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A Year of Powerful Play!

In 2013, Imaginosity enabled over 12,500 hours of imaginative, creative, educational, engaging play for families here in our museum. We were bursting at the seams throughout the year with new and regular visitors, as the next generation of thinkers, leaders, problem solvers and creative geniuses climbed our stairs to enter a world of imagination and fun.

Imaginosity is bright, inviting, bubbly, friendly and fun, but underneath our friendly and inviting exterior, we take the job of learning through play very seriously indeed. 2013 was an extremely busy and successful year for us. There are probably too many achievements to list for the purposes of this blog, but our key highlights would be:

Science and Engineering Programming and Funding

Imaginosity was delighted to have been formally accredited as a nationally recognised DPSM (Discovery Primary Science and Maths) Centre by Science Foundation Ireland. This was great news following our probationary period with SFI and shows the museum’s dedication and commitment to Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) in our educational programming activities and events.

Through Science Foundation Ireland we were the grateful recipients of funding which allowed us to develop an already existing exhibit into our new ‘Maths House’ exhibit which provides problem-solving and numeracy challenges for museum visitors. This particular funding also enabled us to engage with numerous primary schools around the Dublin area, allowing them to visit the museum free of charge throughout national Maths Week and take part in some exciting, uniquely educational curriculum-based workshops where maths learning was lots of fun.

We also took part in national Engineers Week and national Science Week, providing opportunities for primary schools and families alike to engage through games, investigative workshops and creative activities, in the wonderful world of science and engineering. Imaginosity is proud of the environments that we created this year that exposed children to active engagement with science, engineering and maths. We are extremely grateful to our corporate partner Audi, who has sponsored our Science and Engineering programming for the last three years (2011-2013). It is always wonderful to work with like-minded partners who appreciate the scientific need for play.

Awards

Imaginosity was the proud recipient of a number of accolades this year.

- Envirocom Awards: We were thrilled to be selected as a finalist for the Envirocom Awards renowned for showcasing the best melding of environmental and commercial practice by companies, not-for-profits and agencies operating in the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Area.

- Mums & Tots Awards: Winner for Best Family Indoor Playhouse

- Primary Times Star Awards: Winner for Play & Activity Centre, voted in Top 3 in the School Tours Dublin and voted in Top 3 Family Visitor Attractions.

 Collaborations and Outreach Activities

Imaginosity loves nothing more than joining with organisations and individuals who are committed to children’s education through learning and the arts. We were delighted once again to have worked with the multi-media students from Stillorgan College of Education, in designing another great interactive exhibit for the museum. This year they created an eco-trail for the building, which is interactive, educational and touch-screen.

We’ve been busy with our Outreach Activities this year too. We have packed up the cars and taken the magic of Imaginosity outside the walls of the museum and on the road to places around the country. Our partnership with the Powerscourt Estate in Co Wicklow was a huge success this year. It gave us a wonderful opportunity to present some magical theatrical events and activities in the beautiful setting of Powerscourt House and Gardens. From scary spooky ghoulish tales, to Irish dancing for St Patricks Day to the gorgeous story of Rapunzel and more, we exceeded our own expectations and those of our friends in Powerscourt during 2013.

We visited our lovely friends Childvision, the National Education Centre for Blind Children for their Annual Day for Childvision Donors last summer providing educational, creative fun for the many families who came to celebrate the wonderful work of this great charity throughout the day.

Festival of Stories 2013

Our annual celebration of children’s literature was the largest, most jam-packed festival that we have hosted at the museum. The festival has grown over the last 3 years to become a central pillar in our programming calendar and showcases our commitment to children’s literature, educating children through the arts and the importance that we place on children’s literacy, particularly for pre-school and primary school children.

We were once again so grateful for the participation of some great friends at the festival; to Rick, Dermot, Dave, Lucy and Maia our celebrity story-tellers, to the wonderful theatre companies that took part, to Childvision who once again provided wonderful workshops, to our children’s authors, writers and illustrators and also, to all of those who came to visit during the festival, thank you. The festival and its success would be nothing without your participation. We are already looking to the Festival of Stories 2014 and have some very special participants earmarked! Take cover celebrities!

What’s the Story? A Big Competition for Little Story-Makers 2013

Back at the beginning of 2013, as part of our commitment to children’s literacy we launched our very first creative story-making competition for children aged 3-9 years of age. We had a huge response from all parts of the country, which delighted and excited us. Individual children and primary school classes sent us amazingly imaginative and creative tales, sending our panel of judges on wild adventures and into the minds of our fantastic story-makers. It was a hard task choosing the winners but our wonderful judging panel worked tirelessly before deciding who would be in receipt of a fabulous array of prizes. We’d like to thank our What’s the Story Judges Blathnaid Ni Chofaigh, Peter Sheridan, Benji Bennett, Maeve Ingoldsby, David Maybury and Eithne Kennedy, our competition sponsors and each and every child who put pen, paintbrush, crayon or marker to paper to create beautiful, imaginative stories to enter our competition. The 2014 competition kicks off at the beginning of February, so stay tuned for more information!

Our Camps

This year we saw superheroes fighting the baddies, buildings and exciting structures being built, fairies and elves being hunted and tracked down, magicians and wizards performing tricks and whizzing, popping, squelching experiments being investigated. It was a crazy busy but super exciting year for our camps. We pride ourselves on providing truly educational, interactive, engaging camp experiences for children from 4-7 years through school holidays. Unlike other camps, we provide lots of opportunity for one-on-one time with trained, skilled, professional, experienced, Garda-vetted camp facilitators. A camp at Imaginosity means new friends, an increase in confidence and ability and a great educational experience for all kids who take part. We are already bursting with new ideas for our 2014 Camps! Bring it on!

Our Donors

We are extremely lucky to have partnered with like-minded companies and individuals through 2013. We’d like to thank Audi for their sponsorship of and support for our Science and Engineering Programming. Walker Books for a continued array of fabulous books for children aged 0-8 years for our gorgeous museum Library, as well as allowing Maisy Mouse and Walker Bear to travel from London to take part in our Festival of Stories. IKEA were very generous to us this year in providing new interactive, educational toys for our two baby areas in the museum. HSBC, for kindly funding a wonderful new innovative and collaborative project with City Quay National School in Dublin City Centre. The ‘Sow What’ Project sees a year-long programme of educational activities and workshops taking place at the school where the children will learn about gardening, growing and planting. The children will also visit the museum throughout the year for some interactive fun. We are really excited to see this project continue into the school year of 2014.

Our Members and Visitors

Instrumental in helping us achieve our goal of sparking up the imagination of every child who comes through our door or takes part in one of our outreach activities, are our very special visitors. Our visitors continue to support the work that we do; by visiting the museum, by providing us with constructive feedback, by offering their assistance when they can and by giving us a reason to continue to do the work that we do. We are grateful to each and every one of you! We’d like to give special mention to our Member Families, some of whom have been with us since we opened our doors in 2007. We really do consider you to be part of our own big family and love when you come to visit.

 

We start 2014 with great excitement about the year ahead; as we busily make plans for exciting programming, workshops, outreach events, festivals and school visits. We hope that you will join us throughout the year!

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