New Kids' Science Center Rapidly Gathering STEAM

·3 min read

Set to open in late 2022, Minot’s Magic City Discovery Center will stimulate curiosity and creativity

Northampton, MA --News Direct-- Enbridge

To a child, a rainbow is a work of art: bright colors, melding into each other, forming a magical arc across the sky.

As the child grows and learns about science, their perception of the rainbow shifts, explains Liz Weeks, education and outreach director of North Dakota’s Magic City Discovery Center—a combination children’s museum and science center scheduled to open in the city of Minot in late 2022.

Informed by science education, the child will look at a rainbow and see not just pretty colors, but light dispersed through raindrops, its wavelengths reflected at different angles to produce different hues. The rainbow becomes a feat of art and science.

It’s exactly this kind of learning—learning that illuminates a child’s world—that Magic City Discovery Center will offer when it opens later this year.

According to the Association of Children’s Museums, North Dakota is the last state to open a large-scale children’s museum. The 28,000-square-foot facility will offer more than 150 interactive exhibits and programs designed to stimulate curiosity and creativity in babies to youth up to 14 years old.

“Learning opportunities will focus on STEAM—science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics—to spark kids’ interest in those fields,” Weeks says.

“Our programs will support classroom education, offer extra pieces of learning in science and math. Hopefully we’ll get them thinking about careers in engineering, science and trades,” she adds.

For those children unable to make the journey to Minot in the north center of the state, Magic City Discovery Center will come to them, transporting a trailer filled with portable STEAM activities and exhibits.

One on-the-go activity is the Invention Story Mobile Kiosk, a portable media kit with customized software to document the children’s learning on video to share with family and friends—and inspire other kids.

Enbridge’s Fueling Futures program helps build safe, vibrant and sustainable communities. Recognizing the value of the kiosk to build potential in young learners near and far, we contributed a $50,000 Fueling Futures grant to the Magic City Discovery Center to help purchase equipment and develop the Invention Story Mobile Kiosk.

Wendy Keller, Magic City Discovery Center’s executive director, sees the kiosk having far-reaching benefits, and not only because the portable kit can travel to remote areas of the state.

After children have taken part in a program—perhaps building a weight-bearing bridge out of toothpicks or constructing a circuit—they’ll go on camera to explain their work, contributing to a video that highlights their learning story for the world.

“Making videos and sharing their learning will give kids confidence and self-esteem. And because they’re talking about what they created, because they’re sharing their story, it might inspire someone else,” Keller says.

“Another child might see the video, and that young child might say: ‘Maybe I can do that? Maybe I can solve a problem?’ ”

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