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Spark!Lab Smithsonian opens at TCMU

Spark!Lab Smithsonian opened to the public Saturday at The Children’s Museum of the Upstate.

The new permanent exhibit offers opportunities for children and families to explore their inventive creativity — to create, innovate, collaborate and problem-solve. Children will experience interactive, hands-on learning through games, experiments, activities and special programs.

The exhibit will be open at different times for different ages. The following schedule will begin Feb. 4: 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. Tuesdays — ages 5 and younger only; 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. — all ages; 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays – Saturdays — all ages; and noon – 4:30 p.m. Sundays — all ages.

In partnership with the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, TCMU, with the support of Fluor, is only one of several museums around the globe to host the exhibit. The original Spark!Lab opened in 2008 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Nancy Halverson, president and CEO of TCMU, said in a release that the museum is proud to build upon its affiliation with the Smithsonian by joining a prestigious network of Spark!Lab’s in museums across the country.

“Spark!Lab will give children and their parents new ways to explore and discover, ultimately opening their eyes to the possibilities of what they can create and achieve through the process of invention,” she said.

She adds that with the support of local organizations like Fluor, TCMU continues to offer state-of-the-art learning experiences for children of all abilities.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Smithsonian and the Lemelson Center for giving Upstate children the opportunity to explore the process of invention through an incredibly unique and special experience,” she says.

Developed by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History and made possible through the support of Fluor, the Spark!Lab at TCMU is located on the third floor of the museum adjacent from the “Grandma Betty’s Farm” exhibit.

The museum recently opened the “Tinkertoy: Build Your Imagination” exhibit and has an interactive smart phone app for families to use while at the museum.

To learn more about Spark!Lab and hours of operation, visit