Carnegie Science Center’s Little Learner Clubhouse, Powered by PNC Grow Up Great, Provides Space to Explore STEM Skills

Mar 8, 2018 1:05 PM ET

Aspiring scientists age 6 and under have a new exhibit space to explore at Carnegie Science Center. Little Learner Clubhouse, powered by PNC Grow Up Great®, is a nature-inspired hub for free-play and hands-on activities that opened to the public on Saturday, March 3, 2018.

The colorful space features a host of interactive elements designed to foster scientific curiosity. Exhibit examples include “The Water Table,” with a winding stream running through a fishing pond and clawfoot bathtub; “The Button Wall,” which generates a variety of sights, sounds, and special effects; and “The Tomato Factory,” which allows youngsters to explore simple machines, such as conveyors and vacuum tubes.

“Children are born scientists, brimming with natural curiosity, and their preschool years are critical for exploration and brain development,” said Ron Baillie, co-director of Carnegie Science Center. “In pre-kindergarten years, children who engage in STEM practices such as asking questions and forming explanations, build a strong foundation for skills learned throughout their lives.”

“The Little Learner Clubhouse is the bricks and mortar portion of our vision to provide a foundation of STEM experiences for early learners, their educators, and their families,” said Ann Metzger, co-director of Carnegie Science Center. “It complements a wide range of initiatives we have in place in the community through our Early Childhood STEM Center.”

Little Learner Clubhouse is a project of the Science Center’s SPARK! Campaign, a fundraising effort launched in 2014 and completed in 2017. Other aspects of the campaign include expanding the Science Center’s STEM programming and building the new PPG Science Pavilion, slated to open in mid-June. A longtime partner to the Science Center, the PNC Foundation contributed $1 million to the SPARK! Campaign to enhance early science learning.

“The Little Learner Clubhouse at Carnegie Science Center provides us an opportunity to invest further in pre-K science so young children have more STEM learning opportunities,” said Sally McCrady, chair and president of the PNC Foundation. “When children are excited about STEM, all sorts of opportunities will open up for them as they advance through school and into a profession of their choice.”

Little Learner Clubhouse is part of PNC Grow Up Great, a bilingual, early childhood education initiative that helps prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. In addition to the new early learner space, PNC’s $1 million gift also will support complementary community-based programming, such as outreach activities for neighboring Northside families.

Little Learner Clubhouse, powered by PNC Grow Up Great, is included in general admission to the Science Center. For more information, visit For more information on PNC Grow Up Great, visit