Betty Brinn Children’s Museum recently opened a new lab in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood to house its hands-on learning makerspace initiatives, teacher training and fabrication lab.
The museum recently moved its exhibit development operations from a temporary workshop to the new 19,000-square-foot Brinn Labs at 433 E. Stewart St., which has provided more space for its growing business of producing kid-friendly and interactive exhibits. With the look of a warehouse and the feel of an art studio, the lab is where the museum staff develops permanent and traveling exhibits for its own facility, as well as libraries, science centers and other museums across the country. Revenue from the exhibit-building business supports much of the museum’s community outreach efforts.
Brinn Labs also houses a makerspace that hosts classes for teens and adults, professional development training for teachers, and serves as the headquarters for Maker Faire Milwaukee, an annual event co-hosted by the museum and arts organization Milwaukee Makerspace.
- John McGeen uses a CNC router to make components of a new periodic table exhibit.
- Tom Matthews cuts steel rod stock for exhibit components.
- Kyle Hoard paints an exhibit in the fabrication lab.
- Joe Pariso adjusts a hand crank dynamo generator for an upcoming exhibit.
- Austin Boechler puts the finishing touches on a plasma ball mounted into an exhibit cabinet.
- Sean Mizer sands wood for a new exhibit.
Photos by Lila Aryan Photography