STEPPING STONES MUSEUM FOR CHILDREN COMES
TO FAIRFIELD COUNTY
Fairfield County now has its own hands-on, interactive
museum for children ages one to ten. Stepping Stones Museum
for Children, located in Mathews Park in Norwalk, opened to
the public on March 11, 2000.
"We did a great deal of research and discovered that
a vast majority of parents and educators felt the need for a
resource of this kind in our area," said Marjorie
Priebe of New Canaan. Priebe is the founder of the project
and president of the Board of Directors.
With no comparable facility closer than New York City or
Providence, Stepping Stones is a unique facility for all
children throughout the area, Priebe said.
The museum's mission is to broaden and enrich educational
opportunities for children up to age ten, and to enhance
their understanding of the world around them.
Museum exhibits focus on three broad subject areas
central to children's education: the arts; science and
technology; and culture and heritage. Current exhibits
include a 27-foot tall giant kinetic sculpture called the
Color Coaster (the only permanent exhibit) designed by
George Rhoads, the Toddler Terrain, Waterscape, Express
Yourself!, In the Works and I Spy Connecticut.
"The exhibits have been designed to appeal to and
educate children of different age groups and to provide each
child with a different experience each time he or she visits
the museum," said Priebe.
The museum also supports parents, caregivers and
educators by offering educational programs and providing
resource materials. In the Resource Center, soon to open in
the museum's West Wing, visitors will be able to continue
and build on the learning experience gained in the
Teachers will be able to find curriculum-related
reference materials, identify activities they can use in
teaching and record and exchange ideas. Parents can access
ideas and materials for at-home activities related to the
concepts their children will learn at the museum.
The Learning Lab, located in the East Wing, is a 900
square-foot flexible use room with kitchen facilities and
program materials that accommodates functions ranging from
educational workshops to children's birthday parties.
The Performance Gallery is an indoor/outdoor theater
offering a venue for professional performances and community
events, as well as a backdrop for theatrical play by museum
visitors with exhibitry and props to encourage fantasy and
imagination. Examples of future programming in the
Performance Gallery include: children's theater performances
and educational workshops; storytelling and puppetry; and
interactive technology programs connecting Stepping Stones
with other museums' lecture series and seminars.
The Outdoor Celebration Space is a quarter-circle shaped,
8,000 square foot landscaped area, which will provide space
to hold programs or community events, and to simply enjoy
Stepping Stones has recently completed an $11 million
campaign to raise the funds needed to design and construct
the museum facilities, create the interactive exhibits and
develop educational programs and resources. Donations have
come from individuals, corporations and foundations from
around the area.
The museum's five-acre site is centrally located at the
junction Of 1-95 and Route 7, in a park that is already home
to historic Lockwood-Mathews Mansion and the Connecticut
Graphic Arts Center. A city-state redevelopment plan is
underway to create a riverside park linking Mathews Park to
the nearby Maritime Aquarium.
For more information on
Stepping Stones Museum for Children go to Connecticut Family
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Article courtesy of
Stepping Stones Museum for Children