Palatine approves Quest Academy children's museum
Quest Academy, with assistance from its young students, will build an interactive children's museum as part of its operation in a Palatine retail plaza.
Under the plan approved by the village council Monday night, the museum will be constructed in empty space next to Quest Academy's preschool. Quest, which educates intellectually gifted children in preschool through eighth grade, also operates in other sections of Palatine Centre on Northwest Highway, between Smith and Benton streets.
Quest's students in preschool to third grade are to help design, build and operate the museum, along with working as docents with adult supervision. Head of School Jacque Negus said educators hope the museum is ready by April
"We are very excited about this endeavor," Negus said. "I feel that it's going to be a win-win, really, for everybody."
Gary Mann, a Quest lower-school art teacher, will be in charge of the interactive children's museum going into the 1,500-square-foot space. He said the exhibits will be wide-ranging.
"We'll talk about (explorers) Marquette and Joliet's canoe and the discoveries they made," Mann said after the council's vote. "And it's going to be an archaeological dig. We'll have sand in the canoe, and there will be different items they had along the way and the kids will be able to pull them out."
Mann said there also will be a "grandma's attic" exhibit, typically found at children's museums, that allows kids to find vintage clothes and play dress-up. However, Quest's attic will have a twist.
"Ours is Grandma Moses' attic, where they're going to dress up as artists and famous paintings," he said, referring to the late American folk painter.
Negus said the exhibits will rotate, letting the Quest children to continue using their creativity for the museum. Students from other schools will get to make group visits to the museum by appointment, she said.
Councilman Tim Millar said he looks forward to seeing Quest's museum.
"I really appreciate everything that Quest does for the community," Millar said. "It focuses us on our educational excellence."
Quest officials said they believe the children's museum will be well-received because there is nothing like it in or around Palatine.