AT&T Launches STEM Enrichment Program at Explore & More

This past Tuesday, October 22nd, Explore & More was abuzz with STEM-related activities, thanks to the launch of an exciting new partnership with AT&T.

A volunteer shows how some farmers actually farm the wind in our Farm to Fork exhibit.

The AT&T and Explore & More STEM Enrichment Program plans to bring hands-on experiences in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to up to 1,500 Buffalo area students. Participating students will visit the museum at no cost, and are given “passports” to move their way through hands-on activity stations across the museum.

At the program’s Tuesday launch, over 300 Buffalo Public School students learned firsthand how Buffalo played a key role in launching the Apollo rocket to the moon, programmed robots with code, and learned how to use wind to generate electricity.

In addition to school visits, select high school students will be trained as STEM Youth Educators by museum staff. These student leaders will serve as AT&T and Explore & More STEM Enrichment Program expert leaders and will receive a scholarship award at the conclusion of their involvement.

Buffalo Deputy Mayor Ellen Grant, Senator Tim Kennedy, AT&T Director of External Affairs Kevin Hanna and Explore & More CEO Michelle Urbanczyk announce new initiative to bring hands-on STEM based activities to Buffalo Public School children through the AT&T and Explore & More STEM Enrichment Program.

“It is an honor to work with Explore & More to develop this innovative STEM education program which will help young Buffalo students develop skills that will prepare them for success inside and outside the classroom in a wonderful learning and fun environment,” said Amy Kramer, President, New York State, AT&T.

“We’re so grateful to AT&T for their partnership as we work together to bring STEM concepts to life for area students,” said Explore & More CEO Michelle Urbanczyk. “Play encourages people of all ages to use their creativity and imagination to look at things in a whole new way, supercharging learning and sparking interests that open up whole new possibilities to explore.”

National Grid STEM Saturdays

This past weekend, Explore & More and National Grid teamed up to launch STEM Saturdays – an exciting new initiative to bring fun and engaging Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math based activities to power the play across the museum third Saturday of each month.

These monthly STEM Saturdays will include hands-on STEM based kids activities throughout the museum and in all three studios, including our Art Studio, Cooking Galley, and Tinkering Tank.    

Explore & More CEO Michelle Urbanczyk with National Grid regional director Ken Kujawa.

“We have long supported initiatives that introduce kids to fun STEM-related activities,” said National Grid regional director Ken Kujawa. “National Grid and our customers will always need people who are skilled in science, technology, engineering and math. By supporting STEM, and programs like those offered by Explore & More, we’re building an educated workforce that can benefit many in a variety of areas that support our business, our customers and our communities.”


“We are so thrilled to partner with National Grid as they bring a full day of STEM-based play opportunities to Explore & More,” said Explore & More CEO Michelle Urbanczyk. “Children learn best through play, and with STEM based play, a child uses their imagination and curiosity to experiment their way through problems and find solutions. This sort of play can light a passion for the STEM field that a child can carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

Boy using hand crank to generate electricity
Visitor powers Explore & More’s “Lighting Buffalo’s Imagination” exhibit.

To kick-off the inaugural STEM Saturday, elementary principals and teachers (K-4) were invited to come in for a free continental breakfast and full tour of the new museum, compliments of National Grid.

Join in the fun – the next STEM Saturdays are from 9:00 – 5:00 on Saturday, November 16th & Saturday, December 21st.

Future Exhibit Takes Root at Explore & More

At Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum, we know that play is crucial for human development, the growth of social skills, and a child’s self-confidence. When children are playing they are able to further develop language, symbolic thinking, social skills, and motor skills. The positive effects of play can be seen in all children, so it is important that play structures accommodate children of all abilities and developmental levels.

This is why we’re excited to announce our new Person Centered Services Community Treehouse – it will allow all children, regardless of their needs, to engage and play. Sponsored by Buffalo-based Person Centered Services, which manages care for about 17,000 people, the Community Treehouse will be the first indoor play area of its kind in our area.

The breathtaking design will immerse visitors into an intricately detailed WNY woodland with ADA compliant access points, including the wheelchair lift used to bring visitors with accessibility needs into the interior structure – design elements meant to ensure that no visitor feels segregated due to physical mobility constraints. All Museum visitors will be welcomed and able to use the Community Treehouse. 

