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The Bootheel Youth Museum located at 700 North Douglas, Malden, Missouri, offers exciting, inventive and educational fun for children of all ages.  The museum held its grand opening in March 1996. The planning for this museum took seven years, and is truly a unique facility. The 11,000 square foot, hands-on museum gives children of all ages a chance to interact with exhibits that: stimulate curiosity; provide social interaction; motivate learning; and create feelings of success.  The primary focus of the museum is to provide the youth of Southeast Missouri with learning opportunities in fields such as:

The math exhibit challenges kids to use their brain to figure out ways to make the displays work. For instance, they have to figure out how many different size blocks must be put on either side of a scale to make it balance perfectly. With the pieces being many different shapes and sizes, this make the kids stop and use their brain power in order to get this display to work.

There are many science exhibits for the kids to play with, such as:

  • Anti-Gravity Mirror:  Ever wonder what you would look like in space? Here is your chance! This mirror provides all that you will need to look and feel weightless.
  • Bernoulli Ball:  Watch a ball hover in mid air. Is it magic or science?
  • Bending Light:  Did you know light can bend? Use differently shaped prisms to experiment.
  • Illusion Box:  Anything you put inside the illusion box seems to magically float above it.
  • Pneumatic Tubes:  These are just like the ones used at the bank, send the carrier from one tube to the other.
  • Laser Show: You control the dial that sets the color, speed, and motion of this laser light filled room.
  • Whisper Dish: Two matching parabolic dishes are set at opposite ends of the building. If two people each stand in front of one and whisper, you can hear each other clearly.
  • Many other science displays for hours of fun.

The technology room is a popular room with the kids. They have a network of computers set up, each running a variety of programs for the kids to learn and play on. Other displays include:

  • Decibel Tree:  Watch the tree light up as it responds to sound. Learn about the transfer of energy.
  • Seeing Double:  Find a partner, each of you stand on one side of the mirror, adjust the lights and watch your image transform into your partner's.
  • Lego Shake Table:  Test your earthquake skills. Build a Lego building and test it in an earthquake.
  • P.E.A.R.L.:  Physics, Engineering, And Robotics Lab. Build and drive Lego robots or learn about simple machines with Lego's.
  • Shadow Room:  Freeze your shadow on the wall. Change positions and do it again.
  • Propeller in a Vacuum:  Learn about lift and thrust as you watch the starting and stopping of a propeller in the absence of air.

Human relations displays include:

  • Health Center:  See a skeleton, be a doctor, or be a patient. It is all possible in the doctors office.
  • Miniature Restaurant:  Want to become a chef? Here is your chance to practice. Use the toy food to make cheeseburgers, hamburgers, or many other items from the menu.
  • The Farm Store:  Pump water the way your great-grand parents did.
  • Kids Kountry Market:  Go shopping in a pretend store with real working cash registers.

The Outer Space section of the museum is the most popular with visitors. With fun things to do such as:

There are so many things to do at the museum, your kids will not know which fun thing they want to do next. They have live animal displays such as Ivanna the Iguana, and other wildlife found in Southeastern Missouri area.

There is a Pre Kindergarten area for those small tots to play in while the bigger kids enjoy the museum, and a children's theater where the museum puts on shows for the small kids. These Pre Kindergarten attractions are a big plus for families with kids of all different ages.

My nephew had his 3rd birthday party at the museum. They provide a big room with table and chairs, so you can have cake and ice cream. You also get to have up to 15 kids invited at no extra cost, and adults are free. The cost was $60.00 which considering everything was free it was worth it.

They are open Tuesday thru Saturday 10am - 4pm, and Sunday 1pm - 4pm, Monday is by appointment only.

Admission into the museum is reasonably priced. Adults and children over 12 are $5.00 each, Children under 12 are $3.00.

They even have a mobile museum that they take to special events, schools, fairs, and educational conventions.

If you are ever near Malden, Missouri, make sure you take your kids and spend an afternoon at this one of a kind kids museum, your kids will love it. And they will sleep well that night, since they tire themselves out playing at the Bootheel Youth Museum.

Source: Many visits to the museum with friends and family
Bootheel Youth Museum. 14 Aug 2004 <http://www.bootheelyouthmuseum.org/>.

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