Enter the Koch Family Children’s Museum of Evansville from Fifth Street. Look to your right and up at a vibrant aluminum sign by Sign Graphics of Evansville.
A 26-foot tower climbs to the top of the second story and spirals back to the floor in the form of an orange slide. A bridge extends to another tower at the far wall. Wispy scarves slip up tubes with the help of a fan and glide from the ceiling into the hands of intrigued children.
Just one year ago, you would have seen no more than an unadorned lobby floor.
Initial planning for the Aluminate exhibit began three years ago, with a grant from the Alcoa Foundation and funding from Vectren Corporation. It began with the design expertise of Evansville’s Rachel Wambach, the construction experience of Chicago-based RedBox Workshop, and the dream of the cMoe team.
“The great thing about working with Alcoa was that they were really able to guide us in how we could use aluminum in the actual production of the exhibit,” says Ashley McReynolds, cMoe Director of Marketing and Outreach. “And they sat on the team to help design it, as well.”
After countless hours of work, a crew from RedBox drove the exhibit components to Evansville, where Matt Fugate,
cMoe Director of Facilities and Exhibits, and four volunteers from Tin Man Brewing Company helped unload the truck.
By the end of Jan. 30, the ribbon strung between the exhibit’s towers had been cut, and the latest addition was ready to facilitate learning through play and family interaction.
Aluminate, which teaches about energy efficiency and everyday aluminum usage through panels of facts and a fun structure, is only the beginning of a year of development at the museum.
“Evansville is growing around us currently,” says McReynolds, “so we want to make sure that we also grow, with the kids and with Evansville.”
For more information about cMoe, call 812-464-2663 or visit cmoekids.org.