At The Science Center


By: Teresa Dietrich
​Jackson is passionate about trains, so when he went to visit the Science Center in June he gravitated towards the model train exhibit. There he met an orange vested train buff who carefully explained how the mechanisms controlling the trains worked. He held out to Jackson miniatures of train cars and pointed out the stylistic differences to the awe-struck boy. Jackson, who finds walking difficult, was braced against the railing encircling the train table. Despite the difficulty, he managed to spend most of his day at the Science Center on his own feet, helped by his mother, who tries to make him walk as often as possible in order to exercise the muscles of his legs.

Jackson’s parents were extremely happy that Connecting Champions was able to provide for outings that catered to his interests and made the task of walking easier. Thankfulness radiated from both parents as they watched their son making his way carefully around the train table, hands wrapped around the supports. Jackson’s father took many pictures to commemorate the event, standing to the side with a big smile as his son excitedly pointed at train cars and toggled the switch that controlled some of them. Watching the trains was a treat for Jackson, who marveled at their carefully choreographed movements and lit up every time Thomas the Tank Engine came back into view.

By the end of his two and a half hours at the science center, Jackson had learned much about trains, and was even presented with a bright red Lionel train car by the train conductor. Jackson left the Science Center clutching his new model train and eager to return to the Science Center for another trip.

Activity Kits

National Geographic Science Magic Kit

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

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