2018 - 2019


Our kids will be seeking jobs that don’t yet exist. That’s why it’s not enough to just impart knowledge — we have to teach them how to think, how to adapt, and how to approach the unknown with creativity and confidence.

This past year, we expanded our hands-on, maker-based learning programs in order to do just that. Our partnerships with Montgomery County Public Schools and others have enabled us to reach thousands more children, in particular those traditionally underrepresented in STEM.

Our impact is evident in our numbers: in the thousands of middle schoolers who rose to meet the Invent the Future Challenge, the hundreds of low-income third graders from our pilot Elementary Invention Studio program, the many teachers who deepened their skills in our professional development workshops — and in the results of the Harvard PEAR Institute study that measured the impact of our work, finding that our students make significant gains in essential skills for the future.

But our impact is also evident in the people, in the many teachers, parents, high school apprentices, maker educators, and especially, kids who come through KID Museum’s experiential learning space. In this report, you’ll meet some of these special people — each with her own story to tell, and each a changemaker in her own right.

This is how we have impact: by empowering change and growth for the individuals we serve, and for our community. We are deeply grateful to our partners, donors, and others whose support enables us to achieve our vision of ensuring that our kids are ready to meet — and invent — the future.



people served each year


students served


percent of students from high-needs schools


high school apprentices


schools served


teachers served in professional development

2018-19 school year.

Director of Education Strategy & Planning for KID Museum

“Our goal with the Invention Studio Program is not to churn out engineers. Instead, it’s to build kids’ confidence to ask questions and learn new things. We want them to recognize their ability to learn a variety of skills and have the agency to pursue whatever it is that they are passionate about.

These are big goals — with long-term outcomes. It’s important to build a culture of makers and a community of practice around this type of learning. And we’re getting there: our partnerships with schools and teachers are true collaborations. We’re working together to develop the best possible learning experience for our students.

We’ve been offering Invention Studio for six years, and we continue to refine and improve, based on feedback from students and teachers, to meet the outcomes we are hoping to achieve. We’ve created an environment where kids can take risks, make a bold choice, explore something new. These are the experiences that can translate to the rest of their lives.

Kids who go through this program become creative problem-solvers. They get to know that they are capable. They aren’t doing it to win a prize, but because they know the experience itself is exciting.”


KID Museum is transforming what learning looks like to prepare kids for success in a fast-changing world. We provide powerful learning experiences that can’t be found in any textbook or in most classrooms — combining hands-on, technical skills like coding and fabrication with “21st century” skills like perseverance, creative problem-solving, and collaboration.

We organize our work around three key goals:

Invent the Future Challenge participant, 7th grader at Earle B. Wood Middle School

“For the Invent the Future Challenge, we had to think about how our invention could impact the world. My team and I designed a “smart” fire detector to help with terrible fires like the ones in California last year. We had to anticipate different problems we could have as we built it, and come up with solutions when we hit walls. I’ve had to advocate for my ideas. I’ve had to learn to work with my teammates. When I speak now, I know what points I have to hit.

At school, it’s a structured curriculum. At KID Museum, it’s like Choose Your Own Adventure. You get to decide what interests you. And from there on, you use your creativity. It’s fun!”


KID Museum is helping to set the agenda around what our kids need to thrive in the future. We’re creating opportunities for dialogue and idea-sharing among parents, educators, students, local business leaders, and the broader community through a series of programs and events. This past year, we brought together community leaders and local changemakers at the Invent the Future Challenge Summit, FutureFest, and our Community Conversation series.

Dr. Shanika Hope, Head of Content and Research at Amazon Web Services Educate, gives an inspirational keynote speech at the Invent the Future Challenge Summit.

Acclaimed author Daniel H. Pink moderates a panel of distinguished guests at this year’s Community Conversation.


KID Museum’s signature program, Invention Studio, is a multi-session, deep learning experience for elementary and middle school students. Through the process of designing and developing their own inventions, students learn key technical and 21st century skills, like creative problem-solving, perseverance, and collaboration. The program includes multiple skill-building sessions at KID Museum throughout the school year, professional development for teachers, and a culminating showcase event.


KID Museum’s Invention Studio program for middle schoolers is centered around the community-wide Invent the Future Challenge. Developed in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the Challenge invites teams of students to develop innovative solutions to real-world environmental problems.

