In a recent focus group in Silver Spring, community members expressed great enthusiasm for the concept of a new children’s museum in Montgomery County.
A team of parents, teachers, school administrators and others have come together to create a new kind of children’s museum in our area – with a focus on international culture, science, technology, engineering, math and the arts, and social responsibility and volunteerism. The mission is to cultivate children’s creativity, curiosity and compassion through playful exploration of the world.
Museum developers noted that although our area is rich with cultural diversity and innovation, surprisingly it has lagged in offering children opportunities to explore the world we live in and to prepare for their future in the global economy. Other major metropolitan areas have multiple children’s museums, science centers and other cultural institutions focused on meeting the needs of children. This important source for unstructured, play-based learning has been missing in our community – and focus group participants voiced strong interest in having such a resource in Montgomery County.
The museum will serve pre-school and school-aged children (ages 6-12) in highly interactive exhibits and workshops where children and families can engage in hands-on learning in a fun, playful environment. The vision is for rotating international exhibits that will allow children to explore the world in our backyard and deepen understanding of cultural differences. Workshop space will encourage children and families to experiment with making electronic gadgets, woodworking, papermaking and discovering what they can create with recycled materials. And the museum will serve as a hub for children and families to learn about and get involved in volunteer activities that address local and international service needs.
The Silver Spring focus group was one of a series of groups that the museum developers have convened over the past several months to get input from the community. Groups convened in Rockville and Bethesda also have expressed strong support for the concept and provided valuable input.
If you would like to share your thoughts about the museum or find out about ways to get involved, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the museum website (www.kid-museum.org) and Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/KIDMuseum) to learn more.