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Scott Family Amazeum gets kids excited about STEAM through hands on learning

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21 November, 2019 By Hannah Ash

Prepare to be truly amazed as you explore fifty thousand square feet of educational fun at the Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville. The Scott Family Amazeum opened in 2015 and has been putting knowledge in kids’ heads and smiles on their faces ever since. This museum is not one of those places with a “look but don’t touch” policy; at the Amazeum, hands-on interactive learning is not only allowed, but it is also absolutely encouraged.

This family-friendly attraction has activities for kids of all ages, and they are all geared towards engaging kids in learning about STEAM. STEAM stands for sciences, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics. These subjects are easy to come across as dry and mundane in a traditional classroom setting, but the Amazeum strives to spark kids’ interest in STEAM programs while they are young to foster a lifelong love of learning.

The Scott Family Amazeum proudly partners with the Walmart Foundation to cover the cost of field trips for students in the Washington and Benton County school districts, which brings access to hands-on STEAM learning to students all across Northwest Arkansas. Kindergarten teacher Tiffany Cromwell of Springdale’s Lee Elementary recently went on a field trip to the Amazeum with her class. “The students absolutely loved every part of the Amazeum,” said Cromwell, “students’ faces light up as soon as we pull up to the place. Once we’re inside, they are overwhelmed with excitement and eager to explore!”

At the Amazeum, there is plenty to explore! Whether it's building a new piece of tech in the 3M Tinkering Hub or creating a masterpiece in the glass-walled Art Studio, every kiddo can find a creative outlet here at the Amazeum. “The Nature Valley Water Amazements was probably their favorite,” said Cromwell, “but of course what kid doesn’t love to play in the water and get all wet!?” Some other class favorites were the General Mills Lift, Load & Haul and the Market by Walmart.

“The students definitely have a passion for learning, especially hands-on,” says Cromwell. The Amazeum works to help teachers incorporate hands-on STEAM activities into the classroom to get kids excited about learning some of the most difficult and traditionally dry subjects. “I don’t know that they fully understand all of the components of STEAM, but when we go back and talk about it in class, it’s like light bulbs going off! When we talk about push and pull they realize they were doing that in the Load & Haul.”

During field trips, the Amazeum gets kids excited to learn but after hours, the Amazeum hosts professional development workshops available for teachers to help get them excited to teach STEAM subjects and to incorporate tinkering activities in the classroom. For kids who just can’t get enough of the Amazeum, they also offer camps and other programs during school breaks, so that kids can engage in STEAM education all year round.

“They gained a hands-on learning experience outside of the classroom that they will never forget,” said Cromwell. With over a dozen exhibits and amusements, each geared towards different skills and age groups, there is so much learning to be done at the Amazeum. Every age group, including adults with the heart of a child, will have a fun time interacting with Amazeum exhibits, and they might just learn something too.

“There is so much climbing in the canopy and on the outside playground, they love the opportunity to go higher and higher in a safe environment,” said Cromwell. “I think that gives students the confidence to keep going and achieve their goals. Perhaps they think, ‘If I can get to the top of the canopy, what else can I do?’” This is exactly the type of inquisitive mindset the Amazeum strives to inspire in its guests.

Since the Scott Family Amazeum is so close in proximity to the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, it makes for the perfect daytime outing for the whole family. For the adults without kiddos who want a chance to explore the Amazeum, they even offer Adult Nights for those with the heart of a child and a yearning for learning.


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