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Broadening STEAM learning

Dec 18, 2023

Connecticut Children’s Pediatric Care Alliance with Hartford HealthCare provides support for Bridgeport youth

Connecticut Children’s Pediatric Care Alliance with Hartford HealthCare creates a continuum for excellence in care throughout the healthcare journey of patients throughout Connecticut. Now, this Pediatric Care Alliance is bringing in a new dimension for the support it brings to Connecticut, sponsoring field trips for Bridgeport youth to the Discovery Science Center and Planetarium (DSCP).  


The Pediatric Care Alliance seeks to provide broader access to healthcare and now brings this goal of broadening access to STEAM education with support for free field trips for Bridgeport’s schools, with special attention to those that have not previously had such opportunities. “We are thrilled to partner with the Discovery Science Center in an important initiative that goes beyond traditional healthcare boundaries. This is an exciting expansion of our commitment to the well-being of Connecticut's youth. Through this partnership, we are not only enhancing access to quality healthcare but also extending our reach into the realm of education, particularly in the crucial field of STEAM learning. We believe that knowledge is a powerful tool for empowerment, and by supporting free field trips for Bridgeport's youth to the Discovery Science Center and Planetarium, we are investing in the future by fostering a passion for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics,” said Jim Shmerling, President & CEO, Connecticut Children’s.  


Jeffrey A. Flaks, President & CEO, Hartford HealthCare said "At Hartford HealthCare, we recognize that the health and well-being of our communities extend beyond the walls of our hospitals. The Pediatric Care Alliance is a testament to our shared commitment to enhancing the overall healthcare journey of patients throughout Connecticut. Beyond healthcare, we understand the profound impact that education can have on the future of our youth. We are honored to collaborate with the Discovery Science Center in making a positive impact on the lives of Bridgeport's youth, helping to shape a brighter and more informed future for the next generation."  


With the support of the Pediatric Care Alliance, DSCP will renovate a dated classroom to create more flexible space for all learners and bring hundreds of Bridgeport students to the Science Center with free transportation and trip funding for the 2023-2024 school year.  


“This is what it’s all about,” says DSCP Executive Director Erika Eng. “Our mission is STEAM for all and it’s partnerships like these that enable us to make that a reality. We are so grateful to Connecticut Children’s Pediatric Care Alliance with Hartford HealthCare for recognizing the importance of our work in teaching students about their own health as well as how they become part of the pipeline to the STEAM workforce.” 


The Pediatric Care Alliance support serves as DSCP’s primary source of funding for Bridgeport field trips and will bring an estimated 750 students to the Science Center this school year who would not otherwise be able to make the trip. 


Discovery is open to the public Tuesday through Thursday from 10am-6pm and Friday through Sunday from 10am-5pm, with Mondays for members and private groups only. For more information, visit, contact, and follow Discovery on social media @DiscoveryBPT. 


About Discovery: Discovery Museum, Inc. (dba SHU Discovery Science Center and Planetarium) is an independent non-profit educational organization located in Bridgeport, Connecticut which seeks to connect audiences of all ages with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) learning. The belief in the importance of providing hands-on STEAM learning experiences that resonate with children’s natural curiosity and love of learning is at the core of the Discovery mission. We are active advocates for STEAM literacy in Connecticut and utilize our unique resources and expertise in informal STEAM learning to encourage and provide a pathway for learners of all ages to become STEAM-empowered and informed decision-makers in an increasingly technology-driven world.  


Learn more about the Pediatric Care Alliance: