New Children’s Museum Opens in JacksonBy Jeffrey Hess | Published 02 Dec 2010 09:06am |
After more than 16 years of hard work, a new educational, and fun, museum for kids opens in the Capitol City. MPB's Jeffrey Hess was there as the Mississippi Children's Museum opened for a special preview on Thursday.
Efforts to build the new museum started in the mid 90's, but it took until this week to open the doors on the new Mississippi Children's Museum.
In front a large crowd of state leaders, a children's choir sang as Mississippi's first lady Marsha Barbour officially unwrapped the museum front door.
"Isn't it beautiful? It is a wonderful Christmas present early. And what a wonderful thing for Mississippi and all the school kids around," Barbour said.
The first kids to enjoy the Mississippi themed educational museum were Ms. Gail Hammond's fifth grade class from Northwest Ranking Elementary. An essay about Ms Hammond, by 10-year old Chris Hart, won his class a preview visit to the museum.
"I knew a lot about Ms. Hammond and my brother was also in her class. So we have known her for a long time and thought she would just be the perfect person to write it about," Hart said.
Inside, the museum is open and airy with a huge climbing map of Mississippi in the center. The Exhibits on science, nature and local culture get kids involved and active. They can play giant scrabble, paint and play instruments, or even wander through an enlarged replica of the human digestive track. 11-year old lawson Marchetti and his friend were playing with a big wheel that made them dance and twist.
"Whenever it says to do something, you can bounce up and down and it moves. And then you twist and it moves," Marchetti said laughing.
The Museum board and Junior League of Jackson raised more than 26-million dollars for construction and will lease the building from the state. It is designed for kids, but everyone will find something fun and educational.
"Very, very nice. (reporter: and what's your name) Larry Williams, Larry Williams. (reporter: and how old are you?) 17, but 13 at heart, 11 at heart," said Larry Williams while playing with an exhibit.
A parade on Saturday will officially open the museum to the public.
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