Car museum introducing learning lab to curious minds of all ages

A rendering of the new learning lab at Lemay-America's Car Museum.
A rendering of the new learning lab at Lemay-America's Car Museum.

LeMay – America’s Car Museum is ready to get kids to linger not so much in the past, but in the future.

Its new "Powering the Future Learning Lab" aims to do just that.

“It’s a chance for us to talk about how will we power the future through the lens of the automobile,” Debbie Kray, the museum’s education manager, told The News Tribune recently.

The lab has different areas of emphasis for children and adults to explore, including alternative fuels, and what they power.

“Students can engage with the content,” Kray said. “Each station has a lab table, so for example, they can look at the biomass that goes into biofuel and all the work that goes into it, or see how a hydrogen fuel cell works, or learn how our electric grid works.”

The lab's interactive zones include:

Powering the Past: A look at early vehicles and the fuel and technology choices offered in the first automobiles.

Fueling Stations: An interactive exploration of energy sources and technologies.

Driving Forces: Exploring the need for sustainable solutions focusing on the effects transportation choices have on the economy, environment and society.

Investigation Stations: A digital platform allowing visitors to weigh the potential effects of their vehicle choices.

There's also a visitor feedback area to further share ideas.

The museum at 2702 E. D St. has been working on the project for three years, and hopes to make it a hub for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) learning, Kray said.

“We've always been interested in this and it's part of the larger automotive story,” she said. “We wanted to update and make relevant to students today with STEM and real-life applications.”

"We hope to share this with students all over the region; and as a learning lab, we can continually update.”

Saturday (April 14) is the official public launch. Tickets are available at the museum’s website: https://www.americascarmuseum.org/visit/tickets/

Admission coupons will be available at the 2018 South Sound Sustainability Expo on Saturday at the Greater Tacoma Convention Center and Tollefson Plaza.

Information about school programs and field trips to the museum, along with scholarship information for student admission and workshop fees are available at https://www.americascarmuseum.org/learn/school-programs/

Debbie Cockrell: 253-597-8364, @Debbie_Cockrell