About Wonder Workshop
Our mission is to promote education in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Our goal is to develop self-reliant children, families, and community members. Our hands-on activities and exhibits instill a desire for life long learning, recognizing our cultural diversity, and fostering creative potential.
The Wonder Workshop started in 1989 when a scientist, special education teacher and principal in Manhattan piloted a three year program intended to address the educational, recreational, and social needs of community youth and their families. The cornerstones of this unique union were after school activities and interactive exhibits meant to unlock the secrets of science, technology, and delving into the rich traditions of diverse cultures.
In 1994, we opened our Children's Museum's doors and offered exhibits and programs to the general public. The year 2000 marked the opening of our "Outback Camp" area north of Manhattan on Tuttle Creek Lake. Currently, our main museum operations are located at 506 S. 4th St. Manhattan, KS 66502.
At the Outback Camp, we offer activities such as: hiking safari, science exploration, fossil collecting, story-telling, pottery, drumming, art workshops, business retreats, and leadership camps. Wonder Workshop serves area schools through our science and history traveling exhibits and other outreach programs.
The after school program is called "Hooked on Clubs" and is held at the museum for students in K-6 grades. We also feature the "Roots of Rhythm" a drumming, singing and dancing group with intergenerational and multiracial members. They share music and traditions coming from Africa and African-Americans. The group has performed throughout Kansas and has facilitated drum circles in Kansas communities.
In 1997, the Wonder Workshop began tours to the Underground Railroad sites located in Riley and Wabaunsee counties. Sharing the rich history of pre-Civil War in Kansas and the contributors of many Americans from diverse racial backgrounds made for our Freedom today!
The museum is governed by the Board of Directors. Our staff consist of one full time Director and two part-time employees and fifteen volunteers that take care of the museum's daily operations and its programs.
Board of Directors:
Kari Quiton Humes
Robin & Joe Edmunds