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Go Ask Mom

Marbles announces major gift, plans for new exhibit

Posted October 3, 2012

I mentioned last week that I'd have a big announcement from Marbles Kids Museum this week and here it is!

This morning, Marbles and ABB, a company focusing on power and automation technology, announced a multi-year investment in the downtown Raleigh museum to develop a new exhibit called a "Kid Grid," which will feature playful activities in a pretend power grid. It's the first of its kind in the country, according to Marbles.

The first check for $100,000 was presented to the museum today. It's the first installment of a seven-year pledge.

The new exhibit, which is still in the design phase and will open in 2014, will take over what is now a second floor outdoor courtyard facing Hargett Street and overlooking Moore Square. The project includes enclosing the space with glass, making the new exhibit highly visible.

On the inside of the museum, the exhibit will be near Power 2 Play.

There's still a lot of work to be done on the exhibit's design, but early plans call for three pieces:

  • generation stations where kids can learn about power production and what it takes to keep up with demand;
  • a section focusing on transmission lines where kids can visually understand how power flows and work as a team to keep energy levels up;
  • and energy use action stations where they can recognize the cause-and-effect of energy use and make decisions to balance the grid.

In addition to the donation, ABB, which has a couple of its headquarters in Raleigh and Cary and offices around the state and world, will provide the engineering expertise to ensure accuracy of the grid and will supply some equipment such as motors, towers, underground cables, transformers and control systems.

Children of ABB employees are among the group working on design concepts to make sure it's educational, but also fun.

The announcement was made at this morning's Big Idea Forum at Marbles. The new exhibit will allow the very busy museum, which just celebrated its fifth birthday on Saturday, with some much needed room to grow.

Some press release quotes from the officials:

“Kid Grid at Marbles, presented by ABB, is going to ‘wow’ children, students and families and inspire interest in power and energy,” Marbles President Sally Edwards said. “Marbles is thrilled to partner with an established leader in our nation’s energy industry.”

“We believe that the engineers ABB will employ and the customers we will serve in 2040 are playing at Marbles today,” said Anders Sjoelin, ABB Inc. President Power System Division. “ABB is proud to invest in the next generation through Kid Grid. Marbles Kids Museum is one of the reasons why the Triangle is a great place to live, work and visit.”

I'm looking forward to seeing this exhibit come together and sharing the details!

4 Comments

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  • piene2 Oct 3, 4:35 p.m.

    "Really? a "major gift"?? Hiring the most highly qualified teachers would be considered a major gift, this is just a field trip destination. Again, WRAL step your headline game up.
    ChronStockton"

    Unbelievable; there is nothing like looking a gift horse in the mouth. But you forgot to work President Obama into your whine.

  • ChronStockton Oct 3, 3:54 p.m.

    Really? a "major gift"?? Hiring the most highly qualified teachers would be considered a major gift, this is just a field trip destination. Again, WRAL step your headline game up.

  • goner Oct 3, 3:36 p.m.

    "Marbles Kids Museum is one of the reasons why the Triangle is a great place to live, work and visit."
    He's right. I had an opportunity to go to Los Angeles, New York City, Las Vegas, Denver, Seattle, Miami, and Raleigh. While the other cities had lower crime rates, better infrastructure, more opportunity, lower cost of living, more growth, and no joker for governor, It was an easy choice; none of the other cities had Marbles Kids Museum. That was the sole determining factor for me to move here instead. That and WRAL, of course.

  • Reformed Liberal Oct 3, 12:44 p.m.

    Why does it have to be for kids? I wanna play!