Muncie Children’s Museum to Add New Exhibits — Muncie Journal

By Juli Metzger—

MUNCIE, INThe Muncie Children’s Museum’s first fundraising campaign in more than 25 years will expand some of its longstanding exhibits, while strengthening its endowment and securing a future for the next generation.

The $3 million “More to Explore” fundraising initiative will support intentionally designed spaces that combine fun and learning for children 10 and under. The campaign has already raised more than $2.29 million and is now entering its public phase, asking some of the museum’s biggest supporters – its families, museum members and corporate friends – to help fill the gap.

“Not only will the exhibits be fun, but they will build skills in the areas of communication, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving and, of course, motor skills,” the director said. of museum development, Ashlee Anderson. “We know that these skills are essential at an early age and will allow a child to thrive throughout their education, and no matter what path and career they choose, these skills lay the foundation for success. “

The Muncie Children’s Museum, like children’s museums across the country, understands that through play and fun, it can teach, challenge and prepare children for their future, Anderson said. Children’s museums typically operate outside the structure of formal education systems, allowing them to act as innovators in developing child-centered play environments, such as Discovery Park, which is intended in this campaign for further development and improvement.

Discovery Park opened in the fall of 2017. Plans for 2022 include an expansion that includes two exhibits in Discovery Park – an interactive water exhibit and a new weather station. Discovery Park’s goal is to spark children’s interest in STEM learning. Discovery Park can help nurture that curiosity as children practice observation, critical thinking, problem solving and reasoning skills.

“The ancient water exhibit has been much loved and admired by children for many years,” Anderson said. “The new one will be bigger and educate kids on Muncie’s White River. He will teach about river habitats and explain the water system and how the water we use at home starts in the White River.

The museum’s iconic ant wall is also getting a makeover. It is original to the museum, which opened in 1977. “Children will continue to learn about the industrious lives of ants,” Anderson said.

Additionally, new dollars will help relocate and rebuild the museum’s model train exhibit, and a portion of the funds raised are expected to be set aside for the museum’s endowment fund, where it can grow over the long term. A new train layout will feature familiar scenes, buildings and activities for children. The hands-on components will explore train-related careers and facts about the locomotives that run through Muncie.

Finally, the 2022 campaign will pay for the creation of a new hands-on construction zone focused on trades like electricians, plumbers, welders and contractors. “We believe that exposure to all kinds of jobs is the cornerstone of our educational mission,” Anderson said. “If you can’t see it, you can’t be it.”

To contribute to the fundraising effort, visit moretoexplore.net.

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