To help meet the educational needs in the Pensacola area during the ongoing pandemic, the Pensacola MESS Hall has created Take Away Kits that provide materials and instructions to inspire curiosity at home.
Each kit comes complete with all of the materials to complete 4 different activities and suggestions for extensions. Activities are selected from popular “mess kits” offered at the MESS Hall, 116 N. Tarragona St. Pensacola.
Kits are available for purchase on the Pensacola MESS Hall website. Each purchase helps the MESS Hall provide sponsored kits through community partners to reach learners across our region who might face barriers to engaging in MESS Hall programming. Youth-serving organizations interested in receiving sponsored kits can contact Megan Pratt, executive director, for more information.
“No visit to the Pensacola MESS Hall is complete without checking out a mess kit,” said Sarabeth Gordon, education director at the MESS Hall. “With the ongoing pandemic, many families are not able to visit the MESS Hall, and these kits are a chance to explore a small part of our museum as a family at home. The kits contain a little of our mission with math, engineering, and science activities, plus all of the stuff you need to start discovering.”
MESS Hall teen volunteers have packed 500 of Kit 1, to be distributed beginning Monday, June 8. The activities in this kit are mobius strips, thaumatropes, telephones, and paper helicopters. Future kits will include activities like secret codes, pocket solar system, and tangrams.
The Pensacola MESS Hall is one of 20 science centers and museums around the country selected to receive support for STEM engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic from the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC) and made possible by the Voya Foundation. Additional purchases of kits will help make more kits available to the community.
“We know the important role the Pensacola MESS Hall plays in our communities because of the success of Voya STEM Futures, one of our signature programs,” said Angela Harrell, SVP, Chief Diversity and Corporate Responsibility Officer and President, Voya Foundation. “We’re proud that our rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic can keep our children learning during this unprecedented time.”
These kits are one part of the activities by the MESS Hall funded through this grant. In addition, virtual field trips have engaged learners through the end of the school year and this summer. Plans are underway for installation of a solar system stroll and science exploration activities in Hollice Williams Park, in partnership with the City of Pensacola.