Features News

Children’s Museum looks to take guests to Ancient Egypt

By Lauren Davis
La Habra Journal

ChildrensmusuemThe mysterious and exotic sights of Egypt will descend upon the Children’s Museum at La Habra on Oct. 1.
The “Egypt: Land of Ancients” exhibit will be the museum’s third and last changing exhibit of the year. It will include models such as the Nile River, pyramids, temples and an archeologist’s camp.
The exhibit’s hands-on experience will allow children the chance to bargain for goods in the marketplace, enter the ancient tomb of Paneb, touch a model sarcophagus and participate in many other activities.
Lovely Qureshi, the museum’s managing director, said that even though the exhibit is hands-on, the museum also holds guided tours for local schools.
“They will go through the different factions of the exhibit, and they will learn about how ancient Egypt was and how they conducted their marketplace,” Qureshi said.
The exhibit’s theme is based on surveys from teachers, members of the museum and local school curriculum standards. Certain educational themes, such as vocabulary, music and mathematics, are taken from the curriculum and incorporated into areas of the exhibit.
One aspect of the exhibit will include a temple with a scribe school in it, allowing children to learn how to write their name in hieroglyphics. There’s also an area that teaches them how to perform math problems using hieroglyphic numbers. The marketplace will allow children to count and sort items into different baskets.
Qureshi added that the complete preparation of the exhibit took approximately four months, with the installation of the exhibit lasting four weeks.
Lisa Reckon, the museum curator, said that although the exhibit will be hands-on, it will also be an immersive exhibit that allows visitors to walk straight into the environment. Qureshi stated that not only will visitors who attend the exhibit engage in something that is very unique, but they will also engage in something that is different from what they may normally experience every day.
“They will be able to learn about historical references regarding Egypt, how people lived, and what kind of civilization it was,” Qureshi said.  “So many centuries later, we are still studying and learning about this culture.”
Reckon said that although the museum creates three changing exhibits a year, next year will be the beginning of only two changing exhibits per year.
“We have been more successful, and we have had exhibits lately that probably could have done longer runs and people would have been very happy with it,” Reckon said. “That is another reason why we are going into a longer run.”
Reckon added that funding for the changing exhibits occurs through a museum guild that is run by employees from the museum gift shop.
“The proceeds from the gift shop fund the changing gallery,” Reckon said. “They also do little fundraisers throughout the year, and every once in a while we will get a donation for it.” For more information, please visit www.lhcm.org

Museum bus gets OCTA makeover

An Orange County Transportation Authority bus that has been on display at the Children’s Museum at La Habra for two decades has been renovated. A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place Oct. 7 to reveal the improvements.OCTA_bus
Visitors will see “Buster the Bus” and its new upholstered bench, driver’s seat, interior paint and exterior upgrades. Tim Shaw, a La Habra councilman and an OCTA board member, stated that his proposal to update the bus eventually brought OCTA staff to the museum to view things themselves.
“It has been 20 years, and obviously anything would get worn out,” Shaw said of the popular exhibit.
The bus is currently being renovated by OCTA’s mechanics and was sponsored by MV Transportation, Inc.  Beth McCormick, the general manager of transit at OCTA, stated that MV Transportation, Inc. is an international company that has provided public transit services to agencies like OCTA.
McCormick added that the bus is not only a fun exhibit for both adults and children, it is also a great tool for parents to help accustom their children to public transit.
“It makes it more real for kids because it is so hands on,” McCormick said. “Parents don’t have to worry about other passengers on the bus. They can take their kids there and they can get them acclimated.”

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.