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The Center for Art, Technology & Science museum in Riverton is providing great educational fun for families. Kids, big and little, can get a break from winter’s chill and enjoy all the exhibits this children’s museum has to offer. There is an animal hospital where kids can dress up and examine furry patients. There is a pizza shop, grocery store, flight simulator, music room, painting station, gravity wall, electronics and gears to play with and so much more! There is even a party room to hold birthday parties.
The CATS staff changes out the exhibits to keep them fresh. Many of the purchased exhibits meet all the STEM objectives and have been tested and tried. All the exhibits are very hands-on and encourage pretend play, creativity and problem solving. It’s a great way for kids to interact with their parents and peers.
According to board president Nance Shelsta it has taken a lot of help from the community to put it all together. Local artists volunteered time painting the walls and the exhibits. Other volunteers have helped build each exhibit and donate funds to create them. The high school helped build the grocery store, and many other man hours have been put into creating the museum.
The concept for CATS began in 2008, in the library, where the board of directors began plans to open the museum. According to Nance, it was a lot of work just to get the doors open! Once they got through creating the vision, plan, bylaws, registering with the state and getting their 501c3 status they were able to open their doors just over two years ago. Tami Stanley, one of the board of directors, helped them secure the location, and it took them a year after finding the right location to get it ready for the kids.
Most of their operating expenses are provided for by the bookstore and gift shop. Nance says most of the exhibits are either sponsored or created through donations or grants. They are currently writing a grant for a 3D printer.
Last year alone, the museum had 10,000 visitors from 33 states and 6 countries. Not bad for little ‘ol Riverton! The museum depends completely on the community to support it. So Nance really encourages the community to come on out and help keep this great place going.