Children's Interactive Center to Open at the National Museum of the American Indian

Children's Interactive Center to Open at the National Museum of the American Indian

Explore native scientific discoveries with hands-on activities.

The interactive imagiNATIONS Activity Center at the Museum of the American Indian will open on May 17th. Students will solve puzzles, perform experiments, and play state-of-the-art computer simulations. Visitors of all ages can explore the Native American culture through a variety of hands-on activities. 

Visitors will learn about Mayan math using shells, beans and sticks similarly to the way Mayan merchants did. They will also have the opportunity to learn about Incan bridge design, Haudenosaunee farming, and more through farming simulations and suspension bridge replicas. Children under the age of 17 must be accompanied by an adult at all times within the activity center.

The imagiNATIONS Activity Center was started by Kevin Gover, Director, who wanted a dynamic place in The National Museum of the American Indian where families and young people would be able to learn about Native cultures in a hands-on, fun way.

"In this family-friendly, interactive space, visitors of all ages will explore native scientific discoveries and inventions so ingenious that many continue to affect the modern world," said Gaetana DeGenarro, manager of the imagiNATIONS Activity Center. "These explorations are made even more fun by solving puzzles, performing experiments, and playing stat-eof-the-art computer simulations. The hands-on activities are based on indigenous knowledge nad STEM-based concepts."

The museum will host its annual Children's Festival May 19 and 20 in celebration of the grand opening of imagiNATIONS. This two-day museum-wide event, called Celebrating imagiNATIONS, will have kid-friendly activities including making cordage, learning about Arctic peoples' hunting gear, the 'Powwow Sweat,' and making hunting visors and snow goggles to take home.

Image: Children trying out the “Cropetition Challenge,” an interactive video game that teaches about Native American farming and agriculture.

Courtesy: Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian