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updated: 10/25/2012 2:41 PM

Children's Museum welcomes exhibit inspired by Mr. Rogers

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  • Visitors can see how stop lights are made and put together a trolley in How People Make Things, a new exhibit at the DuPage Children's Museum. The exhibit is inspired by segments on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."

       Visitors can see how stop lights are made and put together a trolley in How People Make Things, a new exhibit at the DuPage Children's Museum. The exhibit is inspired by segments on "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • How People Make Things, a traveling exhibit opening Saturday at the DuPage Children's Museum, is inspired by the factory visits that were part of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."

       How People Make Things, a traveling exhibit opening Saturday at the DuPage Children's Museum, is inspired by the factory visits that were part of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood."
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Peter Crabb, director of exhibits, demonstrates a 3-Axis Mill, one of the displays in How People Make Things, visiting through January at the DuPage Children's Museum.

       Peter Crabb, director of exhibits, demonstrates a 3-Axis Mill, one of the displays in How People Make Things, visiting through January at the DuPage Children's Museum.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • The How People Make Things exhibit invites visitors to get up close with mechanics and production processes. Here, Peter Crabb, director of exhibits, checks out a golf cart on which kids will be able to exchange steering wheels.

       The How People Make Things exhibit invites visitors to get up close with mechanics and production processes. Here, Peter Crabb, director of exhibits, checks out a golf cart on which kids will be able to exchange steering wheels.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • The How People Make Things exhibit appeals to a broad age range and may engage older children -- and adults -- who have outgrown some of the DuPage Children's Museum's exhibits.

       The How People Make Things exhibit appeals to a broad age range and may engage older children -- and adults -- who have outgrown some of the DuPage Children's Museum's exhibits.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
 

The DuPage Children's Museum couldn't say no to Mr. Rogers.

Of course, it wants to be his neighbor -- or the closest thing to it -- with a traveling exhibit opening Saturday, Oct. 27, that honors perhaps one of the most beloved segments from the old PBS hit, the factory tour videos of how everyday household items are made.

Except within the new exhibit, How People Make Things, children not only will be able to see the process, they'll also be able to participate by making things with their own hands.

"It's going to be a lot different than what people are used to at the DuPage Children's Museum -- in a really good way," said T.J. Hicks, director of integrated marketing.

Children will cut wax using a drill bit or make things with warm liquid wax -- and even race a robotic arm while constructing Mr. Rogers' trolley.

Located on the first floor in the creative connections area, the exhibit has four major sections: cutting, molding, deforming and assembling.

Within that, children will see how people make things, including -- 10,000 Crayola crayons in 90 colors, 10,000 plastic pellets, 300 ice cream cups, stop lights, cooking pans, sneakers, baseball bats, baseball mitts and Matchbox cars.

The exhibit follows the museum's mission with an emphasis on math, science and engineering.

"We like to provide open-ended experiences so they can learn to be inventors," Hicks said. "We've always encouraged kids to make things and to know that they can actually do this as a career as an adult."

The exhibit also highlights a partnership with sponsors Navistar and Caterpillar with a section where children can learn how those companies produce their trucks, school buses and other machinery.

The exhibit is also a fresh take on the museum for older children, who may have outgrown some of the younger exhibits, and even for adults

"Most people know that we're known for experiences for younger children, but I think this will expand the audience up to ages 10 or 11 -- and even their parents, which is pretty cool," Hicks said.

The exhibit opens with a members-only preview event on Friday, Oct. 26. It opens to the public Saturday and will remain there until Jan. 27.

The exhibit was created by the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh and the producer of "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," Family Communications Inc., as well as the University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments.

Fall hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. On the third Thursday of each month, the museum is open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

How People Make Things is free with admission of $9.50 per person for ages 1 to 59 and $8.50 for those 60 and older.

For information, (630) 637-8000 or dupagechildrensmuseum.org.

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