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Michael Marshall Design has been tapped to design the newest location and “innovation hub” for the KID Museum, an “educational makerspace” for children, families and educators offering real-time distance learning and interactive programs.
In June 2021, the KID Museum announced a major expansion of its maker learning facilities and programs in partnership with Montgomery County Executive, Montgomery County Council, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), and other community partners. This expansion is empowering KID Museum to deliver transformative hands-on learning model to more students, with a focus on youth from under-resourced communities.
A new 28,000 square feet metro-accessible “innovation hub” is being designed at Bethesda Metro Center and will offer studio space for programs in coding, robotics, electronics, textiles/fiber arts, 3D printing and more, as well as expanded space for KID Museum educators to collaborate with local schools and community partners.
“We are extremely excited to design this transformative facility,” said MMD’s Michael Marshall. “What is most rewarding about this project is we are supporting the mission of the KID Museum to foster greater engagement with youth from diverse backgrounds. Work that supports such initiatives in education is a hallmark of our practice,” he added.
According to KID Museum Founder and Executive Director Cara Lesser, “This new model allows us to both go where the greatest need is, and build an accessible, dedicated space for hands-on, maker learning that engages youth of diverse backgrounds. We are energized that the County Executive and County Council recognize how important it is to invest in our mission, which fuses STEM and social-emotional learning and helps build skills for the future.”
With programs across the Washington metropolitan area, the KID Museum’s mission is to be “our region’s pioneering experiential museum and educational makerspace” and to foster the “Mind of a Maker.”
The expansion of the KID Museum’s makerspace is coming at a critical time, following a year of “profound disruptions” to learning. Research has shown that the average student lost five to nine months of learning during the 2020-2021 school year, and for students of color the loss is more significant, with many falling as much as six to 12 months behind. According to the June press release, “KID Museum deepened its commitment to youth of color and low-income populations through partnerships with Title I schools, equity hubs, and key community organizations.”
“We are proud to help to expand educational opportunities for all students, especially with programs that inspire creativity. Contributing to the mission of KID Museum and supporting the next generation of changemakers is something our entire team is passionate about,” Marshall added.
KID Museum is beginning in-person programming around the region in July and is developing new content to be rolled out this Fall. Construction starts this summer on innovation hub at 3 Bethesda Metro — a site chosen for its central location and access to public transportation and parking — with an expected grand opening planned for early 2022.
To learn more about the KID Museum visit kid-museum.org