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Transcription of Interview - Port Discovery


Deep in the heart of Baltimore a museum that children can enjoy called Port Discovery. They claim the museum is kid-powered because all the exhibits are hands-on and encourage education. Wendy Blackwell, Director of Education describes why children enjoy Port Discovery.

WB: Well traditional museums are a look and don’t touch and the whole philosophy of a children’s museum is interactive. You can touch, you can see, and you can do things so when they come here, they enjoy that no one is going to say don’t touch it. We only have a few rules and they are no chewing gum in the museum and no eating. You also have to keep your shoes on and no running in the museum. Other than that, they enjoy that they can touch everything. Two areas are indeed dream lab and studio and we try to make it one that they would not have in their classroom.
BT: Nora Moynihan, Community Partnerships Coordinator at Port Discovery discusses the educational programs.
NM: Right now, we just opened up “Clay,” which is in our studio workshop. We are also opening up an architectural program called structures, which is opening in the R & B. We do all those kinds of things from early childhood programs, infant toddler programs, special events, overnights, birthday parties, and then we get community partners to help us. There is room for everyone.
BT: Wendy Blackwell discusses the “dream squad.”
WB: Originally, Port Discovery was all about dreams and it started off with the “dream squad” that was a cast of characters who represented the dream process. This way the kids wouldn’t daydream about ‘oh I want to become a basketball player.’ Ivan Idea has the treasure box and the key and he represents the idea of the dream. Annie Action is a person who represented what you do to obtain it. Howie Lovitt represented the passion that you have to have to see it through. All of these characters represented a piece of the dream process and the whole goal of the museum is to introduce kids to careers, activities and things that they could do that they might not have thought about it in that way.

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