The mission of DuPage Children's Museum (DCM) is to stimulate curiosity, creativity, thinking, and problem solving in children. DCM works to accomplish this through the integration of arts, science, and math; open-ended experiences; and child-adult learning.
For more than 15 years, DCM has offered timeless teaching programs to children in grades 1 through 4 in the form of Learning Labs. Eight Learning Labs can be used at the museum or can travel to schools in adjacent counties. The labs support state curriculum standards and reach more than 25,000 students a year. In 2009, 140 schools participated in Learning Lab programs through DCM of Naperville, Illinois.
As part of the Learning Labs, the "Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys" program allows children to explore the impact of friction and discover the mechanics of simple machines utilizing hands-on interactive exhibits. They engage in active experiences concerning ways these items make our work easier.
Each year 175 to 200 "Wheels, Levers, and Pulleys" program sessions are held at schools. "This is definitely our most popular program, which tells me it really fits a curriculum need," stated Chris Barry, school program manager for DCM.