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Prince George’s Exploration Place nationally honoured for Early Explorers pre-school program

Museum recognized for STEAM-based education for next generation

Exploration Place has won an award for its work in educating young minds in subjects centred around history, engineering and science.

In an announcement today (June 12), the Prince George museum was honoured with the Best Program award by a small institution for its Early Explorers Preschool program by the Canadian Association of Science Centres (CASC).

Known as the CASCADES, which were distributed on May 28, the annual event went virtual this year to recognize nine museums nation-wide, praising exhibits, programs and individual achievements from the last year.

Early Explorers has been offered at Exploration Place for 13 years and is touted as the only preschool program in Prince George with a STEAM-based curriculum, which stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math.

“It isn’t every day that an organization is honoured with a National Award like this, and it’s even more exciting because it's OURS, right here in Prince George!” said Exploration Place CEO Tracy Calogheros in a statement. 

“My team is outstanding and Early Explorers Program is truly exceptional – now if we can just find a way to make it safe to start up again in our current circumstances.” 

According to the local museum, children also partake in activities like songs, ‘fine and gross motor play’ and kindergarten readiness.

While its humbled by the national award, the facility’s resources are what make the program unique compared to others across Canada

“We have a huge advantage by having these children in our building daily throughout the school year, so it only makes sense to use all components of this great Museum to expand beyond a typical preschool curriculum,”said Robyn Curtis, Manager – Integrated Learning in the same release. 

“We have over 430 hours of instruction each year with each one of our preschoolers, time during which we get little minds excited about STEAM learning, planting the seeds for their future.” 

Early Explorers learn from multiple curators within Exploration Place, as well as local educators and experts, in the program.

This includes Lheidli T’enneh Elders, Master Gardeners and Animal Ambassadors.