New Year brings new informal learning classes for Pre-K through Grade 5


DAVENPORT, IOWA (December 24, 2019) — The new year will bring new hands-on learning and growth opportunities for area students starting January 4, with the return of the Explorers and Explorers Jr youth workshops at the Putnam.

The spring semester of these once-a-month, two-hour workshops will highlight Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) topics, as well as museum-studies and more. Each workshop is led by Putnam educators and incorporates the exhibits and artifacts at the Quad Cities’ Smithsonian affiliate museum.

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

“Explorers workshops ignite our early museum learners by sparking a lifelong love of discovery though a museum experience. These workshops provide children in our community a deeper, hands-on insight into exciting topics like first-responder training, coding, and forensics,” said Kara Fedje, vice-president of learning experiences.

“For parents, it’s a win-win: They have some time to run errands during the weekend, and their child benefits from learning outside the classroom by beginning to understand the museum’s collection and what it has to offer.”

Workshops run 9-11AM the first Saturday of each month through May. Check-in begins at 8:45, and parents do not need to stay for the program.


Explorers (Grades 2-5) workshops include:

  • Computer Whiz Kids, January 4: Do you love computers? Want to learn how to speak their language? Come to the Putnam, and we’ll teach all you need to know about coding!
  • Curate Your Own Collection, February 1: Have you ever wanted to design a museum exhibit? Bring three items from your personal collection to this Explorers workshop, and we’ll teach you how to curate your own exhibit!
  • First Responder Training, March 7: Discover what you need to do in an emergency and how you can help other people! We’ll even take a look at how our canine friends help others in a variety of ways.
  • Matter Matters, April 4: Did you know that not only do you matter, but you’re also made of matter? Come learn all there is to know about this mysterious substance that makes up our whole universe!
  • Fun Physics, May 2: You don’t need to be a physicist to know that physics is fun! Come to the Putnam and play with Bernoulli’s jumping cans and Newton’s beads.

Explorers Jr. (Pre-K through Grade 1) workshops include:

  • Simple Circuit Creations, January 4: Explore electricity with a shocking look at circuits. This workshop is bound to spark an interest in how simple circuits work.
  • Heroes With Four Legs, February 1: It is said, “dogs are man’s best friend!” But, they are so much more than that! Explorers will find out about the many jobs our four-legged heroes do so well.
  • Fun with Forensics, March 7: Fun with Forensics will guide young crime scene investigators to solve the crime of the century: Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Join us as we dust for fingerprints, collect shoeprints and gather other pieces of evidence to identify the criminal.
  • Science of the Senses, April 4: Did your breakfast taste good this morning? How do you know? Was it hot or cold, soft or crunchy? Explorers will discover how the five senses help them to navigate our world.
  • Hooray for H2O, May 2: Is water just for swimming and bath time? Explorers will find that water is a mighty force and isn’t just for drinking anymore!

Parents can enroll their students in all five remaining workshops or on a class-by-class basis.

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

Spots fill up quickly, so book your student today. For more information, visit, or contact Education Services Coordinator Bridget Boyd-Carlson at 563-336-7308 or

About the Putnam

The Putnam has been inspiring ideas, dialogue, and interaction among people of all ages for more than 150 years. And today, we’re better than ever with hands-on fun for the whole family. Launch rockets or interact with a robot in the Science Center, “touch the untouchable” in the 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 the 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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