JRA, named by The Wall Street Journal as “one of the world’s more prominent design firms”, has been chosen to create the final concept, schematic and detail design for the Children’s Museum of Siouxland’s 8, 000 sq ft exhibit space.
The Children’s Museum of Siouxland, scheduled for completion in 2015, will focus on families with children aged 6 months-10 years, providing a fun, hand-on learning experience that meets State of Iowa educational guidelines and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) learning principles. Social sciences, languages and the visual arts will also be included in exhibits aimed at encouraging creativity and imagination by developing problem solving skills and self-confidence as well as generating a spirit of discovery and exploration.
The $6, 000, 000 museum is projected to have 50, 000 visitors in its first year of operation, creating a $2 million economic impact for downtown Sioux City. (See related article: Cultural Capital: Putting a Price on The Impact of Museums.)
The museum is also looking to involve the whole family in children’s learning by including a colorful “Infant-Toddler” area as well as ensuring that exhibits also have elements which will be of interest to adults.
JRA, who plan, design and realize exceptional visitor experiences for entertainment, cultural, sport and corporate clients around the world, previously collaborated with educational consultant, Mary Sinker, to complete the master planning and preliminary concept development for the museum.
Kari Kellen, Executive Director of Children’s Museum of Siouxland, said, “JRA has been part of the Children’s Museum’s dream for almost 5 years, so we are thrilled to announce our partnership. We are also excited to finalize the designs for the exhibits, which will make the museum a reality. JRA’s commitment to our project over the years is reflected by their energetic team. Their depth of talent and passion for early childhood education originally drew us to them, and we are looking forward to getting the project underway.”
The museum will include interactive and innovative exhibits which draw on the history, geography and heritage of the Sioux City region:
- A touch activated globe will allow visitors to explore the cultural diversity of “Siouxland” in the “Me and You” area.
- The “Building” area will feature six simple machines to move bricks.
- The “Commerce and Trade” area will have role playing in the café and market.
- In the “Agriculture” area visitors will be able to explore the interconnected elements of a farm.
- The physical properties of wind, water and the regional terrain will be featured in other exhibits.
Mike Meyer, JRA Senior Project Designer, said, “We’ve enjoyed a long relationship with Children’s Museum of Siouxland and couldn’t be happier to continue this design process. Together with Kari’s team, we look forward to creating a beautiful, safe and engaging museum and to providing a vibrant educational attraction for the Sioux City community.”