Providence Children’s Museum Receives Funding from Verizon and NYC Media Lab Museum Initiative
Providence, RI – Providence Children’s Museum (PCM) is one of nine nationwide winners of the $1M Museum Initiative, a nationwide open call for museums and cultural institutions to develop and offer new immersive educational content available to all educators on the Verizon Innovative Learning HQ portal (verizon.com/learning).
Created in partnership with Verizon and NYC Media Lab, the $1M Museum Initiative aims to build on the 5G EdTech Challenge, launched in 2018, by connecting educators nationwide with museums, science centers, aquariums, and cultural institutions that showcase innovative edtech approaches that weave together physical and digital experiences.
“As one of nine institutions selected nationwide, PCM is able to bring its accessibility to life in a truly impactful way,” says Executive Director of PCM, Caroline Payson. “We’re thrilled to bring our experience in creating play based, standards-aligned lesson plans to educators and students across the country.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges to educational and cultural institutions across the country,” said Abran Maldonado, NYC Media Lab’s Associate Director for the 5G EdTech Challenge program. “Verizon and our academic partners realized that museums are an integral part of communities and present immense potential to deliver cutting-edge STEAM education opportunities through 5G AR/VR edtech applications. These funds will provide an infusion of capital and innovation to the communities nationwide.”
In this first iteration of the project, PCM will focus on its well-loved Water Ways exhibit, partnering with experts in immersive, cutting-edge tech to bring the exhibit to children who may never have stepped into the building. “These immersive technologies will augment how children play, explore and learn about the physics of water, from anywhere, anytime,” says Associate Director of Digital Exhibits at PCM, Byron Penney. “The technologies can provide educators with the ability to experiment with vapor, explain water pressure, and test flow through interactive simulations – adding a layer of complexity to the museum’s physical exhibit as well.”
The opportunity was introduced by local Verizon Community Engagement Director, Adriana Dawson, who said “PCM is a gem in our community. We knew this was a great opportunity to share PCM’s incredible learning assets with kids and educators around the country using the 5G network.”
“This is a tremendous opportunity to explore a variety of levels of our exhibits as well as expand our reach. We couldn’t be more honored to be included as one of the winners,” says Caroline Payson.
Verizon Innovative Learning HQ is a free and publicly available online education portal that brings next-gen learning to all. The site provides access to the latest in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) education materials including innovative learning apps developed by the winners of the 5G EdTech Challenge, standards-aligned lesson plans, and credentialed professional development for educators. There are hundreds of lesson plans and resources currently available on the education portal, all designed to increase student engagement and the resources allow for an innovative approach to learning. Educators can also access extensive training and resources through the education portal, The education portal enables educators to teach students in new and engaging ways and help to provide them with the skills they need to thrive in a digital-centric world.
Providence Children’s Museum serves children and adults of all backgrounds and from all communities. Its focus is on children, ages 1 to 11, and the adults who care for them by presenting hands-on, play-based exhibits and programs that explore arts, culture and science, technology, engineering, and math.
About the Museum Initiative
In partnership with Verizon, NYC Media Lab enters the next phase of the 5G EdTech Challenge program by launching the $1M Museum Initiative — a nationwide open call for museums and cultural institutions to develop and offer new educational content to all educators on the Verizon Innovative Learning HQ portal (verizon.com/learning). The Museum Initiative will allow organizations to reach new audiences by supporting the development of virtual, immersive experiences that can be blended into hybrid physical experiences and/or exhibits in their respective spaces. Learn more about the Museum Initiative via the NYC Media Lab website.