The Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art (RIMOSA) announced today that it will close on Westminster Street in Providence on June 1, 2022 and that its educational outreach program will be absorbed into the Rhode Island Computer Museum (RICM).
Founded in 2010, RIMOSA’s mission has been to spark curiosity and encourage experimentation through STEAM-based hands-on exhibits and experiences that enable open experimentation, to develop curiosity, motivation, courage and creative problem solving. The 501(c)(3) organization has offered educational outreach programs since its inception and opened its physical museum space in 2017.
The RICM has been collecting and preserving rare and historically significant computer equipment since its founding in North Kingstown in 1999. Twenty-two years later, the museum has one of the largest collections of vintage computer equipment in the country, stored in a warehouse at Quonset Business Park. Spreading knowledge and encouraging research in computing through tours, lectures, discussions and publications, the RICM aims to inspire young people for the future workforce by rescuing old and new technologies.
When RIMOSA disbands its organization and closes its museum at 763 Westminster St., Providence, its educational outreach program will be absorbed into the RICM and classes will continue to be delivered as “RIMOSA Workshops Powered by the RICM” from the RICM learning laboratory.
Following RIMOSA’s closure, RIMOSA says in a press release that Executive Director Bonnie Epstein, PhD, and Board Member Jennifer Pietros, PhD, will join RICM’s leadership team to help support its educational leadership. .
Epstein said in a statement: “RICM is an incredible entity – they have built a strong community of coders, makers and tinkerers and offer a vibrant set of STEM programs. We have worked together in the past and found our approaches complementary. We’ve focused primarily on the learning and tinkering base that doesn’t involve computers, while RICM picks up in areas left out by RIMOSA. We fit in well. Although we are sad that RIMOSA is closing, we are extremely happy to continue our mission in another form, within the framework of the RICM.
RICM Executive Director Dan Berman said in a statement, “RIMOSA offers an exciting set of programs that combine science and art. Integrating these programs into RICM will allow us to expand our STEM focus to STEAM, which is a wonderful opportunity for our community. With RIMOSA on board, RICM will have more workshops and more educational and public programs.
The RICM and RIMOSA are in the process of finalizing the “RIMOSA Workshops Powered by RICM” program and will publish the courses and schedules on the RICM website when finalized.
When the RIMOSA space closes, RIMOSA says most of its exhibits will be stored in the RICM’s North Kingstown warehouse and may appear from time to time in pop-ups and festivals. Other items will be donated to RI nonprofit organizations.
RIMOSA is accepting inquiries from nonprofit organizations for its larger assets (office/classroom furniture) through May 30 on a first-come, first-served basis via email, [email protected]
RIMOSA is also offering its leftover recycled materials and art supplies free to educators, which they can pick up at RIMOSA, 763 Westminster St. Providence (masks required) on the following days/times: 12am – 5pm; Saturday May 21, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.; Wednesdays May 11, 18, 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.