The Mount Pleasant Discovery Museum has finally become a reality.
MPDM, 200 E. Broadway St., held a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday and opened its doors Friday.
Earlier this month, families from Mount Pleasant were invited to a “trial run,” giving the museum feedback for improvements and adjustments, Nate Lockwood, the executive director of the MPDM said.
Robert Fanning, associate professor of English Language and Literature, said he and his family were lucky enough to be invited to preview MPDM.
“Being there, I was quickly transformed into a kid myself. I didn’t want to leave,” he said.
“As a parent of two children, we’re always looking for safe, fun, educational things to do in Mount Pleasant and surrounding communities, and the MPDM is exactly what we’ve been hoping for,” Fanning said.
Fanning’s son, Gabriel, is part of the Youth Advisory Committee, which consists of several young people from Mount Pleasant.
The Youth Advisory Committee met often to brainstorm ideas for the museum, draw up plans and blueprints for the space.
“It is obvious that several aspects of the space were dreamed up by kids, for kids,” Fanning said. “And I love that they were allowed to have a voice in its design.”
Fanning remembered looking at some of their plans, including a beehive that you can enter into thinking they were a bit far-fetched. But he was proved wrong.
Lockwood saw others having a similar experience at the museum’s preview.
“One of my buddies was there with his family, and they were there for over three and a half hours,” Lockwood said. “He said he couldn’t believe how his kids were so actively engaged and had so much fun. He had to drag them away.”
The museum has plenty of attractions from pollinating flowers and dressing up as bee keepers to working with a water table river that runs around the floor resembling the Chippewa River itself, he said.
Additionally, children can partake in building rockets and experiment with different percussion instruments, along with a portion involving one of Mount Pleasant’s sister cities Okaya, Japan.
Entering each exhibit feels like a different world and a new atmosphere, Lockwood said.
“I think it’s one more thing that Mount Pleasant has to make it a destination for people to come visit,” he said. “This can really bring a financial impact to the community.”
Lockwood was the program director for nine years at PEAK, an after-school program.
“It’s been an opportunity to get back into a position professionally where I am contributing to positive development in the community,” Lockwood said. “This has reinvigorated me and my passion for the community.”
MPDM is open Tuesday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5:30 p.m.
Admission is $10 per person. More information can be found on MPDM’s website: mpdiscoverymuseum.org