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Children's museum joins exhibits at UAMN

The Fairbanks Children’s Museum will open in the auditorium of the University of Alaska Museum of the North for the winter. The long-term exhibit is designed to encourage curiosity and discovery through play and creativity.

Director Aldona Jonaitis says this is a chance to welcome the community to the museum in a new way.

"This partnership with the incredibly dynamic group that has developed the Fairbanks Children's Museum will bring new visitors to the UA Museum of the North," she said. "We've had school programs for decades, educating generations of Fairbanks youth, but now we can address the needs of even younger visitors.”

The installation features several new interactive exhibits that let children explore through the very serious business of play. Monthly Creativity Center themes will draw on the Alaska Department of Education’s early learning guidelines. They range from fiber arts and simple machines to artistic math. The children's museum will also feature bi-weekly Super Sundays, featuring resources from across the community to teach core concepts to kids.

FCM director Brenda Riley says this is an opportunity to achieve another goal in the community-supported institution’s long term plan.

“As an emerging museum, we couldn't be more thrilled to have the support of the UA Museum of the North," she said. "This is the perfect opportunity for the FCM to evolve beyond offering monthly events and to further our mission of bringing a permanent home for play-based exploration to the community of Fairbanks.”

The children's museum is also taking reservations for field trips and birthday parties. The installation opens to the public on Oct. 1 and runs through April 30, 2014. There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 5 at noon.

Jonaitis says the museum staff is looking forward to the patter of little feet with this new partnership. “It's a very exciting time for us, and expands our efforts to be as responsive as possible to the needs of the Fairbanks community."

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