Sandcastles Children’s Museum receives grant for nature exhibit

November 20, 2023

Sandcastles Children’s Museum was among the recipients of the funds.

Sandcastles Children’s Museum receives grant for nature exhibit

LUDINGTON — Sandcastles Children’s Museum has been awarded a grant of $5,000 from Great Lakes Energy People Fund to build a new exhibit called Budding Naturalist. The exhibit will emphasize the science of nature. It will feature a discovery lab with a microscope that kids can use to study scientific slides to learn more about plants, animals, and insects.

It will also feature an interactive, imaginary “walk in the woods.” Kids will follow a map to find different stations that will teach them more about natural settings using their senses to observe and gather information. One station, for example, will have four sound buttons that will allow kids to listen to sounds they might hear in the woods: an owl, a frog, crickets, and coyotes. On another stop they will use their sense of touch to identify natural objects. Each of the senses will be emphasized for observation skills at of the seven interactive stops.

The new exhibit will be located on the museum’s third floor.

“We are so excited to build this exhibit this winter,” said Sandcastles’ Executive Director Kristin Korendyke. “It’s going to be a very complimentary addition to the Michigan Woodlands exhibit we built last

year, but with more of a focus on what it means to be a naturalist and make scientific observations about our natural world.”

Sandcastles will be introducing a new character along with the new exhibit. “Fern the Fox ” will help kids learn more about being a naturalist and her representation within the exhibit will invite kids to explore the DIscovery Lab and take the imaginary Walk in the Woods. She will also be featured in three new puppet shows the museum’s Discovery Guides will perform this summer, and an online campaign

called, “Where in the World is Fern?”  Fern will be photographed at some of the natural places in Mason County, and participants will guess where she is located in the photo encouraging her followers to visit.

“The museum experience will be made richer by the addition of the ‘Budding Naturalist’ exhibit,” Korendyke said. “As with all of our exhibits, we want to capitalize on a child’s natural curiosity and engage them in learning new things through play. We are thankful that the Great Lakes Energy People Fund also sees the value in this exciting new exhibit.”

Members of Great Lakes Energy support the People Fund by voluntarily rounding up their bills to the next highest dollar. The rounded up amount is distributed to non-profit organizations and charitable activities that benefit people in the communities served by the cooperative. Vontact Great Lakes Energy, 1-888-485-2537, or visit for details.

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