Sioux Falls, South Dakota (KELO) – Big plans are in place for the future of the Washington Pavilion. In July, the pavilion received his $1.2 million donation. This was the largest donation in Pavilion history. The donation will be used at the Kirby Science Discovery Center.
The Kirby Science Discovery Center inside the Washington Pavilion has hundreds of interactive exhibits.
Eight-year-old Isabelle Seaquist is starting her morning on a space trip.
“We pushed a button, pushed the water, and pushed the next button and the water pushed it up into the air and it fired,” said 8-year-old Isabelle Seaquist.
And she looks forward to learning more.
“I was looking forward to seeing robotics and robots,” says Seaquist.
Brandon Hanson is the director of the museum. He says the space is pretty popular.
In fact, last year they broke attendance records.
“We saw 115,000 people come through our museum. is our reason for being,” said museum director Brandon Hanson. .
Hanson says including hands-on, interactive exhibits is key to keeping the space busy.
“If I had come to the pavilion six or seven years ago, I would have looked at the spot lighting exhibition, the very dark environment, rather than touching and playing with it. As soon as we make that switch and look to Disney and other museums, we’re moving into this kinesthetic learning environment,” Hanson said.
There are over 100 interactive exhibits spread over three floors. According to Hanson, one of his most popular is dinosaurs.
“They love it. It’s this fantasy and mystery and history all rolled into one. Do dinosaurs have feathers? Don’t they? If you let them, they can literally wear clothes.Be a paleontologist and go see dinosaurs in action,” said Hanson.
Other exhibits include space, technology, weather, and health and wellness.
“We thought we needed an evergreen topic, something that didn’t change, something that would always be popular not only with our community, but also with the tourists that come to town.
Now a donation of $1.2 million will help make this area even better.
The donation came from the estate of Patricia Knutson, who died two years ago at the age of 71.
“This is a big deal. We are so successful with our daily admissions that it’s so great to be able to do what we couldn’t do and have $1.2 million to fill our bank and start our dreams.” What that means is that we will have a greater impact, create more memorable experiences for our children, and this will benefit our community even more.” said Hanson.
And now there’s growing excitement about what the future holds for this space.
“All the senses, the sight, the smell, the hearing, you can see them all in our museum. We keep pushing the boundaries as much as we can. Helpful, we’ll get there,’ said Hanson.
Influencing the minds of young people for generations.
Click here for more information on the Kirby Science Discovery Center.