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Posted on May 16, 2023 at 2:11 PM by Cathy Oloffson
Normal, Ill.– May 16, 2023 – The Children’s Discovery Museum announced Nick Papineau, Aurora, Ill., as its director of education, effective May 17.
“The Museum is excited to welcome Nick to this integral role on our team,” says Beth Whisman, executive director of the Children’s Discovery Museum. “This role connects programs to the Museum’s mission and identifies fresh ways for staff to support and serve our community through STEAM education and early childhood development.
“Children’s museums set the pace for informal learning and fill gaps in traditional settings through the unique role of playful learning,” Whisman explains. “Nick’s experience is a natural fit for this role. His work will ensure our Museum remains one of the best places in the community for children and families.”
As the Museum’s director of education, Papineau will develop relevant curricula, recruit educators to deliver high-quality programs, teach Museum staff about changes in education and learning standards, and provide educational perspective to exhibit design. The position supports home school and special needs programming and serves as a liaison with community partners to eliminate duplication of effort.
“My goal is to make science and learning more accessible to all students,” says Papineau. “My roles as community liaison, curriculum leader and instructional coach have laid the foundation for working in a setting like the Children’s Discovery Museum.”
Prior to joining the Children’s Discovery Museum, Papineau worked for Glen Ellyn School District 41 as a science and innovation coordinator and problem-based learning coach.
With more than 10 years of formal education focusing on science and inquiry, Papineau began his career in elementary education at Community Unit School District 300 in Algonquin, Ill., where he helped create the district’s elementary STEAM curriculum (science, technology, engineering and math). His work experience also includes serving as a day camp coordinator and summer educator.
Papineau earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Butler University, Indianapolis, and a master’s degree in teaching biology/biological sciences at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. As part of his formal education, he studied abroad in Reggio Emelia, Italy, learning the early childhood instructional model, an education philosophy focused on preschool and primary education.
Papineau and his wife, Melanie, have three children. The family will relocate to the Bloomington-Normal community.
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