Creative Learning Alliance Newsletter for January 2024

Picking Up STEAM

The Creative Learning Alliance is looking forward to the new year and all of the exciting things that are coming in 2024! Learn more about them below.

Giving Tuesday Thanks

Thanks to the generous gifts of 17 donors, the Creative Learning Alliance’s Giving Tuesday Campaign raised $7,149.08! The Alliance is so grateful to their donors:

  • Sharon Beshore
  • Stephanie Bradshaw
  • Joyce Cox
  • Gay Currence
  • Amanda Giebler
  • Kimberly Gray
  • Caley Hedman
  • Ann Leach
  • Amanda Mitchell
  • Mary Mobley
  • Lisa Nelson
  • Kimmie Patrum
  • Wayne Stephenson
  • Linda Teeter
  • Felix Wright
  • Steve Wright
  • Teri Yvonne

Creative Learning Alliance Moon Farmers Win Best in Show at Global Plant the Moon Challenge!

In September of 2023, a group of local students accepted the Institute of Competitive Science’s Plant the Moon Challenge, joining a global science experience and research challenge to examine how vegetable crops can grow in lunar soil.

They received real lunar soil simulant and throughout October, November, and December, designed and conducted a set of experiments using this simulant to gauge the effect of different variables on the growth of green beans. These student experiments will help NASA scientists understand how to use lunar soil to provide nutritious crops for future missions to the moon!

The completed project was presented virtually to NASA scientists, program executives, and other dignitaries in December and team Creative Learning Alliance Moon Farmers won Best in Show for Plant Growth in the Elementary Division. In her review of the project at the awards symposium, Environmental Biologist Dr. Melanie Mormile noted specifically that the focus on soil weight was impressive and that the photos of the growth process were excellent.

Team members consisted of Seraphine Potts, Karleigh Long, Jack Powell, Xane Long, and Ledger Ward with Joplin R-8 educators Beverly Mouton and Kitty Ward as facilitators. Congratulations to Team Moon Farmers on this tremendous victory!

Youth Advisory Council Plans Joplin Area Time Capsule

In December, the Creative Learning Alliance’s first ever Youth Advisory Council began meeting with a specific task of creating a time capsule to be unveiled at their four-day April Solar-bration Eclipse Festival. With the aid of adult mentors, fourteen area students ages six to fourteen will guide all parts of the time capsule creation, from container to items within and ultimately its display location with the science center.

The time capsule will not be opened until August of 2044, during the next solar eclipse that is visible from the United States!

The Youth Advisory Council concludes of:

  • Blair Alcorn
  • Bonita Glover
  • Derrick Struble
  • Elliot Heeren
  • Fiona Kamler
  • Greyson Wimsett
  • Isaiah Watson
  • Jairis Azjita
  • Kinlee Cook
  • Liam Perkins
  • Luke Stockton
  • Nora Durham
  • Samuel Mense
  • Seraphine Potts

Their adult mentors are Ann Leach, Neely Myers, Sarah Park, Rikki Smith, and Kitty Ward.

2024 Solar-bration Eclipse Festival

Mark your calendars for April 5–8 to join Creative Learning Alliance for their Solar-bration Eclipse Festival! The full schedule of events will be available soon and sponsorships are still available.

Special Recognition

The Creative Learning Alliance would like to recognize and thank Kara and Bob Arnce and Lori and Chuck Good as well as Sarah Horine, Cean Gardner, and Lauren Hickerson for the amazing Christmas parade float that they created!

How Can You Get Involved?

Gift your time, talent, or treasure by:

  • Joining a committee (committees include finance, governance, marketing, and outreach).
  • Volunteering.
  • Sharing the Creative Learning Alliance’s social media posts.
  • Inviting the Creative Learning Alliance to present to your civic club or organization.
  • Donating.
  • Choosing Creative Learning Alliance as your AmazonSmile recipient.
  • Introducing the Creative Learning Alliance to interested organizations.

About The Creative Learning Alliance: 

The Creative Learning Alliance is a hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) based attraction that exercises curiosity, promotes exploration, and develops imagination for people of all ages through interactivity. The nonprofit is run by a volunteer board of directors working to develop a new science center for the region. Find the Creative Learning Alliance at or on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok @creativelearningalliance.


Neely Myers, Executive Director
Creative Learning Alliance

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