Children's Museum Named One Of Nation's Best

News Photo 444
Children at the Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Center enjoy petting a guinea pig.
July 26, 2002

"Child Magazine" and the Association of Children's Museums has named Baylor University's Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Center as the 29th best children's museum in the United States. The only Texas children's museum to rank ahead of the Discovery Center was the Children's Museum of Houston, which was ranked second in the nation. Fort Worth's Museum of Science and History, the only other Texas museum listed in the top 50, was ranked 44th.

"Baylor has a little jewel in the Discovery Center," said Jill Barrow, director of the children's museum. "Out of 200 museums that were taken into account, we were the only university-affiliated museum on the list. We are definitely top tier in children's museums."

"Child Magazine" based its rankings on several factors including the extent and quality of monthly programming, the diversity and quality of exhibits, the experience and availability of staff, outreach, collaboration, market penetration, the overall value and comfort factors like restrooms, diaper-changing stations and food service.

A hands-on children's museum located in downtown Waco, the Ollie Mae Moen Discovery Center sponsors various programs that allow visitors to experience specimens and artifacts in a number of ways. The Center serves approximately 40,000 school children annually through scheduled programs, and is open to individuals and families on a walk-in basis.

In 2004, the children's museum will move to the Harry and Anna Jeanes Discovery Center, the centerpiece of the Sue and Frank Mayborn Natural Science and Cultural History Museum Complex. Children's World, a 30,000-square-foot area, will encourage participatory learning within 17 Discovery Rooms: Mrs. Moen's neighborhood, vertebrates, invertebrates, television and weather studio, communication, experimental education, Native American, people of the world, pioneer, recycling, energy, water and bubbles, optics, health, sound, transportation and simple machines.

The Jeanes Discovery Center is under construction and will be located on University Parks Drive next to the Baylor Alumni Center.

For more information, contact Barrow at 757-0922.

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