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Museum & AMEK Partner To Build Curiosity

AMEK Design + Build is now part of a new long-term exhibit at The Works Museum in Bloomington. The House is an interactive chance for elementary-aged kids to explore potential careers in the construction trades.

Our Lead Designer Hanna Mooney was invited to be interviewed for a video component to the exhibit. She was able to show what a typical day might be like for her as a designer from computerized drafting software creating multiple concepts for remodeling projects to how she gathers samples of tile, flooring, and cabinet colors for clients to select.

The video also features her sharing advice to kids who think they might want to go into a career like hers. Mooney  tells viewers how she would change her bedroom around as a kid and how that helped her discover her talents for space planning that is both functional and attractive.

Mooney is excited for the potential of this exhibit to encourage kids to consider career fields where they might play a role in building or remodeling a house.

“I wish my school would have brought me here as a kid!” noted Mooney. “Even as an adult, I want to interact with everything that I’m seeing here at The Works Museum.”

The Works Museum’s Director of Education Marissa Woodruff sought out local partners to make the exhibit relatable by connecting with real people who work as electricians, plumbers, framers, tilers, and designers. With AMEK’s efforts to hire and train people in the trades, our leaders were thrilled to be part of this community partnership especially since the museum is located in Bloomington, our location for nearly 20 years. 

“The House is our first of the new exhibits that will be going in,” noted Woodruff who said The House is already generating long “stay” times. “I’ve seen kids working for hours in our framing area.

“It’s showing kids an entry into STEM fields that use both linear and non-linear thought processes. It’s important for kids to see that careers in STEM can be more than going to college and getting a 4-year engineering degree. The House highlights how kids who have an aptitude for design, creativity, building, and working with their hands may also find a fulfilling career in STEM that doesn’t require a huge amount of schooling,” explained Woodruff.

Mooney agrees. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase the more technical, hands-on types of careers. For me, interior design at Dakota County Technical College was an appropriate career path rather than a four-year college. It’s really nice for kids to explore these types of options too.”

“We wanted to reach out to businesses close to our 98th & Lyndale location,” according to Woodruff. With AMEK Design + Build being in Bloomington too, we were excited to include Hanna in her job showing how CAD, architecture, and creativity work together.”

The House features an area for kids (and their accompanying adults) to explore framing, what’s inside a wall, electrical systems, tiling, plumbing, and siding. Within the exhibit is a TV screen and a dial that allows young visitors to view interviews with a diverse range of tradespeople.

“It shows kids what a designer like Hanna or an electrician might do as part of their day and allows them to see themselves doing those construction-related jobs as a potential future career,” Woodruff said.

The Works Museum has been in operation for 29 years. It’s geared towards elementary-aged kids and their families. Programming primarily focuses on field trips and educational programming for schools and other organizations. Birthday parties, events for the community, and camps reaching more than 60,000 kids and their teachers and families in a year. On weekends and school breaks they are open to the public.