The Children’s Museum Jordan (the Museum) is a non-governmental organization established in 2007 that is affiliated with the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development (QRF).
At the Museum, children learn through play, interacting with indoor and outdoor exhibits, reading in the library, expressing themselves at the Art Studio and connecting with nature in the Secret Garden. These interactive spaces, complimented by live educational programs, encourage children to learn through self-exploration in a safe environment.
The Museum complements classroom learning, illustrating that learning can be practical, fun and achieved through play. The aim is to create an inclusive learning space, engaging children from all over Jordan from different socioeconomic backgrounds and learning abilities, inspiring them and creating learning opportunities that last a lifetime.
The Museum opens its doors to all visitors, especially families and schools. All children are welcomed, though exhibits are particularly suitable to those between 1 and 12 years of age. The Museum works with over 35 partners, ranging from private, public and civil society organizations, to ensure free or subsidized access as well as inclusiveness.
The Museum’s 150 indoor and outdoor exhibits are designed to help children grasp scientific concepts linked to the national curricula in a practical way, as well as to develop their 21st century skills. For example, children learn what light is, how their skin has touch receptors, and how much energy is needed to light old and new light bulbs among many other topics.
Through interacting with the exhibits and with each other, visiting children put into practice what they learn at school and also develop life skills. For example, one of the activities at the ‘I Am Change’ exhibit involves five children working together to angle mirrors on solar panels, which then lights up a building. In one of the educational programs, children learn why a green laser light is more powerful than a red laser--by continuously amazing and exciting children through such activities, the Museum creates a love for life-long-learning.
As part of its focus on early childhood development, the Museum provides a dedicated space with interactive exhibits for children aged five years and younger. The area responds to the huge demand for opportunities to develop the cognitive and motor skills of pre-school children at their critical developmental stage.
Through their Museum for All initiative, the Museum strives to be socially inclusive. This effort includes several free admissions programs: public school visits in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, visits for UNRWA schools and orphanages in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development, and Free Open Days, when the first Friday of every month is free for families. In addition to these admissions programs, the Museum launched the Children’s Mobile Museum in 2012. It tours remote areas and poverty pockets so that children from families who would otherwise find it logistically or financially difficult to visit the Museum can also benefit from learning through play.
Camps and Clubs: During summer and winter camps, specialists guide children in activities that combine art, science and drama. One of the more recent clubs is the Tinker Club, where children are encouraged to tinker and innovate, expressing themselves through their creations.
Community Connections: Every year there are four month-long community events: Earth Month in April, Jordan Month in May, Arab Child Month in October, and Persons with Disabilities Month in December. During each of these months there are thematic activities that build children’s awareness and knowledge on issues critical to their communities in an interactive and exciting way.
Celebrations: To commemorate national occasions, the Museum engages visitors to rediscover the familiar but often underappreciated aspects of heritage, culture and community. There are six major celebrations each year: Mother’s Day, Labor Day, Independence Day, Eid Al Fitr, Eid Al Adha and Christmas.
School interactive workshops: During school visits, the Museum offers educational programs linked to the curriculum for schools.
Science shows: Science is brought to life through fun live demonstrations that help to create a passion and curiosity for science.
Local and International Science Festivals: The Museum participates in international science festivals and runs its own events, where it presents science in a fun, interactive and exciting way. The Museum has participated twice in the annual Abu Dhabi Science Festival, delivering specialized workshops to thousands of children each year.
Daily visitors’ programs: Daily Programs compliment the interactive exhibit and include science, art, literacy and drama programs. Both fun and educational, these programs develop soft skills needed for the 21st century. Programs also include specialized activities for children under five.
Leaving after a positive learning experience, children are able to put into practice what they have learned in the classroom. To date, the Museum has had over 1.7 million visitors. Of those 172,000 visited the Mobile Museum (with more than 39,000 in 2015 alone)—these children from the Governorates would otherwise have minimal informal education opportunities. Teachers have also benefitted by finding the practical ways to demonstrate scientific lessons that may be difficult for children to grasp in the classroom. In 2013, the Museum was recognized for its innovation, winning the Promising Practice Award for its Celebrations Program from the Association of Children’s Museums.
More of the 2015 achievements, on April 22nd, the Museum launched its Solar System being one of the few organizations in Jordan to apply sustainable and clean energy solutions, which resulted in covering up to 95% of the Museum’s electrical power consumption and paving the road towards sustainability.
The Museum proudly received the Golden Emirate Energy Award 2015 for Education and Capacity Building offered by the Supreme Council of Energy in recognition for achievement in the field of interactive Modules for Resource Conservation for the exhibit “I am Change” which was opened by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdulla h in 2013.
“At school all we do is read our science books and try to imagine things but at the Museum, I practice what I see in my textbook and can understand it better.”
-Baraa’ from Zarqa