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Grand Rapids Public Museum School

Grand Rapids Public Museum Eyes $64m Expansion

GRPS’ Museum School wins $10 million Super School grant

A rendering of the proposed $64 million expansion at the Grand Rapids Public Museum shows a new, four-story tower on the south end of the building, direct access to the river and new outdoor landscaping and seating renovations.

GRAND RAPIDS, MI Expanded exhibit space. A ground floor cafeteria. An outdoor courtyard with access to the Grand River.

Those are some of the highlights of a proposed $64 million expansion of the Grand Rapids Public Museum that officials say is designed to accommodate a growth in visitors and capitalize on plans to restore the Grand Rivers rapids in the citys downtown.

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Grand Rapids Public Schools Museum School

Annual giving support in staffing transition and pandemic

Grand Rapids Public Schools serves nearly 15,000 students, with a student population representing more than 80 countries and over 70 different languages spoken. GRPS proudly offers the largest selection of school choices in all of West Michigan, including neighborhood schools, theme schools, Centers of Innovation, Success Centers, and one charter school.

Kennari Consulting has a deep relationship with both Grand Rapids Public Schools and the separate 501c3 supporting foundation . Kennari has partnered in the completion of multiple campaigns and provides ongoing support in navigating the philanthropic landscape of the community.

GRPS launched the Grand Rapids Public Museum School in partnership with the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., and the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority. The Museum School provides students with a cutting-edge educational experience with a mission to inspire passionate curiosity, nurture creative problem solving, cultivate critical thinking, and instigate innovation. Kennari Consulting provided campaign counsel, project management, and ongoing support to help fully fund the campaign.

Holidays At Grand Rapids Public Museum

The holiday season has kicked off at the Grand Rapids Public Museum this week with special exhibits and activities for the entire family now on display including historic Grand Rapids built from LEGO® bricks, Santas from around the world, holiday planetarium shows and more.

The Museum is a great place for families as they get into the holiday spirit this season with special displays and activities that will excite all ages, said Kate Kocienski, VP of Marketing & Public Relations at the GRPM. In addition to annual favorites, including our historic LEGO® display, visitors can peek into the history of traditions through a festive display of Santas from around the globe and decorations found in the Streets of Old Grand Rapids exhibit.

Historic LEGO® Display See historic Grand Rapids like never before, built from LEGO® bricks! The 1925-era display, complete with operating trams, gives an up-close view of old-time Grand Rapids with historic buildings built to scale, along with a fun search and find activity for all ages. Viewing of this display is included with general admission. This exhibit is built by the West Michigan LEGO® Train Club.

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Roger B Chaffee Planetarium

Core Exhibit

The Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium is one of the most unique spots at GRPM. Named after GRs very own hometown astronaut, young and old alike can explore our galaxy through a variety of fascinating shows ranging from space, science, entertainment, art documentary, and live sky shows to see what is in that evenings sky.Theres a variety of shows to choose from, and cost is $2-$5/person.

Public Museum School Received A $10 Million Grant From Xq: The Super School Project

160 families apply for Grand Rapids Public Museum School ...

For most students, visiting a museum is a stand-alone field trip involving permission slips, a lengthy bus ride and a carefully planned itinerary.

But at Grand Rapids Public Museum School, the school is the museum. Students only have to walk downstairs for access to over 250,000 cultural artifacts and expert staff at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

Most days, our students utilize museum exhibits as a resource, said Principal Christopher Hanks. The school is on fourth floor, and its just one flight down to the exhibits.

The museum has a one of Michigans largest artifact collections, including fossils, historic fashion, an extensive furniture collection even a 3,000-year-old Babylonian clay tablet. Museum president Dale Robertson said having students work with and learn from the exhibits helps fulfill the museums most important mission: education.

“If we’re just preserving it for the future, that means we are missing an opportunity to have it used for its most noble purpose, which is education, Robertson said.

While students use the museum as a resource nearly every day, thats not the only place they learn. Students visit the downtown YMCA and city parks for physical education, and they regularly use the nearby public library. They also spend time working with community partners and collaborators all over the city, including universities, non-profit groups, scientists and artists.

It was during a long run that we really began to hatch the idea, said Robertson.

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Grand Rapids Public Museum School Clears Another Hurdle To Open In 2015

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Grand Rapids Public Museum board on Wednesday, Oct. 15, approved an agreement for the new Grand Rapids Public Museum School that is slated to open next fall at the Van Andel Museum Center.

The memorandum of understanding involves the museum, Grand Rapids Public Schools and the higher education institutions also involved in educating the 60 sixth-graders that will start the school: Grand Valley and Ferris State universities and the State University Kendall College of Art and Design.

In September, the Grand Rapids Board of Education unanimously approved the proposal for the new school that outlined the vision, educational plan, leadership and oversight and financing. The city of Grand Rapids and Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc., are also part of the collaborative partnership.

Related:Grand Rapids school board moves new Museum School forward for next year

The uniqueness of the school born of this partnership is that curriculum will be founded upon and infused with design thinking teaching theory and place based education principles,” said Dale Robertson, president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Public Museum.

“It will make full use of the museum collections, the second largest and most diverse in the state.

The school is not a test-in program, but there is an interview process with families to discuss the program and expectations.

