Spotlight on MCOE education: the Merced Kids Discovery museum combines fun and learning
The New North Valley Children’s Museum is looking for a sponsor. The Kids Discovery Station officially opened earlier this month.
Landombark learned how museums combine fun and learning.
Descent: Tell us how this museum was born.
Maya Tokuman: So I have a 9 year old son. As any parent living in Merced knows, when it’s 120 degrees outside, your child will jump off the wall. For example, because he’s an energetic boy. , Or it might be a girl who’s got a lot of energy, and there aren’t a lot of places around you can take them. That is to say, yes, there are activities planned. There are sports, but the playground is so hot it is too hot to go out and there is no place to take your kids and just play. To be in a place where they can play, discover and learn. And that’s how the idea was born: to be the parent of Merced. So I started in 2018. This was before his Discovery Station existed, because there were three pilot exhibitions. And the first exhibition took place at the Multicultural Art Center for two weeks. We did not advertise and we did not have the budget for advertising. The budget was very small, with small grants from First Five and UC Merced, UC Berkeley and UC Health. There were 1,000 visits in two weeks. So that shows that not only am I feeling this, but many other parents are feeling this as well. We were actually competing with the Merced County Trade Fair. In one week, I still had almost 1000 visits. So for the second exhibition I went to in August, it lasted three weeks and I had over 1,700 hits. So, with more and more exhibitions, it became very clear that Merced’s parents absolutely needed such a place. This is how the idea was born and became a non-profit. Three years later it opened, so I opened a permanent place. There are a few notes that had a suggestion box on the first show, and some original notes that remain. The most frequent suggestion was “Make it permanent.” I love you. Do it. “Permanent.”
Descent: What is your ultimate goal at the Kids Discovery Center?
Maya: Our ultimate goal is to create an institution within the community that integrates education and entertainment. I am an educator and have been involved in education for 13 years. I am very passionate about combining fun and learning because I believe that is really the only way to learn. If you are engaged, and if you are having fun. If something interests you, you might understand that the underlying concept is much higher.
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Spotlight on MCOE education: the Merced Kids Discovery museum combines fun and learning Spotlight on MCOE education: the Merced Kids Discovery museum combines fun and learning