663 students served during the 2018-19 school year


The Elementary Invention Studio Program introduces STEM and 21st century skills to students at a critical younger age. Piloted in the past year with two Title 1 MCPS schools, this program engages students in designing and building their own robots, combining the principles of robotics and coding with open-ended exploration and art.

192 students served during the 2018-19 school year


Multi-year assessments by the PEAR Institute at Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital show that students in the Middle School Invention Studio program are making big gains in areas like STEM interest, critical thinking, and perseverance.

STEM Teacher at Parkland Middle School

“Students get so much more out of two hours at KID Museum than they do in a whole quarter of trying to teach them one subject at school. This program has reinspired me as a teacher — and I’ve heard the same from other teachers. I’ve been able to incorporate more hands-on learning into the classroom. Now we stress “mind of a maker” skills (perseverance, collaboration, creative problem-solving), no matter what we are teaching. These are skills they can apply anywhere.

The kids who have been through the Invention Studio program are more open-minded at school. They trust that they can take risks in the classroom, because they took risks at KID. They’re willing to try to solve a problem for a lot longer than the kids who haven’t done the program. They’re persistent, they are good at working with each other and listening to each other’s ideas. They see themselves as problem-solvers.

If I had the power, I’d have every kid participate in this program.”


KID Museum’s deep partnerships with Montgomery County Public Schools and independent schools include co-designing curriculum, providing comprehensive professional development to teachers, and creating a platform for engaging students both in and outside of the classroom.

A. Mario Loiederman Middle School
Argyle Middle School
Barnesville School of Arts and Sciences
Benjamin Banneker Middle School
Briggs Chaney Middle School
Bullis School
Cabin John Middle School
Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School
Earle B.Wood Middle School
Eastern Middle School
Forest Oak Middle School
Francis Scott Key Middle School
Gaithersburg Middle School
Green Acres School
Herbert Hoover Middle School
Holmes Middle School
Holy Trinity School
Julius West Middle School
Kemp Mill Elementary School
Kingsview Middle School
Lakelands Park Middle School
Montgomery College
Montgomery County Public Schools
Montgomery Village Middle School
Neelsville Middle School
Newport Mill Middle School
North Bethesda Middle School
Parkland Middle School
Primary Day School
Redland Middle School
Robert Frost Middle School
Roberto W. Clemente Middle School
Rocky Hill Middle School
Rosa M. Parks Middle School
Saint James Children’s School
Sargent Shriver Elementary School
Shady Grove Middle School
Sheridan School
Sidwell Friends School
Silver Creek Middle School
Silver Spring International Middle School
Sligo Middle School
St. Anselm’s Abbey School
Takoma Park Middle School
The Harbor School
Thomas W. Pyle Middle School
Tilden Middle School
Washington Episcopal School
Washington International School
Westland Middle School
White Oak School
Whittle School & Studios
William H. Farquhar Middle School
Wyngate Elementary School

KID Museum High School Apprentice

“As a kid, I would build with cardboard and take apart remote controls. I was always very curious, but I wasn’t able to attend enrichment programs. I started in the Apprenticeship Program at KID Museum when I was a freshman in high school, and now I’ll be going to college on a full scholarship to study chemical engineering.

KID Museum is so important because it’s unlike anything else. I’ve loved having mentors. I’ve learned skills that I never would have had, like electronics and coding. I’ve made horses out of planks of wood and tables that could support my weight. I’ve also learned teaching strategies from them, and how to work with kids. I’ve learned patience, and understanding, and empathy for people… I’ve become a fuller person because of it.

KID Museum is everything. It’s like a home.”



Lerch, Early & Brewer

Cooper Construction

Long & Foster

Goldner LLC

Arnold & Porter

Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca


KID Museum

Formerly National Institutes of Health

Bethesda Fire Department

Ropes & Gray

McDermott Will & Emery

PDK International


Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Thanks to everyone who supported us this year!

2018 - 2019 CONTRIBUTORS

Learn more about KID Museum

Download a PDF of this report

KID Museum thanks Montgomery County and Montgomery County Public Libraries, as well as our members, staff, apprentices, volunteers, partners, donors, and our Board of Directors.

KID Museum is proud to be chosen by the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater D.C. as one of the best nonprofits in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

KID Museum | 6400 Democracy Blvd. Bethesda, MD. 20817
301-897-5437 | |