Childhood fun - play, dance, interact

“The Children’s Museum Stands on Community Shoulders” by Marlene B. Brown, July 25, 2009
A comment by Ben Stein in the New York Times this past winter read: "We are more than our investments. We are more than the year-to-year changes in our net worth. We are what we do for charity. We are how we treat family and friends. We are what we do for our community and nation”. Good words to remember as we think about how we want to invest our time and energy, but we know that money does matter when it comes to running our nonprofit organizations. So how do you choose? Let me share a bit of our history.
As our Board of Directors works with our Executive Director updating our Future Vision, we discussed how so many in the community have given of their time, talents, and money, This earned the trust that developed the relationships needed to form the collaborative opportunities necessary to achieve our goals. Organized in October of 1963 by the Junior League, and permanently chartered by the Board of Regents of New York State, The Children's Museum of History, Science & Technology boosts 4 floors of interactive exhibits which provide an enjoyable educational experience for kids from 1 to 101 to learn, experience, create. Constructed at the turn of the century, the five story brick building’s Romanesque Revival exterior remains imposing, and the charm of the period remains inside with its decoratively paneled central oak staircase, fourteen foot high ceiling sheathed in fancy pressed tin, and loft windows. As we renovate, we keep the historic look.
A hands-on learning center with emphasis on local history, culture, environmental and space science, the Museum is passionately committed to providing a hands-on safe environment for children, families, and groups. We provide educational exhibits and activities for local school groups, scouts, daycare centers throughout the area, as well as for groups who come in by bus and train from throughout the state. With 4 floors encompassing a total of 24,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Museum is one of CNY’s most compelling tourist attractions. The purpose of the Children’s Museum is to provide educational and cultural enrichment to children and their families, and to serve our diverse cultural community.
A sampling of our 100's of hands-on exhibits includes: 1st Floor: life size Wooden Train, Interactive Robot, Exploration Station; Toddler Playspace, interactive Saturn car, restrooms & changing tables, eating areas; 2nd Floor: LED Play Dance Floor, Iroquois Long House with Kiosk, Interactive dinosaur Dinorama, Paleontology fossil center, Trading Post, Puppet Theatre; 3rd Floor: Touch Screen History exhibits, Living Science Center; Train & Lego activity centers, Weather Station, Radio Room, Baseball Display, Int’l Hall Fame: Bicycling, Rowing, Canoeing, Kayaking; 4th Floor: NASA Lunar Lander, Mars Rover finalist, Columbia Shuttle, Hot Wheels Hall, Fire & Police exhibits, Interactive Science exhibits, Interactive Space Scale, Interactive Flight Timeline, a real Airplane to take a ride in.
Thanks to the generosity of those who’ve contributed to our growth, in the past seven years we have accomplished the following: in 2002 we opened the fourth floor and were adopted by NASA (National Aeronautic & Space Administration) & DOE OS (Dept. of Energy’s Office of Science); in 2003, the museum installed new Heating/Air Conditioning and became headquarters of the Int’l Halls of Fame: Bicycling, Canoeing, Rowing, Kayaking; in 2004, we secured a new oak front door and front entranceway; in 2005, we installed new energy-efficient windows; in 2006, we refurbished existing exhibits; in 2007 our building was declared a NYS & Federal historic building [Cathy Jimenez, NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation, said “the museum is a great example of adaptive reuse of a historic building, balancing the historic preservation with economic development.”]
In 2008, we installed new energy efficient lighting throughout and two new roof signs, In 2009, we installed our popular new LED interactive Play Dance Floor and two Touch Screen science & history exhibits, and will soon open an interactive Lionel Train Table. In 2010-2011, we’d like to finish our 4th floor’s Surround Sound Theatre, put additional bathrooms on the 3rd floor, replace our aging roof with a new LEED green roof, build an eco-system with solar & light panels, and open our 5th floor as a planetarium.
We look forward to continuing to build on the shoulders of those who’ve gone before, and invite others to join with us as we propel our museum forward into the future. Planning is already underway for our November Holiday Gala/Festival of Trees extravaganza. Our admission fees are comparable with other local family offerings, even though we currently receive no outside operations funding, as the original founders never expected their vision to grow as it has! As a valuable Community Treasure, we will keep providing excellent resources of value to the tourism efforts and the quality of life for the residents of the Mohawk Valley and beyond. Come be a part of it. You will be proud of your investment in our children.
– Marlene B. Brown, Children’s Museum Executive Director www.museum4kids.net

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