“The Treehouse will be an opportunity for everyone to play, to learn, and to grow,” said Bridget Bartolone, CEO of Person Centered Services. “Our goal with the Treehouse is to provide memorable, immersive learning experiences for all. It will provoke imagination, introduce unknown worlds and subject matter, and offer a unique environment for quality time with family and friends.”

Michelle Urbanczyk, CEO of Explore & More, said Person Centered Services’ mission lines up closely with the museum’s efforts around the exhibit and made them perfect partners.

“Person Centered Services’ employees link and connect people with disabilities to the services and activities they need and want to live a fulfilling life,” said Urbanczyk. “This, of course, includes socialization, play and learning – which definitely supports the objectives we set out to reach with the Treehouse. The exhibit will be up for a period of time, then be passed on to another location for children to enjoy for years to come. We are determined to play it forward, making it so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful exhibit!”

The Person Centered Services Community Treehouse, designed by Buffalo Treehouse, LLC, will be built inside Explore & More on the fourth floor. It is expected to open to the public in early 2020. 

Classes to Explore this Week (July 27th-August 2nd)

Saturday

Buffalo Launches to the Moon! 

July 27, 2019 @ 10:30 pm – 11:30 pm

$7

Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon Landing, and how Buffalo helped launch astronauts safely to and from the Moon. We will be building and experimenting with different types of straw rockets in our 3rd floor Tinkering Tank!

This class is recommended for children ages 6-12.

Wednesday

Kinder-Ready

July 31, 2019 @ 9:30 am – 11:30 am

$10

A “Super-Fun” readiness program designed for children entering Kindergarten this Fall. Age-appropriate activities touching on all developmental areas will be covered through exhibits, circle time, learning centers, stories, and crafts. Parents / Caregivers will engage with their children and come away with ideas and suggestions for carryover at home. Come join us on this weekly adventure of play and learning as we get ready for Kindergarten.

Thursday

“Drawing Without Paper” Mobile Workshop 

Aug 1 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

$7

August 1st marks the 107th birthday of Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), a German-born artist who spent most of her career in Venezuela. To celebrate her practice of “drawing without paper,” we’ll construct our own colorful mobiles out of wire and other artistic materials and play with the shadows they cast as they move against light.  Recommended for ages  5-12. Note: We will be using craft wire, as well as pliers and scissors.

Friday

Music with Mel’s School of Music and Theatre

Aug 2 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

$7

Join Mel’s School of Music and Theatre in an hour-long music class the first Friday of every month. The class will introduce students to vocal and body warm up, rhythm, pitch matching and different genres of music. Participants will sing and play along with some of our favorite songs! Located in our 4th floor Art Studio.

Please note: Class fee covers the cost of one participating child. Museum admission and/or membership are required for entry.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.  Siblings cannot attend, unless the sibling is a paying participant. All classes are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Classes to Explore this Week (July 20th- July 26th)

Saturday July 20, 2019

lollipops lollipops!

@ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm

$10

Don’t be a sucker! Come make your own lollipops* for National Lollipop Day, experimenting with many different colors, flavors, and ingredients in our 4th floor Cooking Galley!

* Lollipops will contain a range of ingredients, mostly honey and chocolate. No nuts or gluten anticipated!

Recommended Age Range: 4-10

Sunday July 21, 2019

buffalo launches to the moon!

@ 10:30 am – 11:30 am

$7

Come celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Moon Landing, and how Buffalo helped launch astronauts safely to and from the Moon. We will be building and experimenting with different types of straw rockets in our 3rd floor Tinkering Tank!

This class is recommended for children 6-12 years.

Monday July 22, 2019

“cook the books” (series): roti

@ 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm

$12

Taste and experiment with different Indian spices* in this hands-on cooking workshop in the 4th floor Cooking Galley! Together, we’ll read the children’s book Hot Hot Roti for Dada-Ji by F. Zia and learn to make our very own roti and mango lassi.

*Ingredients will include wheat flour, yogurt, mango, milk, and various spices.

Recommended Age Range: 3-10

Please note: Class fee covers the cost of one participating child. Museum admission and/or membership are required for entry.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.  Siblings cannot attend, unless the sibling is a paying participant. All classes are non-refundable and non-transferable.