In 1995, the Science Explorers Program was the recipient of a start-up grant under the YouthAlive! Project, a national initiative, funded by the Dewitt Wallace Readers Digest Fund in partnership with the Association of Science-Technology Center (ASTC). The initiative called for the development of programs in museums that could provide positive work and learning opportunities for young people. The Newark Museum, in keeping with its long history of actively addressing the needs of its community, designed the Science Explorers Program to cultivate community-minded and active citizens, create scientifically and artistically literate students, and instill 21st Century job skills in students.
Through the years, the Explorers Program has evolved into a successful college and job preparedness program that provides invaluable education, employment, and mentoring opportunities to urban youth. Partnerships with some of the area's finest art, academic, and scientific institutions provide challenging educational experiences for our students. Working both independently and with their peers, students develop and refine problem solving, teamwork, and leadership skills. Every year 30-40 high school students engage with the unique collections, resources and staff of the Newark Museum. In the process Explorers learn about their passions and strengths, and discover new skills as public speakers, teachers, researchers and leaders. The three-year curriculum includes research projects, museum-based internships, field trips and workshops on an array of life-skills from etiquette in the Ballantine House, public speaking, activities that focus on STEAM-d (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts Mathematics, and Design) learning topics to financial literacy and college planning.
Since its inception in 1995, more than 260 students have graduated from the Explorers Program. Over the past 10 years, 100% of students graduating from the program attended institutions of higher education. The Newark Museum is a place where Explorers find new mentors and make lifelong friends.
Major funding provided by:
With additional generous support from Victoria Foundation; Prudential Foundation; The New York Community Trust, Wattles Family Charitable Fund; The Provident Bank Foundation; AT&T Foundation; United Airlines; Laura J. Niles Foundation; Charles E. and Edna T. Brundage Charitable Scientific and Wild Life Conservation Foundation; The Eleanor Upton Charitable Foundation; Aviation Development Council and Rochelle and Ronald Karp