Doors open to the public for the Amazeum with special guests, lots of fun.
BENTONVILLE, ARK. (July 15, 2015) — After nearly 10 years in the making, the Scott Family Amazeum opened its doors to the public for the first time Wednesday.
Sam Dean, executive director, kicked off the celebration and introduced featured guests, including Dora the Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – courtesy of signature sponsor Nickelodeon.
Visitors also enjoyed music and spins on the Nickelodeon prize wheel.
Dean thanked the Scott family, as well as key supporters the Walton Family Foundation, General Mills, Hershey’s, Walmart Stores and 3M for helping to ensure that the Amazeum serves the community and region for years to come. “With the support of our generous sponsors and scores of volunteers, our team has worked so hard in preparation for this landmark day. Over the past year, we have been able to provide teasers and tidbits about what is in store, but it’s not until you see what’s inside and experience this place that you can fully grasp what truly makes it amazing for all ages. Without further fanfare, I invite you to see for yourself all the Amazeum has to offer.”
Conversations about the Amazeum began nearly 10 years ago between community leaders in Northwest Arkansas. In 2006, the group obtained 501c3 non-profit status and organized a founding board of directors. The next year, they joined the Association of Children’s Museums and conducted an initial feasibility study. In 2008, they hired the first team member and began “Museum without Walls” programming. The capital campaign began at the beginning of 2011, and Dean came on board at the end of 2012. The official groundbreaking was held in April 2014.
Experiences at the nearly 50,000-square-foot space include the 3M Tinkering Hub, climbable tree canopy, indoor caves, an art studio and more. Exhibitions extend to the museum grounds where approximately one acre of land provides the background for more learning and fun.
3M Tinkering Hub:
Human beings make and create. We love to take things apart and put them back together. Learning happens more effectively and new ideas emerge when people are actively engaged in in the process of making. This exhibition allows kids to take apart broken VCRs and DVD players, harvest the parts, and use them to remake new art objects. No two visits will be the same, as new engaging projects will be the only constants in this space.
Nature Valley Water Amazements:
This area features a water table and rain curtain. Visitors should be prepared to get wet and are encouraged to bring towels. Also, the water area's filtration system is visible so guests can see the process of cleaning the water.
General Mills Lift, Load and Haul:
General Mills Lift, Load and Haul features kinetic activity focused on transferring things from one place to another. The multi-faceted exhibition allows kids to roll up their sleeves and work on their own or in cooperation with someone else to lift, move, load and ready a truck for transport.
Inspired by the Chocolate Lab at The Hershey Story in Pennsylvania, the Amazeum’s Hershey’s Lab is part of Innovation Alley, a series of learning spaces that offer deeper learning opportunities to be enjoyed by guests of all ages. The exhibit covers a variety of subjects as they relate to chocolate, including science, mathematics, geography and art.
In this wildly imaginative space, the Nickelodeon animated characters are the agents of creativity, empowering kids to collaborate and create. Gallery activities include controlling a giant SpongeBob puppet, drawing and animating characters, and creating unique musical compositions with a suite of analog and automated instruments. The experiences are designed to foster imaginative play, prompt social interaction, and have the flexibly to provide new and evolving challenges as visitors grow and return to the gallery on repeat visits.
Market Sponsored by Walmart:
In this interactive space, guests are able to not only “shop” for produce and groceries, but also don aprons and work behind the butcher counter or in the bakery. Additionally, they may serve other guests in the café or play the role of cashier.
All of the Amazeum exhibit choices were selected and designed to reflect Northwest Arkansas. The cave structure is an example of that. This exhibit includes embedded minerals, projections of cavefish, bats hanging from the ceiling, sounds of water dripping and just enough light to be safe.
Outdoor exhibit and event space:
Museum grounds will accommodate year-round learning and provide a backdrop for experiments and experiences inspired by the seasons – something children and adults alike can enjoy.
Museum admission is $9.50. Children under two will be admitted free of charge. All memberships include unlimited admission. For more information and a complete list of membership benefits, visit amazeum.org.
About Scott Family Amazeum
The Scott Family Amazeum is a hands-on, interactive museum for children and families in Northwest Arkansas. The nearly 50,000-square-foot space in Bentonville is designed to engage the imagination of children and their families through hands-on activities and interactive exhibits. Experiences include the 3M Tinkering Hub, climbable tree canopy, indoor caves, an art studio and more. Exhibitions extend to the museum grounds where approximately one acre of land provides the background for more learning and fun. The Amazeum also features indoor and outdoor event space. For additional information about the museum, visit http://www.amazeum.org.