A team of eager third and fourth graders from Van Ness Elementary in southeast Washington, D.C., recently joined KID Museum Maker Educators and volunteers from Georgetown University’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center for hands-on experiences with robotics, programming, biology, and engineering. The field trip to KID Museum was sponsored by the Georgetown Lombardi Young Scholars Program as part of the cancer center’s ongoing community enrichment activities.
Motivated by the importance of inspiring the next generation of scientists and health care workers, Georgetown Lombardi faculty and staff volunteered their time to connect with the students and spark interest in the sciences, and the career possibilities in medicine. The KID Museum program design team developed innovative maker learning content, creating hands-on activities to tackle science-based challenges with support from Georgetown volunteers.
“We partnered with KID Museum to develop a daylong curriculum concept that focused on cancer biology and prevention,” said Kenneth Tercyak, PhD, co-leader of Georgetown Lombardi’s Cancer Prevention and Control Program and professor of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown University School of Medicine. “Working together, the KID Museum staff beautifully integrated their curriculum and professional development expertise with our desire to bring these subjects to life for the students.”
“The team at KID Museum are so skilled at building hands-on maker learning experiences for children that are fun and meaningful,” Rebecca B. Riggins, PhD, associate professor and associate director of education and training at Georgetown Lombardi said. “We were able to integrate cancer prevention, risk reduction and cancer biology concepts into an innovative and approachable way for the students to learn. Their obvious excitement and creative solutions were incredibly rewarding for all of us to see.”
“The combination of our curriculum and education expertise together with the health sciences knowledge of Georgetown’s Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center team is the exact kind of partnership that makes our KID Museum programs meaningful for students and teachers,” said Cara Lesser, KID Museum CEO. “Through initiatives like this, youth from populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM fields learn new skills and build confidence to advance their future educational and career opportunities. Our goal is to build on successful partnerships and programs like this to ensure even more students have access to this powerful type of learning and future-building.”