We did a fun project with cups, string and paper clips. When you wet a paper towel and drag it down the string, it makes different voices (the cup amplifies the sound).

We took a little bit of a risk. You looked around. You socialized. You trusted the people around you. Laughter and figuring things out together. Vibration, sound, science. Kids go through this process when they’re learning. They stage these types of things at the museum. They don’t necessarily label them but it’s happening. 
Novel toy: does a bunch of different things. If you put it in front of a kid, they’ll figure out what it does. If you say it does 5 things, they’ll find 5, even if there are 9. If you tell them nothing, they’ll find all of them.
 
  
 
Speaker, Deb Gilpin, Director and CEO of Madison Children’s Museum
 
Deb has been at the museum 5.5 years. The new location is 8.5 years old. 220,000 people served this year. The new building was a Montgomery Ward Bldg, built in 1929. 
 
They used to be where Iain’s is now. 75 employees. MCM is typically in the top dozen of children’s museums in the country and there are over 400. MCM is a non-profit. $3 million budget, half from admission, memberships, renting out for events like weddings and corporate events. The other half is fundraising, like the American Girl Doll sale. In one weekend, they brought in $2.2 million. So now they created a trust and it funds 20 other organizations. MCM is also fun for adults. $9/person to get in. But, the average is closer to $3.5 because of the programs they have which pay for part of the ticket. Kids on reduced lunch. They give passes freely to BBBS and Boys and Girls Clubs, Badger Care families. They’ve becoming a big site for Convention and Visitors Bureau events. 
 
They focus on birth to 12. Topics cover interdisciplinary. Students come and use their visit as part of a school project. MCM consistently wins awards for sustainability, educational programs. Leveraging Community Assets. UW students come and observe and learn how to work with little kids. Many key UW collaborations. 
 
1,000 programs per year: feeding animals, planting on the roof top, harvesting, cooking in solar oven. From the outside, MCM looks like all art but it’s so much more. 
 
Any time a baby through three year old does an activity where they reach across their body, it’s pinging both sides of the brain, which helps kids with things like reading at a younger age. Russian babies who where swaddled all the time had trouble with brain development. 
 
The Infant Learning Lab is one of the biggest entities in the world doing their kind of work.
 
LEED Gold Certified. The glass in one of the rooms is from the revolving door of the old Montgomery Ward building.
 
The art studio is drop in. Recycled objects, glass, clay — different all the time. 
 
There is a bottle cap exhibit. 8 years ago, all the kids in Madison were able to make their own bottle cap. They come back now and find their bottle cap.
 
Helicopter parent = zamboni parent. Natural consequences build confidence.
 
Kids are breaking their bodies with much worse injuries. 23% of Wisconsin kids are obese. MCM’s goal is to get kids physical. Kids aren’t working their bodies enough. They see on video games how people jump off high places and get hurt but you just reset the game. In real life, it isn’t like that. 
 
There are six chickens who lay eggs. There are homing pigeons they take out to homes and churches. Kids learn about the biology of pigeons. They use cigarette papers like in the war. There are snakes, turtles and fish. There is a toddler skating rink. There are many different galleries. 
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