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University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Partners with Martens Center

Champaign Park District has announced an innovative new programming partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

New STEAM-focused programming will take place at Champaign Park District’s new Martens Center in partnership with Illinois’ Office of the Chancellor – Public Engagement, in collaboration with several campus Research Centers and Institutes. 

The two organizations will develop joint programs, activities, and services that focus on access to technology and science education to all community members. Programs will be staffed by the university and may include hands-on applied STEM learning opportunities, a rotating showcase of participant self-administered research exhibits, and science enrichment classes.

“We are thrilled at the chance to bring university resources to the community surrounding the Martens Center,” said Sarah Sandquist, Champaign Park District Executive Director. “It is exciting to see the goal to provide technology access and education to the community come to fruition so soon after the building’s opening.”

Programming for the 2 year agreement will begin in 2023 in the Joe DeLuce Innovation Center at Martens Center that features computers, 3-D printers, LEGO projects, and more.

“As part of the Chancellor’s Call to Action Campus-Community Compact, this is an exciting, important, and mutually beneficial collaboration with Martens Center,” said Wanda E. Ward, Illinois’ Executive Associate Chancellor for Public Engagement. “It represents an opportunity to work with our community to educate as well as inspire and motivate the creativity and imagination of our youth – some of whom may one day attend Illinois and become our leaders of tomorrow!”

Martens Center is located at 1515 N Market Street in Champaign and features a gymnasium, fitness and wellness rooms, 3-lane indoor track, indoor playroom and games, instructional kitchen, classrooms, and more.

For more information on becoming a member of Martens Center, visit https://champaignparks.com/martenscenter/. 

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