June Summer Camps

Summer camps are filling up fast.  We still have limited spots for our upcoming June camps.  Contact Becky to reserve your spot today.

June Summer Camp Flyer

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Lego City

This week we were excited to have Neodesha Kindergarten classes at the museum for a field trip.

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During their visit we read the book “Block City” by Robert Louis Stevenson.  The story is about a boy who creates his own city out of blocks.  The students then become very creative, using our extra Legos they worked together to create a city for Ian and Lacey.  They were very imaginative with their creations.  There were buildings that were tall, short, skinny and fat.

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They event made sure to provide transportation with cars, trains, and planes.

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Field trips can be arranged for schools, scouting, church groups and home school students.  Contact the museum if you are interested in booking a field trip.

Becky

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Pasta Bridge Competition

We had some great entries in this year’s pasta bridge competition.  There was a total of 13 entries, with one individual entry and all others were composed of a team of builders.

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2016 CMDZ Pasta Bridge Winners:

1st place:  Jayce (4th grade)

2nd place:  Raw Pastahh- Damais, Manaye, Kennedy, Dazara (3rd grade)

3rd place:  Iron Pigs- Conner, Aubree, Hunter, Chassis (3rd grade)

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Thanks to all that participated.  We cannot wait to see next years bridges.

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Closing Update

The museum will be closed on Friday, March 4.  The carpet and walls are still drying out from the water leak. We will be open on Saturday, March 5.  So bring in your pasta bridge to be judged.

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CMDZ Closed

Due to a water leak from the upstairs apartment, CMDZ will be closed on Thursday, March 3rd and Friday, March 4th.  We are hoping to be open on Saturday during regular hours.

 

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Lego View- Week 2

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Today Lacey has discovered the kitchen area of our museum.  Although the kitchen is still too big for Lacey it is sized just right for kids to explore and create a five course meal.  There is a sink where kids can pretend to wash the dishes or fill up a bucket to mop the floor.

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Pans are sized just right for the stove top to cook a vegetable stew of tomatoes and carrots.  For baking, Lacey can put cake pans into the oven and set the knobs to the correct temperature.

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After visiting the store Lacey is able to put her groceries away into the refrigerator.  She has a great view of all of her sandwich ingredients.

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There is so much to see here at Curious Minds and Ian or Lacey will show you a new area of the museum next week.

Becky

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Lego View- Week 1

New Year’s resolution:  create a new post each week.

So, I am a little late in getting started but, on a positive note I am only one month behind.

I am starting a new series of blog post to show off Curious Minds from the point of view of a Lego person.  Each week two of our Lego people will explore an area of our museum.

This week our Lego guy, let’s call him Ian, has found his way to the science area of our museum.

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CMDZ Science Center

In this area Ian is able to use microscopes to view slides of different cells, from plants to fish scales.  To make things bigger he is also able to look at items with the magnifying glass.

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Ian stays very calm as he stands next to a replica of a dinosaur head.  He is also able look at our dinosaur and shark teeth, fish vertebrae and fossilized sponge.

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We have two turtle shells that kids are able to pick up and hold.  One of them still has the turtle legs to look at.

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We have lots of rocks from large to small for Ian to explore.   Compared to Ian some of our rocks are large enough to climb on.  Not only are there rocks but, we have a collection of seashells that can be picked up to examine.  Fun Fact:  Why can you hear an ocean in a sea shell?  It is the surrounding sounds outside the shell bouncing off the hard surface inside the shell creating echoes.  These echoes resemble the sound of waves splashing up onto a beach.

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Check back next week to see what area of the museum Ian or Lacey has discovered.

Becky

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Curious Minds begins campaign

Posted Parsons Sun: Thursday, January 14, 2016

By Colleen Williamson 

 

Providing children a place to learn through experimentation and problem solving in a safe environment while having fun is what Curious Minds Discover Zone has been doing since it opened its doors in 2012.

Wanting to see how a museum providing hands-on exploration for children would be received in the area, Curious Minds opened in a temporary location at 1810 Main in downtown Parsons. The museum quickly became a hit as word spread. Besides local patrons, families from Pittsburg, Neodesha, Independence and other neighboring towns bring their children to the museum on a regular basis.

Museum director Becky Falke said she has continued to update and improve the exhibits to allow children who visit often to engage in new experiences. Summer camps and special programming were added and have been filled to capacity.

The addition of family memberships was an advantage many patrons opted for, increasing from 31 to 1,057 this past year. Family memberships allow families to visit the museum anytime during regular business hours and provide discounts on special events and camps.

In all, visitors to the museum increased from 4,789 in 2014 to 5,537 in 2015.

Three years of growth and success, with little promotion, supports the need for expansion, which is impossible in the current downtown location. For that reason, the museum board this week is kicking off the Curious Minds Discovery Zone “Expanding Potential” capital campaign.

“We’re calling it that because not only is it expanding our potential, but children can expand their potential,” Falke said.

The nonprofit museum is working to raise $600,000 to construct a new 6,000-square-foot building.

“Ideally, we’re hoping to have all the funds raised within a year, so that by next summer, 2017, we will be able to be in the building,” Falke said. “That would be our intention.”

The future site will be located on Union Avenue, east of Green Country Auto Group. The one acre of land for the location has been donated by the city of Parsons.

Not only will the new building double the size of the museum’s indoor space, but also the new location will provide for a wide variety of outdoor opportunities.

“I’m looking forward most to the outdoor space, where kids can plant gardens and get muddy, go bird watching, and we’re so close to the stream (Tolen Creek) we can do counts, and we can walk to the pond (in Tolen Creek Park) to do stuff there. The walking trail steps off our parking lot,” Falke said. “So we’re very excited about that.”

There will also be a designated birthday party/event room in the new facility to allow groups to enjoy their activities without disruption from other patrons.

Falke said this is an important addition as Curious Minds has became the No. 1 birthday party destination in the area, with more than 1,496 birthday parties scheduled during 2015.

All capital campaign donation amounts are welcome. All gifts of more than $500 will be featured on the Museum Donor Wall, and all donors will be included in museum publications. Donor levels are: Visionary, $100,000 plus; Scholar, $50,000 plus; Gifted, $25,000 plus; Artistic, $10,000 plus; Prodigy, $5,000 plus; Thinker, $1,000 plus; and Muse, $500 plus.

Anyone wanting more information on how to make a tax-deductible donation can visit www.curiousmindz.org, call 778-2657 or email curiousmindsdz@gmail.com.

 

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December Toddler Time

Join us at Curious Minds Discovery Zone for Toddler Time on Thursdays.  We read a book around 10:30 am followed by a craft/activity.  There is no extra cost for this event.

December Books:

  • December 3rd:  “Bear Stays Up For Christmas” by Karma Wilson
  • December 10th:  “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg
  • December 17th:  “Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas” by Jane O’Connor

 

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It’s Fall

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Fall is my favorite time of the year!  There is nothing better than stepping outside in the morning to the crisp cool air or to watch the chlorophyll break down the green color in leaves to reveal their yellow and orange colors.

To welcome fall CMDZ has created a “Fall Bucket List” where kids can complete groups of fall activities.  When you bring the bucket list into the museum for each group that is completed and signed that child will receive a prize and their name will be entered into a drawing for a Microlab microscope.  Stop by the museum to pick up your “Fall Bucket List” or you can view it on our event page.

Check out our calendar for our Friday Fall Bucket List events. Each Friday in October to November from 3:15-5:00 pm we will be completing one of the items off the bucket list.

Becky Falke

CMDZ director

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