Play Aggieland! Exhibit at Children’s Museum Brings Brazos Valley to Life

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By Hannah Gerken

Executive Director Jabot’ Colvin with the model of Play Aggieland!

To fulfill a goal of educating children and families through play, the Children’s Museum of the Brazos Valley is always seeking new ways to create interactive opportunities for learning. With this goal in mind, they announced on Tuesday, Sept. 26, the plans for a new exhibit that will be coming to the museum in 2018. The new exhibit will be called Play Aggieland! Modeled after iconic locations in the Brazos Valley, the exhibit will give visitors a chance to learn about and interact with the local area.

“We’ve always wanted to try to be reflective of the Brazos Valley,” says Marketing Director Ashley Kortis. “[One way] is showcasing different industries that are popular here, such as medicine, the family pet center for biomedical sciences (which is so popular with Texas A&M), and also agriculture.’

The H-E-B interactive center will be a part of the new Play Aggieland! exhibit.

The exhibit will bring a new look to half of the museum as it recreates the Brazos Valley. Starting with a river area, modeled after the Brazos River and complete with a boat dock and boathouse, children will be able to learn about water conservation, litter control, recycling efforts, etc. The exhibit will then move into the Downtown Bryan area. This will include a replica of Queen’s Theatre with a stage for children to perform on. The building will be flanked on either side by another building. These could serve as things such as banks, restaurants, flower shop, and more, depending on the educational outcome.

The next section of the exhibit will be a well-known museum favorite, the H-E-B center. This gives children a chance to learn about making healthy food choices and to use math in the process of checking out. Following this will be the relocated baby area. There will also be a CHI St. Joseph helicopter and a fire truck. Throughout the Play Aggieland! exhibit there will be train tracks to serve as the guiding walkway.

The new exhibit will be housed on the right side of the museum, making use of the space currently occupied by Dino Dig, the toddler area, and the ambulance.

“We really want this exhibit to be reflective of the Brazos Valley, which was started like so many little towns because of the railroad,” says Kortis. “Our old building was also located on the train tracks, so trains are a big thing for us and we want to bring that back.”

The Children’s Museum hopes to start construction of the exhibit this month. They hope to raise $100,000 and have already had $25,000 committed from local sponsors. The exhibit will open in stages as construction is finished throughout 2018.