This week, we announced the opening of two new exhibit components: Put Out The Fire in the Ladder 11 exhibit area and an Ant Hill Bug Climber in the Bugs and Other Arthropods exhibit. These installations were made possible in part thanks to funding from the Staten Island Foundation, Richmond County Savings Foundation, Con Edison, National Grid, New York State Council on the Arts, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Assemblymember Charles Fall and the Trustees of the Museum.
We undertook a series of improvements during the year that we were closed due to the pandemic. These included upgrading the air circulation system, replacing the water fountains with bottle-filling stations, and renovating two sets of bathrooms. As a steward of a historic city building, the Museum also invested in restoring the wood exterior to ensure its stability. Each exhibit area has received new play components including a slide, a new outdoor water table and a series of pneumatic tubes and diverter boxes that move multi-colored balls and scarves through a maze.
Through an audience survey and focus groups, we learned that parents were seeking activities that required critical thinking of children and worked off their energy by encouraging them to move their larger muscles. With a design team of staff, board and outside experts, the Museum has been installing new components that meet those needs in each exhibit over the past year. The Ant Hill Bug Climber and Put Out The Fire are the final new components to be installed in this effort.