The Fire Museum of Maryland is thrilled to announce it has received a generous grant of $20,000 from the Motorola Solutions Foundation to fund Free STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs as part of our Full STEM Ahead initiative. The three parts of this initiative will provide 800 Baltimore area students with completely free STEM programming.
In 2015, we unveiled our first STEM program, the Electricity Lab. Using the museum’s popular Fire Alarm Office as a jumping off point, the Electricity Lab teaches children about circuits and how telegraphs used that technology for communication. In 2013, a $5,000 grant from Motorola Solutions Foundation helped the museum expand the Fire Alarm Office. Today it tells the story of over 160 years of fire alarm telegraph technology from 1852 to today (check out this blog post to read about the Alarm Office's most recent addition).
With their most recent gift, Motorola has electrified the Fire Museum’s STEM programming. The Electricity Lab is now free for groups and we are developing a second, Chemistry Lab. Each of these programs focuses on individuals who used STEM to address a problem in the fire service. John Gamewell made improved the fire alarm telegraph, which used electricity to revolutionize emergency communications. Charles Holloway invented the chemical fire extinguisher, which used a chemical reaction so water could be sprayed quickly. With these examples, STEM Labs will inspire students to think creatively and challenge them to use science to solve problems.
The second aspect of Full STEM Ahead is the Summer STEM Club, which will meet every Wednesday at 11 am in July and August. Grant funds were used to purchase supplies from Camp Invention, which was created by the National Inventors Hall of Fame to inspire children towards innovation through science programs. This program began on July 6th and has had students make hour glasses, inflate balloons with chemical reactions, make a mess, and have fun. Summer STEM Club is free to visitors of the museum and appropriate for children grades K-3. To help inner city students join in on the fun, the museum is offering MTA bus passes.
The third and final part of Full STEM Ahead will be the museum hosting two events as part of the Maryland STEM Festival. Last year the museum hosted an event for the first annual, statewide STEM Festival. We are excited to expand our participation in such a far reaching event.
Interested in a free STEM program for your child or group? Give us a call at 410-321-7500 x102