The San José Children’s Museum launches exhibit for hands-on exploration of building construction

September 28, 2013

Costa Rican children are invited to explore themes of building construction and urban living at a new exhibit at the Children’s Museum in downtown San José.

The bilingual exhibit, “Constructed Spaces,” features an indoor room with a video exploring concepts about man-made spaces and an outdoor area filled with foot-long building blocks that can be stacked to create various structures. The outdoor area also includes trees where children can write down some of the changes they would like to see in their city’s environment.

For the Friday morning opening ceremony, the museum invited children from the Modern Educational Institute School in Cartago, east of the capital. The children, donned in plastic construction helmets, cut the ceremonial ribbon, and ran in to explore the exhibit.

Children’s Museum Director Fabiana Rodríguez gave a speech welcoming the young guests.

“It’s an opportunity to involve children in the world of adults,” Rodríguez said in an interview. “The construction concept is a great way to express their creativity.”

After being given time to play in the exhibit, Costa Rican kids were invited to write their aspirations for the future of the capital city on cards and hang them from fake trees. Some common themes were a desire for more natural spaces, places to play sports, and areas to ride bicycles.

The museum got help from the Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA) and the Architects Association of Costa Rica (CACR). Representatives from the two associations attended the ceremony.

“It’s great to recognize the excellent work from the beginning to create this constructive space,” José Guillermo, CFIA’s president said in a statement. “It’s certain to educate students to work as a team and recognize the impact that engineering and architecture have on society.”

The “Constructed Spaces” exhibit is part of a larger section of the museum that includes interactive exhibits, such as working with magnets, a chess board with child-sized pieces, ancient Egypt, and an imitation of an entire town.

Tickets to the museum cost $2 for children and $2.60 for people 15 and over. On weekdays the museum is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and weekends it is open from 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. The museum is at the north end of downtown San José, near Calle 4 and Avenida 9.

constructedspace2

Children assemble building materials in the outdoor section of the “Constructed Space” exhibit at the San José Children’s Museum. The exhibit opened on Friday.

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