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News of Note
This is a selected listing of significant news releases, and does not include WonderLab's frequent releases about upcoming museum programs.
WonderLab Earns 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence
June 17, 2014
Bloomington, IN—The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology in Bloomington today announced that it has received a TripAdvisor® Certificate of Excellence award for the second year in a row. The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence provided by businesses worldwide, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor. WonderLab is currently listed as the second most popular Bloomington attraction after Indiana University on TripAdvisor.
Duke Energy Foundation donates $10,000 to WonderLab
March 10, 2014
Bloomington, IN—The Duke Energy Foundation has donated $10,000 to the WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology in Bloomington, Ind., for interactive science exhibits that will be introduced to the public during 2014.
This support will be combined with other contributions to allow children and their families to interact with a variety of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, disciplines.
In addition, the foundation’s gift includes sponsorship of WonderLab’s upcoming summer exhibition, Nano: Small Science, Big Fun, as well as a major new exhibit on big-headed ants, which opens this fall.
“We are tremendously grateful to Duke Energy for their vision and investment in such a wide variety of exhibit experiences,” said Catherine Olmer, WonderLab’s executive director.
“Duke Energy is a strong supporter of science, technology, education and math education initiatives,” said Bruce Calloway, Duke Energy government and community relations manager. “We are proud to promote education in south-central Indiana through this contribution. WonderLab is widely recognized for its regional impact in bringing the wonder and excitement of science to children.”
WonderLab, a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is an award-winning science museum located in the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD). WonderLab served more than 84,000 visitors in 2013, including 11,297 children on group and school field trips.
The Duke Energy Foundation makes charitable investments on behalf of Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States with 7.2 million customers in six states. Duke Energy Indiana’s operations provide about 7,500 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 800,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile service area, making it the state’s largest electric supplier. To learn more about the Duke Energy Foundation, visit www.duke-energy.com/community.
WonderLab Offers New WonderCamp Options With Verizon Foundation Support
February 28, 2014
Bloomington, IN—What excites your child? Is it dinosaurs, robots, building things, nature, television technology, planets and stars, rockets, earthquakes, animals, electricity, art? You’ll find all this and more at WonderCamp, the WonderLab Museum’s popular summer science day camp for elementary-age children!
WonderCamp's primary purpose is to give children fabulously fun experiences with the process of scientific inquiry, as well as basic science content, in an informal setting. This year, thanks to a generous $15,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, there will be a greater number of technology-focused camps using specialized equipment, new camps using multidisciplinary space science curricula from NASA, and visits from many professionals who reflect the diversity of people with exciting careers in science.
“We believe parents want a high quality summer experience for their children. We participate in the Indiana Quality Program Self-Assessment, a tool that enables youth programs to track and improve their performance based on Indiana Afterschool Standards,” said Karen Jepson-Innes, WonderLab’s associate director director.
All camps involve extensive hands-on activities. These typically are structured so that campers work together in small groups, rotate among science activity stations, or collaborate on special projects. Experienced teachers lead the camps with help from well-trained assistants chosen through WonderLab’s High School Summer Internship Program. The typical ratio is one staff person for every four to five campers. Parents receive daily information that is intended to stimulate discussion between campers and parents about the day's activities and learning.
“My son rarely talks about what he does in school, but he came home with so much to show and say about the projects,” said one parent about her child, who was enrolled in last summer’s WonderCamp.
WonderCamp takes place Monday through Friday at University Elementary School on the northeast side of Bloomington. On Friday, the final day of each weekly camp session, the camp’s location shifts to the award-winning WonderLab facility downtown. Parents may choose to enroll children in morning camps, afternoons camps, or the full day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Parents may sign up for a new extended childcare option offered from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and also from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Details about each camp, as well as the childcare options, are available online and in print at the museum’s welcome desk. Registration materials also are available online and in print. Full and partial scholarships are available for eligible low-income families.
WonderLab Science Museum Joins Statewide Access Pass Program
January 15, 2014
Bloomington, IN—The WonderLab Museum of Science, Health and Technology in Bloomington is pleased to announce a new partnership that makes extraordinary informal learning experiences more affordable to families in need throughout Indiana. WonderLab joins The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, the NCAA Hall of Champions, the Indiana Historical Society, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, and the Terre Haute Children's Museum in the Access Pass Program.
Created in 2004 by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, the Access Pass Program is a successful statewide initiative that provides eligible low-income Hoosier families with opportunities to visit participating organizations at the reduced rate of $1 per family member per visit. Indiana families with at least one member who is 18 years of age or older and who are part of the TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), food stamps, or Hoosier Healthwise Insurance are eligible to participate in the Access Pass Program.
“We started the Access Pass Program in Indianapolis and now are expanding it to ensure that all children and families throughout the state, regardless of income, are able to learn and grow together. We are very pleased to have WonderLab as our newest partner,” said Dr. Jeffrey H. Patchen, president and CEO, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
To enroll in or renew an existing Access Pass Program membership, qualifying families can visit any of the participating organizations with required documentation and a completed Access Pass application. They will be issued an Access Pass card, which is renewable annually and provides family members the reduced rate throughout the year. The Access Pass Program application form is available at the WonderLab welcome desk and also is available online as a pdf file to download. For detailed information, including a listing of required enrollment documents, follow the link on the museum's homepage, wonderlab.org, or visit childrensmuseum.org/access-pass.
WonderLab's participation in the Access Pass Program is made possible, in part, through the generosity of Dr. Jean Creek and Mrs. Doris Shoultz-Creek, and the Donna Lou Creek Endowed Fund, which is dedicated to making WonderLab accessible to low-income families. “Through philanthropic contributions, WonderLab has been able to offer an annual Dollar Day, half-price admission programs such First Friday Evening, and summer WonderCamp scholarships. We are incredibly excited that the Creek family has made it possible for WonderLab to offer the Access Pass Program, which allows us to offer hands-on science learning to a much wider audience of children and families," said Catherine Olmer, executive director of WonderLab.
WonderLab is located at 308 West Fourth Street in the Bloomington Entertainment and Arts District (BEAD). The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 am - 5:30 pm, and Sunday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm. WonderLab is open extended evening hours until 8:30 pm the first Friday of the month. For more information, visit wonderlab.org or call 812-337-1337 ext. 25. WonderLab also is on Facebook and Pinterest.