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CMoR Introduces Mobile Exhibits to Enhance Learning

The Children’s Museum of Richmond (CMoR) is bringing play outside of its walls in 2023. In partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU and Dominion Energy, CMoR is excited to announce the grand opening of its new interactive mobile exhibit, BUILD IT. BUILD IT features three traveling modules, enabling CMoR to improve access to the benefits of play across Central Virginia.

“We are thrilled to launch a CMoR exhibit that is designed to be as flexible as we are – CMoR embodies learning through play wherever we are because our physical location walls do not define us as an organization,” says Danielle Ripperton, Executive Director of CMoR. “The creativity of our team to create, design, and build this exhibit is truly outstanding and we can’t wait for our community to experience BUILD IT!”

The BUILD IT exhibit is a completely new initiative for CMoR, with a focus on having moveable components that are easy to take down and set up in indoor and outdoor spaces. This adaptability will allow the BUILD IT exhibit modules to be used as part of a larger exhibit installation, as a mini exhibit moved across both Museum locations, as a method for outreach in low-income neighborhoods and with existing community partners, and as a mission-based component for community event engagement in the Richmond area, like Folk Festival and Second Street Festival.

The exhibit features three modules: a PVC Big Build, Tectonic Testers (earthquake tables), and a Three-Sided Vertical Build with a tangram wall, gravity run, and geoboard station. Each of the modules will be designed for easy mobility, inclusive access for children of all abilities, elements to engage caregivers in play with their children, and guides to readily lead visitors to the various types of learning and benefits that construction play presents. The educational focus of the combined modules will target children ranging from 1 to 10 years old, honing in on STEM engagement for younger populations, engineering development for future career paths, school readiness, and caregiver engagement.

For the opening ceremony, the Children’s Museum of Richmond hosted a ribbon cutting at its Downtown location on West Broad Street. The ceremony included representatives from the Children’s Hospital of Richmond and Dominion Energy, the exhibit’s two community sponsors. Students from the YWCA’s Sprout School’s on-site classes were among the first to test and play with the exhibit’s three modules.

The BUILD IT exhibit was entirely designed and constructed in-house thanks to collaboration between CMoR’s Education Department and the Facilities and Exhibits Department. Additional funding from the LEGO Playful Learning Museum Network, the Peachtree House Foundation, the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation, and the Freeman Family Foundation helped bring the mobile concepts and hands-on experiences to life.

BUILD IT opened to the public on January 24, 2023, at the Children’s Museum’s Chesterfield location on Lake Harbour Drive.

Families are invited to explore and play with the new exhibit during the organization’s open hours, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesday-Sunday. Tickets are $9 for children and adults, with special discounts for seniors, military, and SNAP, EBT and WIC recipients.

Read more about CMoR in this article by Aditi Wardhan Singh in RFM.

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