Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine and IDEXX partner to enhance STEM education in Maine
The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine is thrilled to announce a $500,000 leadership commitment from IDEXX to create The IDEXX STEM Learning Hub in the new Museum & Theatre on Thompson’s Point, scheduled to open in 2020. This creative collaboration is designed to enhance opportunities for experiential STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning for Maine kids and families.
The third floor of the Museum & Theatre’s new facility will be entirely devoted to science, featuring innovative exhibits where children will explore concepts such as physics, biology and environmental stewardship. The IDEXX STEM Learning Hub is a large workshop which will be adjacent to an interactive aquarium exhibit, offering specialized programming and designed for a wide range of ages including children, teens and adults. Students will learn from and engage with experts, including IDEXX scientists, in the fields of biology, chemistry, aquaculture, and veterinary medicine. The space will host school groups from around the region, as well as community partners who will present special programs including pet adoption events, STEM career days, service dog programs and more.
“IDEXX is pleased to partner with the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine on the expansion of this community devoted to children's development and learning,” said Pete Dewitt, Associate Director of Talent Marketing and Communications. “The new IDEXX STEM Learning Hub will be our specific way of contributing to greater awareness for STEM learning, and will help foster and keep the talent we need in Maine. We were inspired by the bold vision of the new Museum & Theatre on Thompson’s Point, and are pleased to help bring this important resource to Maine children and families – and beyond.” Westbrook-based IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. is a global market leader in diagnostics and information technology solutions for animal health and water and milk quality.
Suzanne Olson, recently retired Executive Director of the Museum & Theatre, expressed her gratitude for IDEXX’s visionary leadership: “Partnership with IDEXX, an exemplary leader in its field and in the corporate community, will ensure quality STEM Education for future generations of Maine children. We hope that other corporations will similarly embrace this important opportunity to support Maine children and families.”
The new Museum & Theatre is expected to double the visitor count to over 200,000 individuals per year and will offer more children and families from across Maine access to learning through play opportunities, helping to develop critical resiliency skills in children. In addition to state of the art science exhibits and a specially designed 100-seat theatre, the new facility will drastically increase outreach to underserved communities across the region.
The Museum & Theatre’s mission focuses on learning and discovery through play and prioritizes science learning, community engagement, performing and visual arts, and early childhood education. With hundreds of educational programs, almost one hundred years of children’s theatre history and nearly fifty years as a children’s museum, it is considered one of the top children’s museums in the country.