On The Road With Our Outreach Department

Posted by Madison Christenson on Friday, April 14, 2023

8,020.4 miles will be traveled this summer for the Outreach Department to bring science on the road to communities across Iowa. 

North, South, East, or West, if you’re in Iowa it’s never too far to have science programming that the Grout Museum offers, brought locally to you. 

From explosions to frozen roses, the outreach team has it covered to make science fun for all ages! It’s not just libraries and daycares that our outreach staff trek off too, but local festivals too. 

With plans to attend the best and most fun festivals and events the Cedar Valley has to offer the community this summer, our outreach department is there to have some hands-on fun ranging from spin art to racetracks. 

Our summer is jammed packed with just over 60 libraries we are headed off to, but you may be asking yourself, what is our outreach department working on when it’s not summertime?

Just like we’d say during one of our science demonstrations, “That’s a great question!”! 

As spring has finally graced us here in Iowa our outreach team has hit the road to STEM Festivals all around the state. To name a few the team was in admittance to the Cedar Valley STEM Festival on March 21st, held for the first time at the University of Northern Iowa dome. 

The department will be packing up the Imaginarium Mobile this Thursday to head to the Dubuque STEM Festival to bring some fun activities for a night chock full of science! 

While the outreach department works with a lot of kids in a lot of communities, we always have time for some educational opportunities with adults as well. 

On April 1st this year our partner Silos and Smokestacks launched the first year of their new event, the Iowa Eats Food Festival. With a turnout of around 1000 visitors, the Grout Museum was able to bring some history with some yummy treats. We loved getting to talk about one of the Cedar Valleys oldest industries, milling, while making some classic “Johnny Cakes”!

During the fall and winter the team stays busy working with our partners at the YWCA to bring STEAM activities and demonstrations to the after-school group WIZE Girls, and our other partner the Boys and Girls Club of the Cedar Valley.  

With the release our newest exhibit The Toybox: Generations of Play, the department was able to have both our partners bring groups to experience this fun new exhibit in person. 

During the trip to the Grout both groups had a private tour of the exhibit with a little bit of explore time afterwards, before finishing up the day with some team building activities! 

Career Fairs are also on the agenda each year as students in the Cedar Valley consider their options and goals for life after high school. With working with other nonprofits like Junior Achievement this past fall the department has been able to talk to local teens about what it’s like to work in a museum and in education. 

With a school year full of fairs and assemblies, the department has a little more time to schedule and book each location we head to during our busy summer seasons and prepare for new programming the department can offer the following year. While we know that 2023 is going to be a busy year, we can ensure with 2024 will follow suit. 

With some fun secrets on wraps currently in the works for our Bluedorn Science Imaginarium next summer, the outreach department will also be offering a fun new program to align with some giant new fun, that’s on the way! 

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