From finger painting on glass walls to experiments with candy chemistry – some cool new projects could spell the future for Joplin area kids. We’re talking about the potential for a Discovery Children’s Museum. It’s a project that’s already been in the works for more than a year – and now they’re asking for your help.
“Right now we’re calling it the Discovery Children’s Museum, we haven’t really decided what it’s going to end up being,” says Shelly Kraft, Creative Learning Alliance.
It’s an idea that started in 2017 with the Vision Joplin 2022 group. That led to a new non-profit agency, the Creative Learning Alliance, which started researching the idea to open a center downtown – or near I-44 – or in other parts of Joplin.
“Every one of us went to at least one, many of us have been to more Discovery Centers to try and get a feel of what we might like want ours to look like,” says Shelly Kraft.
Comparing options in northwest Arkansas, Springfield, Kansas City and Tulsa. Looking at fun experiences focusing on science, technology, engineering, art and math, known collectively as a Steam museum.
“We want to make sure that the curriculum that we’re using in the discovery center will be something that will help all the school districts around us,” says Kraft.
The group has been fundraising, collecting enough to hire a consultant for a feasibility study. It’s not a project for next month or next year – but supporters would like to see it open sooner than later.
“My goal is I would like to see the doors open in May of 2022,” says Kraft.
And now the Creative Learning Alliance is looking for ideas. The group will hold listening sessions about the project at the Joplin Library on October 23rd. They’ll even have a few sample projects that could be a part of the future center.