The Amazeum which set to open in 2015 has already announced its first permanent exhibit will be "Lift, Load & Haul" and will focus on kinetic activity and the transference of things. The exhibit will be sponsored by General Mills.
"We are delighted with how plans for the Amazeum have taken shape," said Mary Zettle, General Mills sales director. "At General Mills, our mission is to nourish our communities through remarkable programs that promote education, nutrition wellness and volunteerism. The new Lift, Load & Haul exhibit will allow kids to explore how things work on their own terms while experiencing basic principles of physics, engineering, logistics and problem-solving."
The multi-faceted exhibition allows kids to roll up their sleeves and work on their own or in cooperation with someone else to lift, move, load and ready a truck for transport.
The truck was donated to the museum by Walmart Fleet Services and – thanks to a gift from The Miller McNeil Woodruff Foundation – will be wheelchair accessible.
The interior of the cab will have all gadgets intact, including an air horn. A small back-up monitor will be mounted in the dashboard so the driver and passenger can view the activities taking place in the trailer, which features conveyors and devices that move boxes into and out of the truck.
"The exhibition will offer multiple points of engagement and levels of complexity that will appeal to a wide range of ages, and we are very grateful for the support of General Mills making it all possible," said Sam Dean, Amazeum executive director.
Dean said the one of the first things visitors will notice is the large, accessible cab of a truck inviting them to climb in and pretend to drive. He said the actual truck cab has been part of the design from the get-go as the museum seeks to provide authentic experiences.
Before boxes reach the truck, they travel from a kid-powered conveyor activated by turning a crank. This belt sends boxes up high before they slide down, making their way to a motorized conveyor belt. At this point, children can push buttons that send boxes off the belt and into color-coded bins, ready for loading into the truck.
In addition to the truck loading process, the General Mills exhibition includes a:
• Pulley lift where boxes can be raised and lowered by three different pulley systems
• AirWorks station where visitors can manipulate the path of balls and scarves through a tube system by changing the direction of the wind flowing through
• Packaging area complete with a graphic informing visitors of the weight differences between old versus new packaging, as well as other green facts
• Building space for kids to work with the same boxes used on the conveyor belt to build in creative and traditional ways
• Magnetic ball wall in which balls can be lifted and set into motion to travel the path the user creates with an assortment of pipes, tees and other objects
Construction on the $25 million children’s discovery center, led by former Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott and wife Linda and a host of other benefactors, is well underway near the entrance of Crystal Bridges Museum on American Art in Bentonville. The Amazeum is slated to open in the back half of 2015, but the project remains $1.3 million behind in its initial capital campaign goal of $28.5 million, according to Molly Rawn spokeswoman for the children’s museum.
Rawn said the museum is accepting donations at all levels, and permanent recognition opportunities are still available.