The University of Findlay’s Mazza Museum held a grand opening ceremony for the Joseph and Judith Conda STEAM Education Center on Friday, Sept. 10.
A ribbon-cutting took place outside the STEAM Education Center, located in the Virginia B. Gardner Fine Arts Pavilion, and several University officials, community members, and donors gave remarks.
Generous donors Joseph and Judith Conda, who provided the lead gift for the STEAM Education Center, were in attendance. “Children’s picture books are every child’s first window to their world,” Judith Conda stated. “The University of Findlay and Mazza Museum staff made the decision to expand and enhance that window by integrating its books and its art with the hard disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.” Judith explained that after hearing of this idea “we were immediately intrigued” and the couple decided to invest in the project.
The 4,000 square-foot addition to the Mazza Museum is one of the first in the nation to blend art activities with science. University of Findlay President, Dr. Katherine Fell, said, “Visitors to the Conda STEAM Center will better understand the thoughtful process that goes into creating picture books,” and it will “deepen the understanding and expand the imagination of thousands of visitors each year for many years to come.”
While single visitors to the STEAM Education Center are currently not able to be accommodated, the Center is designed to facilitate groups and classes by guiding them through each of the many hands-on activities used in the Center’s curriculum. This guided, group tour approach allows visitors to learn about the areas of science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics in a fun and dynamic way. The STEAM Education Center is provides the perfect learning opportunity for primary, intermediate, and high school classes; after school programs; and special interest clubs like the Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts.