HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — A local children’s museum here in Hagerstown is celebrating a huge milestone. Discovery Station on West Washington Street is celebrating 25 years of providing STEAM education to children in Washington County.
During the celebration, patrons were treated to cupcakes and were encouraged to explore the museum. Members of the Board of Directors, as well as Executive Director Brittany Wedd, were honored for their work and service to the youngest members of the Hagerstown and Washington County communities. The ceremony was slated as a “grand re-opening” as the Washington County Board of County Commissioners, as well as Hagerstown Mayor Emily Keller, were in attendance to celebrate the museum.
Discovery Station also introduced a new exhibit that allows visitors to control robots using only their minds. The new exhibit is slated to open this week and was created with the help of a robotics engineer who previously interned with NASA. Children and adults were able to try the new robot with guidance from Aaron Shepard by wearing a special headset and test their ability to focus on moving the robot. The exhibit also allows patrons to change the colors of interactive paintings using the same technology used to move the robots.
Wedd explains her work with Discovery Station is rewarding as she says the museum is planting the seeds for the future by getting children inspired to pursue STEAM education and activities. She hopes the museum’s milestone will encourage others to visit the museum which is located in the heart of downtown Hagerstown.
“Most people don’t realize that we have this hands-on children’s museum right in our own backyard. A lot of people will travel out of town to like the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, or to the Shenandoah Children’s Discovery Museum in Winchester,” Wedd explained. “And both of those sites are phenomenal, but I mean, with Discovery Station being so close, why not take advantage of all the steam educational programming that we have to offer?”
Kristen Wittemann and her family have been members of Discovery Station for over 5 years. Her 6-year-old daughter, Vanessa, was more than excited to explore the museum and try the new robotics exhibit which made her mother beam with pride.
“It’s great I have three girls, and I’m really excited that they have a place to go to do their steam activities,” Wittemann said.
6-year-old Vanessa was bouncing up and down when Shephard asked for volunteers to try and move the museum’s new robot. Even after countless visits to the museum over the last few years, she is still as curious to explore the museum as if it was her first time visiting.
“I like how there are different things that kids like,” Vanessa explained. “Like I can meet new people, I can learn new things, I can find out things that I never know before. Like I can learn more.”
For more information about Discovery Station, please visit their website.