The mission of the Wonder Workshop 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 programs to the general public. The year 2000 marked the opening of our "Outback Camp" area north of Manhattan on Tuttle Creek Lake. But by 2004 we unfortunately had to close our museum division when USD 383 (school district) sold the building we were housed in due to financial constraints. We maintain office space at 1006 Leavenworth Street, in a, Kansas.
At the Outback Camp we offer activities such as: hiking safari, science exploration, fishing, fossil collecting, story-telling, pottery, drumming, and history workshops, weekend camp-outs, business retreats, swimming, canoing, and leader-ship camps.
Wonder Workshop offers to festival and schools its science and history traveling exhibits. The after school program called "Hooked on Clubs" are located at Lee and Woodrow Wilson Elementary schools 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 many Americans from diverse racial backgrounds made!