In discussion since 2018 but delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, The Seed opened its doors Saturday, Jan. 27. The space is targeted toward kids ages 8 to 15, aiming to plant the seed of science, technology, engineering, art and math (STEAM) in the minds of young artists and scientists. In hands-on stations, visitors can learn about the elements on the periodic table, solve challenging engineering problems and explore The Seed’s Curiosity Zone, just to name a few.
In 2022, LASM began a four-phase capital improvement campaign to renovate the museum’s hands-on areas into four interactive, STEAM-based spaces. The Seed is only the beginning. Work on renovation started in 2022, and by its 2026 completion, the museum will boast four interactive, STEAM-based spaces, collectively called the STEAM Station.
“It will be a new hands-on wing of the museum,” explains LASM Development Director and Interim Board Liaison Frances Lee. “By calling it the STEAM Station, we are going to really open it up and really make it fun and engaging and make it a whole area in the museum instead of just a couple of galleries.”
Phase two will include updates to and a modernization of the STEAM Lab. Phase three will revamp the Discovery Depot Workshop into a multipurpose studio. The fourth phase will include a refurbishment of the Discovery Depot, completing the STEAM Station wing.
Proceeds from LASM’s annual galas in 2022 and 2023 (as well as the upcoming gala in October 2024) supported the project.
As the first phase, The Seed establishes the direction and provides a window into what the rest of the STEAM wing might look like. Thus far, the LASM team says reviews have been only positive.
“The goal of The Seed is to make STEAM relevant to your daily life,” Lee says. “The purpose of this is to inspire our young artists and scientists to pursue education and career pathways in STEAM fields and gain a deeper understanding of how STEAM is relevant to their daily lives and everyone’s daily lives,” Lee says.