Museum chief stresses hands-on

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Director Ken Beaton sits in the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Director Ken Beaton sits in the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada.

Ken Beaton has been director of the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada for 14 months. The museum is at 813 N. Carson St. For program information and hours of operation, call 884-2226.

What is unique about the Children's Museum of Northern Nevada?

Besides being the only children's museum in Northern Nevada, we have "hands-on" exhibits for children to interact with their parents. In most cases, the children and their parents learn from our exhibits.

How many exhibits does the museum offer?

The Children's Museum has 33 permanent exhibits, plus from time to time we have traveling exhibits.

How common are children's museums, compared to other museums?

Children's museums are not as common as other museums. There are 135 members of the Association of Children's Museums, 133 in the United States and two in Canada.

To answer your question, there are thousands of other museums in our country. Look at the museums we have locally: the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center, Comstock Wild Horse & Mining Museum, Genoa Courthouse Museum, Liberty Engine Company No 1 museum, Mark Twain Museum, Marshall Mint, the National Auto Museum, Nevada Art Museum Nevada State Museum, the State of Nevada Railroad Museum, Roberts House Museum and Washoe Archive & Cultural Resource Center.

How is the museum funded?

The museum is a private nonprofit. We do not receive any federal, state, or local tax dollars for our operating expenses. Income from admissions takes care of about one-third of our operating expenses. We have several fund-raisers and seek to "build bridges" for community support. The Jester's Jog and Family Fun Run, held each April and chaired by Erin Lehman, is our largest fund-raiser.

How many visitors do you get a year?

We had 20,000-plus adults and children visitors last year.

How do the interactive exhibits better help children?

An interactive exhibit involves more than reading or looking at the exhibit. Psychologists have determined we remember only 10 percent of what we hear. When you involve the sense of touch, the retention rate is 80 percent. This is the reason why children and adults alike learn more when they are actively involved in the learning process.


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