Have you ever wondered how everyday things are made? How do they get that lead into a pencil? What about the way rubber bands come in so many sizes, colors, strength and shapes? Or how glue doesn’t stick to the inside of the bottle? Is there someone in a factory somewhere with a little tiny glass filled with ink spending all day filling up those little tubes with ink inside a pen? These questions keep me up at night sometimes, and the more I discover the more questions I have.
If you have been to Kidspace you have enjoyed the “Kidspace Experience” during a special event, a walk through our gardens, having a snack at the café, constructing a catapult in our Imagination Workshop, singing along with an Educator during Music Time or watching a Dinosaur Fossils Exploration in our amphitheater. Well, if you have ever wondered how that “Kidspace Experience” is made (and I know that keeps you up at night sometimes), please keep reading to get a quick glimpse behind the scenes at Kidspace Children’s Museum.
It all starts with a dedicated group of individuals. It is a great and amazing thing to have wonderful exhibits and a unique outdoor space, but it would be just a space if we did not have the passion for learning and having fun that each member of our staff brings every day. While we do not make awesome rubber bands or fill pens with ink—well at least not all the time—we do create a product albeit not a tangible one, but we do create a unique experience. In order to create that experience we have assembled our staff in teams, and each team is tasked with a different aspect of our experience production.
In the office we have four teams, Education, Operations, Development, and Administration.
I will not bore you with specifics as to what each department does, but suffice it to say that each handles a very specific set of components that eventually churn out our awesome Experience. Each team is captained by a director, and it is their job to support everyone on the team on the road to victory—the delivery of our mission. I know I do not need to tell you what our actual stated mission is, but for those of you who have yet to memorize it here it is: The mission of Kidspace Children's Museum is nurturing the potential of all children through kid-driven experiences, inspiring them to become joyful, active learners.
On a typical day when you visit Kidspace you might not get to meet any of our office staff, but trust me we are here and working diligently to keep things going. The folks you do meet during a visit are our Educators. You've probably seen them wearing their green shirts or their black jackets with a big “EDUCATOR” printed on the back. They are our front-line team members. All of them are here as part-time staff, and they deliver the daily programs and activities that make up the core of our Kidspace Experience. They are here for you, our guests. You may have spent some time with them working on a cool sand painting project at the N’art Table, or maybe they guided your child along our Trike Traks or gave you a glimpse inside a bug’s life during one of our programs. In either case, they translate our creative ideas into that experience you are bound to find every day here at Kidspace.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of working for different educational organizations, and one of the things that sets this staff apart is the way they bring ideas to the floor. A program, activity, event, or exhibit idea can be come from any individual, and its merits are then discussed, details are hashed out, and its execution is carefully planned and supported by everyone—but it does not end there. Everything we bring to our guests is then reviewed to make sure it was what we expected. We debrief as a team, and consider the success or failure of the program and make the necessary changes for the future. Kidspace is a true assembly center for creative ideas that are constantly improving on that experience rooted in our mission. If I told you how many times we met and discussed things like the size of a particular cardboard structure or the color of a banner or the length of a program or the inclusion/ exclusion of educational standards, this could well be a compendium and not a blog entry.
Rest assured that when you visit Kidspace our dedicated staff has spent countless hours making sure we deliver our product to you and your family with great care and passion for learning and fun. We may not have an actual assembly line that pumps out thousands of little pencils by the hour, but behind the scenes we are busy at work crafting your next awesome Kidspace Experience.
Here are some “Behind the Scenes” pictures of our operation: