History of Wonder Workshop Children's Museum
Our mission is to promote education in the arts, sciences, and humanities through hands-on activities and exhibits, which instill a desire for lifelong 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. Wonder Workshop serves area schools through a wide variety of outreach programs and traveling exhibits. The after-school program is held at the museum for students in K-5 grades.
The museum is governed by the Board of Directors. Our staff consists of the Executive Director Melanie Highsmith, Program Director Parre Ahmadi, and many volunteers and Teen Mentors who take care of the museum's daily operations and programs.
Remembering Our Founder: Richard Pitts
Richard Pitts was the Wonder Workshop Children's Museum's founder. As a father, husband, musician, drummer, historian, adventurer, Underground Railroad historian, sports fan, nature nut, and cook, his leadership was the foundation for the museum's youth and their families in Manhattan, KS.