SciWorks and Children’s Museum now known as Kaleideum

SciWorks and Children’s Museum now known as Kaleideum
February 09
04:05 2017



SciWorks and the Children’s Museum now have a new name to go with their merged organization: Kaleideum.

“We wanted to establish in the mind of the public that this is a brand new organization,” Paul Kortenaar, Kaleideum’s executive director – community, who was the director of SciWorks,

“We’re going to be building a new museum downtown. Everyone understood that there was something here that was new and different. So we had to come up with a new name.”

The name combines the words kaleidoscope and museum. It’s meant to capture the feeling of the self-controlled learning at the new museum, which will be built on the site of the former sheriff’s administrative building.

“So we started talking about that, this free choice learning experience that you, as the visitor, have control over your experience in this new museum and you have control over your learning,” said Elizabeth Dampier, Kaleideum’s executive director – museum, who was the director at The Children’s Museum,

The Children’s Museum, which is located downtown, and SciWorks, which is located on East Hanes Mill Road, merged last year as a way to better fulfill their mission to educate children. The Children’s Museum is now known as Kaleideum Downtown and  Sciworks is Kaleideum North. In the coming weeks, signs with the new names will be placed on both museums.

Demolition of the old Sheriff’s building and construction on the new museum will begin in 2018. Forsyth County is providing more than $17 million for construction and Kaleideum will be raising $10 million for the exhibits starting next year. The new museum is scheduled to open in 2020.

The new museum will have the same budget as the two museums and will keep the same level of staff. Exhibits are in the planning stages and the public will be invited to give its input, possibly through focus groups and town halls. Dampier said the new museum will combine both the science education of SciWorks and early education of the Children’s Museum into a holistic educational approach that will encourage creativity, experimentation and collaboration.

Kaleideum is currently accessing what exhibits and programs from the two current museums will be at the new location. It’s already planned that the new location will have a planetarium, a multi-use theater, some live animals and a water area, which neither museum currently has.

This week, those who drive by the old sheriff’s building at Third Street and Town Run Lane, will be able to see the museum’s new name projected unto the building.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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