Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum creates a new learning environment for the community


AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) – The Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (PPHM) is opening a new STEAM Lab learning center.

STEAM stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.

The purpose of the lab is to provide an engaging and interactive learning environment for students of all levels and ages.

Stephanie Price, PPHM Marketing Director, is excited about the new space and hopes it will invite students from across the region.

“Our STEAM lab is going to be filled with kids from across the Texas Panhandle and beyond who will learn about these topics and how the museum can fit into their daily lives,” Price says.

The new Lab is one of three new spaces being renovated within the PPHM.

Over the past three years, PPHM has worked to better educate students in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math.

Heather Friemel, Director of Finance and Business, helped bring the STEAM Lab to life.

“Three years ago when we first started talking about the STEAM Lab, we really needed a place where kids can get dirty and interact with things and when you walk through a gallery which can be hard to do , in order to meet the needs of the community and what we saw that children needed to do to have a truly holistic learning experience, we decided that we needed to set up a space that allows them to immerse themselves in a learning experience. ‘fun interactive learning’,” says Friemel.

“The museum is not just a place full of things, it’s a way to have an impact on our community, we want to be a community gathering space where children see an object and can go and create this object themselves. themselves or learn how things worked in the past and up to now, and they can chart the future; it’s a way for us to bridge the gap between the past and the future through this generation of children who will change our community,” says Price.

The STEAM Lab will be open for school bookings until May 2022, and in the summer it will be open for public days where the community can experiment with different experiences and lessons.

Price said: “Right now we’re focused on bringing our schools on board and we want to see them and we’re excited to have them a part of that and then in the summer we look forward to welcoming the public. ”

The lab will also serve as a space to prepare local schools for TEK Education Standards.

Future TEKS with projects include:

  • Roller coaster design – (Force, motion and energy: 5.6D, 3.6B)
  • Plant Water Filtration Experiments – (Organisms and Environments: 3.9A, 3.10C)
  • Heating and Cooling Experiments – (Matter and Energy: 1.5B)

The PPHM believes that this will allow students to achieve their learning goals while having fun.

Friemel says his favorite part of the lab is yet to come: “It’s the kids who come in here, interact and learn with our educators, have fun, see a windmill, come here, build it and see the mechanics and the engineering behind some of these concepts, I think will be the most exciting part.

The PPHM partnered with West Texas A&M University for the construction of the laboratory.

“We are very grateful to West Texas A&M, we had one of their senior engineering classes design the ducts in the lab, I think this space will be a WT catalyst and it will be a great way for the kids to get an introduction here and want to go to college,” says Price.

PPHM is excited about the future of STEAM Lab and all that it will encompass.

“We’re really excited to be part of the Texas Panhandle youth education,” Price said.

“What we can give back to the community through this space is the best part, I think we’re trying to meet the needs of our children, the community and the future – this space helps us do that and anyway we can give back, we fulfill our mission and I think that’s the most important part,” says Friemel.

The grand opening of STEAM Lab is Thursday, January 27 at 2:00 p.m.

To make a STEAM Lab reservation, Click here.

For more information on timetables and admission prices to the museum, Click here.

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