After a trial period of three weeks, EverWonder Children’s Museum Experience founder Kristin Chiriatti said that the museum at 31 Pecks Lane is ready to officially introduce its newest exhibit to the space.
A public reception for the Mag Wall, funded by Newtown Junior Women’s Club (NJWC), will take place Saturday, August 2, at 12:30 pm. The Mag Wall consists of multiple PVC tubes, ramps, hoops, and cups that attach with powerful magnets to a board mounted on the wall. Wooden balls are then released, swooping, jiggling — and sometimes bouncing off — as they make their way from top to bottom of the construction, landing with a plunk in a bucket at the bottom.
EverWonder Board of Directors member Karen Smiley said that the organization was approached earlier this year by NJWC President Laura Branchini with an offer to fund a new exhibit.
The museum routinely rotates exhibits throughout the two-room Experience, with each exhibit geared toward introducing children to science and art in a fun, hands-on manner.
“[The NJWC] has been a good fit [with EverWonder],” said Ms Chiriatti. “They do a lot for kids, like the Discovery Workshop, which we hope to partner with this coming year.”
“We do like to help kids,” agreed NJWC member Sue Belanger, who viewed the new installation Monday, July 28, along with member Meri Jitsukawa Rosenthal.
Ms Chiriatti had seen the Mag Wall at the Kodo Kids website last year, when purchasing the outdoor ramp system exhibit.
“NJWC liked the idea of the Mag Wall,” she said. She was pleased that the group was willing donate $750, allowing EverWonder to purchase the Mag Wall.
Like many of the other installations at EverWonder, Ms Chiriatti said that the Mag Wall is an open-ended exhibit that encourages problem solving.
“There is no right or wrong,” she emphasized. The Mag Wall teaches children about motion, gravity, momentum, and angles as they play, she said.
“The possibilities [with Mag Wall] are endless,” added Ms Smiley.
EverWonder Children’s Museum Experience is a temporary space as the 501(c)(3) foundation works to create a 30,000 square-foot permanent museum in Newtown.
“We’re still in the planning mode,” Ms Chiriatti said, “and want to grow at a pace that makes sense for our organization.”
EverWonder is most likely going to move to a larger, intermediate space before the permanent museum envisioned becomes a reality, she said.
“There are days when we are bursting at the seams here. It has been a great learning experience for us,” she said of the EverWonder Children’s Museum Experience, which opened to the public April 6, 2013. The idea for the museum was incorporated in January 2011.
EverWonder Children’s Museum Experience exhibits are most attractive to children from toddler through preteen years. It is not uncommon, though, said Ms Chiriatti, to find parents having as much fun with the exhibits as are the children.
The EverWonder Children’s Museum Experience is open Mondays and Wednesdays, 10 am to 4 pm, and on Saturdays from noon to 4 pm.