Much to Celebrate on Amazeum's 3rd Birthday

July 24, 2018

In the three years since we opened, we’ve had an incredible response from our community. In fact, 805,531 incredible responses from guests who visited the museum to play and learn with us. Saturday, July 15, hundreds of community members came out to help us celebrate our 3rd birthday with some gooey, sticky, hands-on family fun.

We pulled out some of our messiest activities for families to celebrate. Giant bubbles floated across our Playscape, globs of oobleck slowly slipped through fingers, and water-powered rockets soared during the day before some courageous volunteers donned ponchos and set off fountains of Diet Coke to cap the celebration. Five years ago, a similar explosive experiment signaled the start of construction on the building and a new opportunity for children in Northwest Arkansas to experience science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) through playful exploration.

Three years later, the Scott Family Amazeum has welcomed guests of all ages to experience hands-on STEAM activities, special exhibits and events, and 87,700 children and adults from pre-school through high school have participated in Unfield Trips to the museum. Over 5,500 member families belong to the Amazeum and many of their children believe it to be “their” museum. Hundreds of children from 6 to 14 years old make an Amazeum camp part of their summer and school breaks.

Amazeum accessibility programs provide free admission for one out of every six guests and hold down the true cost of admission for the more than 200,000 people who visit the museum each year. Over 20,000 families experience the Amazeum at little or no cost during Priceless Nights on Wednesday evenings when guests can choose to make a donation instead of paying admission. As we prepare to welcome our one-millionth visitor before our 4th birthday, our mission is to improve access to high-quality learning experiences for families throughout the region.

The Amazeum continues to grow into more than the children’s museum as originally conceived. A Maker in Residence Program began this year, thanks to a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, to bring regional, national, and international creative talent to the museum for extended periods to support the Amazeum team in developing new experiences for guests, infuse creative energy into the community, and support the development of a maker ecosystem in Northwest Arkansas.

Throughout the region, diverse communities are impacted by the Amazeum’s outreach programs in schools, libraries and community events. The Amazeum leads the Making Spaces: Expanding Maker Education Across the Nation initiative in the region. This nationwide program, supported by Google, the Maker Education Initiative and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, partners with the Amazeum to provide local schools guidance, professional development, and support to launch and sustain maker education in classrooms.

More than a children’s museum, the Amazeum provides experiences designed to engage the community in creativity, learning, and understanding. As we continue to grow, our goal is to become a hub for creativity in the greater Northwest Arkansas community at the center of a maker ecosystem. Pretty ambitious for a three-year-old.  We can only imagine what we’ll be celebrating next year on July 15th