WMSI Expands Impact with the LEGO Foundation Grant

Over its decade of operation, the White Mountain Science Institute (WMSI) has become a leader in STEM education in the northeast. The LEGO Foundation Playful Engineering-Based Learning (PEBL) grant allowed them to expand and create lasting impacts in their community. 

WMSI’s PEBL work began with strategic team expansion. In the 2021-2022 school year, they hired two full-time instructors and two part-time instructors. In the summer of 2022 WMSI brought on a part-time instructor and 14 paid youth instructors. Heading into the 2022-2023 school year, WMSI hired both a full-time and a part-time instructor.

With the additional staff, WMSI was able to add more workshops to the calendar, beginning with an April vacation camp in spring 2022. In the summer, they added two onsite workshops and 4 offsite workshops to their already busy schedule for a total of 19 summer programs. Furthermore, WMSI more than tripled their reach to teachers and community members offering 10 events, 7 more than the previous year. 

In the fall of 2022, WMSI more than tripled its offerings by adding 13 more STEM enrichment programs to the 6 it previously offered. In the winter, it doubled its programming from the previous winter by offering 16 unique enrichment programs. 

In spring 2023, the final semester of the PEBL project, WMSI added 17 STEM enrichment programs, 10 year-long programs with various schools and partners, and 3 February vacation camps. They also forged new partnerships with Conway Public Library and North Country Education Services, a non-profit regional educational service provider.

Armed with ten years of experience running a STEM non-profit, WMSI became a leader in the PEBL community sharing their experiences with other organizations. They also became experts on learning through play and even presented at several conferences.  

WMSI became a mentor to fellow PEBL organization KARMA, offering the young organization core insights about operating a STEM Education nonprofit. They continue to support KARMA in prioritizing its next steps to develop their organization. 

WMSI also helped guide Project SYNCERE, as the well-established and successful organization expanded its reach by implementing mobile makerspaces modeled after WMSI’s Mobile STEM Labs.

WMSI’s achievements with the PEBL grant marked a year of growth and measurable impact. They ran 74 PEBL programs reaching engaging around 1,500 students in playful learning. WMSI also worked with 295 teachers who brought playful learning to a total of  3,750 students. WMSI was proud to expand its services to bring playful learning throughout New Hampshire and beyond.

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