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WonderLab Closed Until Oct. 5 To Install New Exhibit

WonderLab Closed

This is the first major renovation at the museum's location on W. 4th Street since it opened in 2003. (Barbara Brosher, WFIU/WTIU News)

WonderLab Museum is closed until early October to install a new infant and toddler exhibit.

Science Sprouts Place is designed for younger children, aged birth to three years. It will feature a tummy time area, where infants and caregivers can work on building strength babies need to move their bodies into new positions.

There will also be information for caregivers about infant brain, social and emotional development.

Executive Director Karen Jepson-Innes says it’s important for the museum to have a dedicated space for children one and under.  

"The more research is done, the more scientists validate the critical importance of the first year of life," she says. "And, so much of that of course is sitting, and a baby in arms, and a baby on the ground and starting to crawl."

There will also be an area for toddlers that includes interesting surfaces for children to walk and climb on. It will include a treehouse where kids can see the space from a new perspective. There will also be "wiggle woods," a climbing experience designed for ages 2 to 3. 

"All of these things encourage the cognitive development of very young children," Jepson-Innes says. 

Science Sprouts Place will be located in an area of WonderLab that previously housed a bubble exhibit. That experience is being moved to a different area of the museum. It will include new bubble domes and foam fountains. 

There will also be changes to exhibits on the museum's second floor. 

Jepson-Innes says the renovations will cost about $250,000. Several local businesses and organizations are funding the project. 

Museum Experience Director Ella Heckman says all of the changes are a big deal.

"This is the first time that we have made such a major renovation since we opened our doors over 16 years ago," she says. 

WonderLab will reopen and unveil its renovated space Oct. 5. 

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