PHOTOS courtesy Jack Rouse Associates.
Atlanta, GA, USA (December 17, 2015) – After a four-month, $8.9 million renovation, the revitalized Children’s Museum of Atlanta (CMA) is now open to the public. Founded in 1988 as a virtual “Museum Without Walls” before landing a permanent home at Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park 15 years later, CMA’s mission is to spark imagination and inspire discovery and learning for all children through the power of play.
CMA is the only educational venue of its kind in Atlanta, presenting educational programs and exhibits designed for young children ages 0-8. JRA (Jack Rouse Associates) provided overall planning, design development, and project management for the renovation, which includes new permanent exhibits on its existing first floor and on the new 3,000 square foot mezzanine level.
In addition to the Museum’s upgrades and additions, visitors will now enjoy targeted, age-appropriate programming with a new focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math education) to make meaningful connections between school, community, work and global issues. These new focus areas – in conjunction with literacy; culture and geography; health and wellness; and social and emotional lessons – enable the enhanced Museum to further function as a catalyst for play-based exploration and experiential learning focused on the whole child.
New and renovated exhibit spaces include:
Fundamentally Food: Children choose vegetables and fruits from the farm, climb on a John Deere tractor, milk a cow, load boxes onto a delivery truck, and operate a forklift. They can also shop in the grocery store or enjoy a healthy pretend meal while relaxing at a play diner.
Gateway to the World: In the Museum’s newest and largest permanent exhibit, visitors travel the world at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, journeying to six continents, launching rockets to other worlds, and climbing to the center of a 14-foot globe to make it turn.
Leaping Into Learning: Little explorers can enter a magical forest, cast their rods to catch colorful fish, climb a tree house, and go under a waterfall without getting wet! Babies and toddlers can enjoy the bubble wall, model car and little house built just for them.
Let Your Creativity Flow: Visitors discover colors and sounds while exploring artists and music from around the world in CMA’s new art and music studio. They can release their inner Picasso at the paint wall, build giant castles at the sand tables, or don a costume and shine like a star on the CMA Stage.
Step Up To Science: This new, permanent, mezzanine-level exhibit explores the inner workings of the human body, the wonder of light, and the technology of robots. Visitors can belly up to the Science Bar and order a hands-on demonstration or experiment.
Tools for Solutions: Children move balls through a giant ball machine using six simple machines, use real tools and materials in the Build-It Lab, learn how to attach make-believe wires, connect pipes, and insulate walls in the Construction House, and create skyscrapers and design the city of the future with blocks.
“When families come to the new Children’s Museum of Atlanta, they are going to encounter a ‘wow’ experience,” said Jane Turner, Executive Director of CMA. “Especially families who have been here in the past, they will see it as a completely new museum, one of the most inspiring children’s museums in the entire country!”