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Valley Children's Museum hosting event to welcome new exhibit

Maker Space to encourage student creativity, STEM activities

After more than a year of development and construction, play-based learning will once return to the Tri-Valley when the Valley Children’s Museum (VCM) holds its grand reopening and reveals its new exhibit on Wednesday in Dublin.

To commemorate the opening of its "Maker Space" exhibit, VCM and city of Dublin officials will gather for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, at 5 p.m. on Wednesday at the VCM portable museum located near the Gleason Street entrance inside Emerald Glen Park. With catering provided by Dublin High School culinary program

Using funds donated from Livermore’s Sandia National Laboratories in 2018, the museum’s new Maker Space exhibit is geared toward STEAM -- science, technology, engineering, art and math -- activities and features new chalkboard walls, a Lego wall and a magnetic wall, that will encourage students to express their creative talents. The museum will also have a series of instructor-led activities for children aged 3 to 10.

“We are grateful to Sandia Laboratories for their generous $25,000 grant to be our lead Play in the Park sponsor. We share a common goal of preparing children for tomorrow’s workforce by stimulating creative thinking and building confidence all the while having fun in a safe environment,” Ed Duarte, president of VCM’s Board of Directors, said in a statement.

During the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Duarte will be on hand to give a few words commemorating the event, alongside Sandia’s Raheel Mahmood, and Dublin’s Mayor David Haubert.

Previous visitors to the VCM may remember it best for its previous exhibit the California missions, where students would learn about the Spanish missionaries of early America, as well as the Native American peoples who interacted with them. This exhibit was replaced by Maker Space however in order to provide students with a more modern museum experience.

In line with the mission of its parent organization, the Association of Children's Museums, the goal of the VCM is to help foster the healthy social, emotional and cognitive development of children, through play and its interactive education displays.

The VCM also offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for teens looking to develop their leadership skills or collect some community service hours. Students can volunteer at any one of the VCM’s numerous events -- such as their outdoor events typically held the third Saturday of every month -- or by signing up for the museum’s Teen Leadership Council.

The VCM Board of Directors hope to one day have a permanent location to complement their portable spot, and for the past two years have been working to raise enough funds for the construction of such a project, which would be located in a future 30-acre park near Dublin Boulevard.

The Dublin City Council approved a memorandum of understanding with the VCM, reserving a spot for a permanent museum, and last year extended the MOU to Dec. 31, 2019, giving the VCM Board of Directors much needed time to raise the requisite funds.

Residents can learn more about the VCM, its quest for a permanent museum location and its volunteer opportunities by attending Wednesday's free ribbon-cutting ceremony, or by exploring the VCM's official website.

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