El Paso Exploreum
El Paso Exploreum is a children’s interactive museum that engages the entire family in creative, unique and hands-on gun. It is the first such museum created for children to learn and explore the basics of STEM (Science, Technology, Electronics and Mathematics) principles. A non-profit organization, the Exploreum operates a series of rotating exhibits that change every few months to keep the experience dynamic and exciting for the visitors. Designed as a flexible exhibit to give El Paso residents an active voice in the development of a permanent children’s museum, the new facility offers a wide variety of interactive exhibits for all ages.
Backstory and Context
The El Paso Exploreum utilizes and innovative Explorer’s advisory board of children from 7-17 that guide the decision-making concerning upcoming exhibits. The facility uses trained docents to lead tours of the facility for schools, family groups, and others throughout the day. The docents not only explain the various exhibits, they share strategies on how the visitors can best use their time in the facility, and provide demonstrations and lessons during the tour to participants as well. The focus on STEM subjects is promoted throughout the programs, and the Exploreum also is involved in judging Science fairs, attending career days at associated schools, and even making in-school presentations when requested and coordinated.
Annually, the Exploreum is involved with programs and events like Kids’ Palooza, Dia de los Ninos, and Race for the Cure.
Annual programs like Summer and Spring Break camps give parents and children the opportunity to learn, without realizing they are being taught. Learning to love the learning process, the programs are always fresh and new every year.
El Paso Exploreum resides in a14,000 square feet space, and offer more than 60 interactive exhibits. Rather than rotate exhibits every four months, the Exploreum maintains the same exhibits and adds more cool stuff every 2-4 months. Current exhibits include:
Old El Paso
The first room visitors will encounter is a role play area, emulating El Paso in the early 1880s. This area is complete with a general store (and OLD products), a schoolhouse, a bank, a horse corral, a toddler area, and the much requested jail. Children are encouraged to just play in this area while experiencing the old west.
One of the newest exhibitions is located in the entrance of the High Tech Hot Spot room and was created by Time Warner Cable.
High Tech Hot Spot
With heavy emphasis on technology and science, this room offers different magnetic experiences, multiple types of sensory sands, interactive floors and tables, and more.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
The STEAM room focuses heavily on popular areas of learning and required standards in the schools….all while being fun! Kids will examine, explore, and attempt things with their own hands. This room houses our sound studio, news studio, earthquake table, and best of all, WATER!
This exhibit encourages new ideas and creativity. There are sewing table, coloring tables, a painting with water station, multiple construction items, and circuits for children to figure out… all without directions! Often, adults’ way of doing things or simple directions hamper a child’s ability to think freely and create.
The airport is adjacent to Inspiration Station and is full of real-live airplane stuff! Kids can have fun airplane teeter-tots, a hand-crank conveyor belt, luggage, and an airplane midsection complete with seats, emergency doors, and overhead bins. In this section, they can experience air travel and dive into the world of busy airports!
Shuttle to the Stars
Created by a 13-year-old boy trying to make a difference in the community, this exhibit features an interactive shuttle that rumbles and roars, highlighting the planetary orbits above.
The Science of Bowling
This area explores the science of bowling opened in conjunction with the USBC Open Championships. While they hold the national competition across the street, we will host interactive fun, bowling games, in-house carpet lanes, and informational displays.