Immersive children’s exhibit full STEAM ahead

"Building Buddies," a new immersive exhibit at Grand Rapids Public Museum aims to teach early science, technology, engineering, arts and math skills through collaborative play and activities. Courtesy photo.

Grand Rapids Public Museum has announced an upcoming children’s exhibit set in the world of construction and home improvement. 

As the museum moves ahead with its own $50 million expansion project, the new exhibit serves as a way for children to have fun learning about construction and community, connecting the dots between imaginative play and the world around them.

The interactive exhibit– entitled “Building Buddies” – follows a family in the process of moving to the GRPM. Visitors who step into the exhibit will find themselves surrounded by a small town where residents are busy constructing their dream homes. From painting to landscaping to fixing leaky pipes, there is no shortage of educational activities to enjoy as they lend a hand to make their neighborhood truly special.

“At the Grand Rapids Public Museum, we’re passionate about creating immersive experiences that spark curiosity and creativity in our young visitors,” said Dustin Tyler, the museum’s vice president of marketing and public relations. 

The interactive exhibit promises a hands-on learning experiences in an immersive environment that fosters early science, technology, engineering, mathematics (disciplines commonly referred to as “STEAM” in academic parlance ) and process skills, with open-ended activities for kids and their families to collaboratively explore what it takes to build a village. 

“Building Buddies is a testament to our commitment to education through engagement and is sure to leave a lasting impression on families who explore this hands-on exhibit together,” Tyler said. Building Buddies, designed for children ages 2 to 8, is slated to open Saturday, January 20, 2024. To learn more about this exhibit, visit

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