‘Taking Flight’ at Children’s Museum

February 2, 2017


Blake Genzer, 5, right, mans the controls in the cockpit. The exhibit allows children to role-play airport jobs and get acquainted with planes. (photo courtesy of Bradley J Boner / News&Guide)
Blake Genzer, 5, right, mans the controls in the cockpit. The exhibit allows children to role-play airport jobs and get acquainted with planes. (photo courtesy of Bradley J Boner / News&Guide)

Imagine you’ve never been to an airport — or you’re afraid of flying. Acquainting yourself with the ins and outs of planes as a child might help.

“Sometimes flying can be nerve-racking or scary because it’s different,” Jackson Hole Children’s Museum Director Jean Lewis said. “This is a place where kids can be comfortable in a life setting.” Last week the museum debuted a new exhibit, “Taking Flight,” to a crowd of over 85 people.

“It was a huge success,” said Julie D’Amours, the museum’s director of education. “It was really fun, and we had a great turnout of children and families who absolutely loved it.”

“We had all of these kids dressed in pilot and flight attendant costumes,” D’Amours said. “They were so cute.”
“Taking Flight” is the newest iteration of a rotating exhibit highlighting Jackson jobs and prominent industries in the community. A previous exhibit focused on the St. John’s Medical Center, doctors and the emergency room, while others have included Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and a rafting and river sports space.

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It really is a community collaboration, and it took support from the community to make it happen,” D’Amours said.
Other sponsors, partners and donors include Mead & Hunt, a national engineering and architecture firm that worked to incorporate a sound component to the exhibit, Fly Jackson Hole, Teton Aviation in Driggs, Idaho, and Precision Aircraft in Denver.

The museum is looking forward to bringing the concept of flight to other parts of the museum, like the “Tot Spot” geared for toddlers, and integrating the popular theme across exhibits and ages. The museum’s Colter Club after-school program “Motion Commotion” is focusing on things that fly and studying flight.

A highlight that’s bound to be loved and looked forward to? Kids can design, build and decorate flying machines and send them zooming across the museum on a zip line.

READ MORE in the Jackson Hole News & Guide