Putnam STEM Center

February  11, 2014

      Thanks to grants from the city, county, and state, the Putnam Museum will re-model a significant part of its exhibit space. A ribbon cutting is now set for early April for the "STEM Science Center," and that stands for science, technology, engineering, and math. 

      Putnam president, Kim Findlay, says in recent years more students and more families have come to the museum to learn about science and technology. And the center will also help keep the 146-year-old Putnam relevant, now and into the future.  It will stress hands-on learning.

      "So we're not just going to show you a pulley, and put a label on it that describes who came up with the concept and how it works. We're going to have you sit in a chair and pull yourself up the wall two stories. We want to inspire more questions and more curiosity."

      Findlay says another example is already on display in the grand lobby - a tennis ball launcher.

      "And I've seen people as young as two and as old as 92 - you cannot go by it without giving it a try and then looking at it and scratching your head and thinking, now why does it work like that and giving it another try."

      The new center will use about one-third of the Putnam's space, and cost 2.2 million dollars. Findlay says Davenport gave 100,000 and Scott County contributed 30,000 dollars - and those gifts convinced the state of Iowa to give 300,000. The rest will come from foundations, corporations, and other contributors. 


(photo - Putnam president Kim Findlay poses with the tennis ball launcher)