Dec. 29, 2017 (DAVENPORT, Iowa) — The new year brings fresh opportunities for youngsters to explore the Putnam Museum and learn about engineering and environmental sciences through interactive classes.

Pre-registration has opened for the Putnam Museum and Science Center’s first Explorers and Explorers Jr. classes of 2018, which start on Jan. 6 and continue during the first Saturdays of each month through April 7.

The Explorers program is open to students in Grades 2 through 5, while Explorers Jr. classes are available to Pre-K through first-graders. Children must be at least 4 years old to participate.

“A new year brings new Explorers workshops for your child to explore, experiment and engage with our exhibits and educators,” said Octavia Houtekier-Boyd, vice president of education with the Putnam. “We are very excited about helping children learn about the world around us and how they can positively contribute to the community around them with their ideas and actions.”

Explorers and Explorers Jr. classes run from 9 to 11 a.m., with a check-in period beginning at 8:45. Parents do not need to stay for the program, and they can enroll their students in all four remaining classes or on a class-by-class basis.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming workshops:

  • The Wild Ocean, Jan. 6 — Explore the relationship between humans and the oceans to discover the impact of our everyday lives on creatures of the sea.

  • Dream Big: Design Challenges, Feb. 3 — Use the engineering design process, your creativity, your imagination and your unique ideas to come up with amazing solutions to help others. Explorers will participate in design challenges that will spark their interest to engineer our world.

  • Under Construction: Bridges, March 3 — Imagine having enough K’Nex building toys to create a massive cable-stayed bridge. Participants will learn about architecture and engineering through building exercises that will yield a K’Nex bridge, up to 40 feet long and 12 feet high. Creativity, organization, cooperation, problem solving and fun all are the focus of this activity. A Duplo blocks area also will be available for young children. Guest presenters include Sylvia Paine and architect John Paine.

  • Wilderness Awareness, April 7 — Learn to identify edible or dangerous plants in the woods, as well as the many types of animals that coexist in this habitat.

Each class costs $11 for Putnam members and $14 for nonmembers. Pre-registration is required, as the number of available reservations is limited.

Spots fill up quickly, so book your student today. For more information, call 563-324-1933 or visit


About the Putnam

2017 marked the start of 150 years that the Putnam has been inspiring ideas, dialogue and interaction among people of all ages. And today, we’re better than ever with hands-on fun for the whole family. Launch rockets or interact with a robot in our Science Center, “touch the untouchable” in our Augmented Reality Experience, visit our famous mummies in Unearthing Ancient Egypt, climb into a tree house in Black Earth | Big River or go back in time to see our region’s history in River, Prairie and People. Also experience internationally recognized traveling exhibits or take in a movie in our National Geographic Giant Screen Theater with a screen towering six stories tall. Our welcoming team is dedicated to helping you discover and explore in a friendly and engaging place.

For more information about current and upcoming events, exhibits and movies, visit

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