I've visited the outstanding United States Navy Seabee Museum in Port Hueneme adjacent to Naval Base Ventura County from time to time. But recently I took my kids there so they could experience all this museum had to offer.
We discovered the Seabee STEM Center, an well put together area geared towards exposing kids to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. And there we stayed and played for easily an hour.
This STEM Center is truly unique in that it creatively challenges kids to learn about STEM career paths applicable to the Seabees. Stations throughout the Center were packed full of hands-on activities, including:
- Engineering Aides - activity involves use of Etch-a-Sketch and Magna Doodle to draw building plans
- Construction Mechanic - activity encourages kids to take apart and put back together construction vehicles
- Steelworker - activity involves designing and building bridges and buildings using K'NEX and KEVA planks
- Builder - activity involves building structures using LEGOs, Bristle Blocks and KEVA planks
- Construction Electrician - hands-on use of Snap Jr. and Electricity Master Lab building blocks enable kids to create electrical circuits in interesting ways (I was personally very interested and engaged in this fun activity)
- Equipment Operator - kids control construction equipment with remote controls
- Utilitiesman - activity includes plumbing systems using pipes and marbles
Additional activities include learning to use a sound powered phone, learning about cranes and other creative fun. The room was immaculate and kids are encouraged not only to create, but to clean up.
The STEM Center was made possible thanks to the Powell Family and donations from family and friends in memory of their daughter, Kennedy Anne Powell, who passed away suddenly on January 2, 2014 at the age of 15 months due to complications from a rare form of diverticulum. Construction of the Center was completed by members of NMCB 4, Bravo Company Seabees.
This Center is truly a hidden gem for preschool, elementary school and early middle school kids, not to mention perpetually, wishfully, youthful parents like myself.
The museum is located at 1001 Addor Street, Port Hueneme and is open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Closed Sundays and all Federal holidays. Admission and parking are free. Learn more at www.history.navy.mil/content/history/museums/seabee.html or call 805.982.5165.