. 

The project is influenced by existing museum-school partnerships in the U.S. and the U.K. and leverages an underutilized educational asset in Springfield to deliver experiential science and social studies content through robotics, coding, GIS, health sciences, earth sciences, exhibit design, and more. The program is designed to address District 186’s desire to enhance elementary school science curriculum and strengthen the STEM career pipeline.

Program Goals

  1. Address equity issues in education. Every second-grade class from all District 186 elementary schools will participate in this multi-week immersive program.  It is designed to provide a unique learning opportunity for all students in the district in the selected grades, with no barriers to participation.
  2. Strengthen the STEM career pipeline. The future is in STEM, and we do not currently have enough talent to fill the need, particularly women. This program will engage students at a young age and help develop their confidence in and love for STEM.
  3. Provide opportunities for older students to help teach younger students. 
  4. Inspire lifelong learning.  The more we inspire young people to love to learn, the more successful and content they will be throughout their lives. Connecting learners with museums at a young age increases their use of museums as educational resources as adults. 

The Kidzeum STEAM Residency Program is generously supported by:

  • Lisa Stone
  • The Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln
  • Memorial Health Systems
  • The Ademas Foundation
  • Kappa Delta Foundation
  • Brian Dickerson, BLH Computers

If you'd like to donate funds to the STEAM Residency program, tap the button below and leave a note in the comments section stating where you would like to allocate your funds. We appreciate your support!

Tag your photos & videos with #kidzeum and share your Kidzeum experiences with our online community!

Newsletter Sign Up
KIDZEUM OF HEALTH AND SCIENCE 412 E. Adams St, Springfield, Illinois 62701