Grand Rapids leaders say the focus is on creating cutting edge opportunities for students.

When Your School Is A Museum

Sometimes, between classes, Zenobia Banks descends a flight of stairs to a small room where juvenile, several-inch-long lake sturgeon swim in an oversized tank. Upstairs in the classroom where Banks, 13, attends seventh grade, a window looks onto the Grand River, whose rushing waters are home to adult sturgeon more than 7 feet long.

A student at a novel middle school located inside the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Banks is eager to tell you about the historic importance of the sturgeon in the diet of the regions indigenous Anishinabek, as well as the details of its overfishing by white settlers and its present-day endangered status.

Banks can also relate much of what shes studying in her fourth-floor classroom with the museums varied exhibits and local landmarks beyond the galleries. Comparing this school to her old one, where the subjects changed throughout the day but kids stayed in their seats, Banks says she loves learning out in the city.

This school is more activetheres more to do here because we have all of Grand Rapids, she says, reflecting on her classs regular visits to downtown spots like the river, City Hall, and the library. Just knowing were going to have hands-on work and do projects is exciting to me.

This school is more activetheres more to do here because we have all of Grand Rapids.

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Grand Rapids Public Museum High School Now Open

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. After years of waiting, Grand Rapids Public Schools is finally celebrating the opening of its expanded Museum School.

Community members, students, families and staff members were on hand Wednesday to cut the ribbon to the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School.

We have waited three years for this, and when I was here a month ago, I didnt think wed make the deadline. So to see it today is amazing. And for us to reimagine high school, it makes it even better, said GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum High School is one of 10 Super Schools in the country. It is located in the former home of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, at 54 Jefferson Avenue SE in downtown Grand Rapids.

The schools innovative curriculum taps into design-thinking techniques, immersive environments and real-life experiences.

All of our learning experiences are designed around multiple content areas with the purpose of applying what students learn out in the community, making changes and improving the world around them, said one staff member.

The Museum School expansion was made possible by a $10 million grant from XQ, an initiative announced by the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. GRPS was one of 10 winners chosen from the 700 groups that applied for The Super School Project.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum High School will start with about 90 students in 9th grade, then add another grade every year until it houses grades 9-12.

Grand Rapids Public Museum Trip Planner

GRPS new Museum School opens to students today
Grand Rapids Public Museum 272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Grand Rapids Public Museum offers exciting experiences for toddlers on up. People often consider museums for much older kids and adults, but Grand Rapids Public Museum is designed for all ages to enjoy, especially people that live in or around Grand Rapids, MI.

From long-standing favorites to imaginative temporary exhibits, every visit to GRPM will fill kids with wonder and inspire their curious minds.

Grand Rapids Public Museum spans three levels of educational fun, making it easy to spend hours exploring.

Don’t Miss: Academy Of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences Museum

Grand Rapids Public Museum School

A Progressive Education Partnership.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum School is a Grand Rapids Public School Center of Innovation, and serves grades 6th through 12th. The school uses progressive teaching utilizing design thinking techniques, an immersive environment, and real-life experiences that inspire passionate curiosity, nurture creative problem solving, cultivate critical thinking, and instigate innovation.

The school currently serves students in 6th 12th grade. To learn more about the Public Museum School click here.

The Public Museum High School was one of ten schools internationally to receive the XQ Super School grant, for reinventing the high school experience.

The Museum School is the product of an ongoing educational collaboration between the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, the City of Grand Rapids, and Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.

In the Media

Grand Rapids Public Schools

The Grand Rapids Public Schools is a public school district serving Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Grand Rapids Public Schools is Michigan’s eight largest public school district. It is also the third-largest employer in the City of Grand Rapids. GRPS serves nearly 17,000 students with 2,700 employees, including 1,400 teachers. The student population represents 55 countries with 54 different languages spoken, creating a diverse educational experience.

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Grand Rapids Public Museum

Grand Rapids Public Museum


The Grand Rapids Public Museum, located on the bank of the Grand River in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan, is among the oldest history museums in the United States. It was founded in 1854 as the “Grand Rapids Lyceum of Natural History“. The museum includes a cafe, a gift shop, and a 1928 Spillman carousel, which is situated in a pavilion over the Grand River. A Wurlitzer #157 Band Organ that plays 165 rolls provides the carousel’s music. The Museum building also houses the Roger B. Chaffee Planetarium. The current Pearl Street N.W. location, built in 1994, replaced the former Art Deco location on Jefferson Avenue S.E. that building now serves as a High School and is connected to the GRPM Collections and the City of Grand Rapids Archives.

The GRPM brings in a variety of traveling exhibitions annually ranging among topics related to science, history and culture.

  • Anishinabek: The People of This Place
  • The story of the Native American culture of West Michigan
  • The Streets of Old Grand Rapids
  • 1890s era three quarters scale recreation of an allegorical Grand Rapids business district.
  • West Michigan Habitats
  • A look at both the ecosystems of Western Michigan along with the history of the museum as an interpreter of the natural world.
  • Collecting A through Z
  • This alphabet-linked exhibit provides a means to bring out artifacts from many of the museum’s collections e.g. “D is for Dolls”
  • Newcomers: The People of This Place
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum Teaches You About Sturgeon With Virtual Game

    Grand Rapids Public Museum School

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. The Grand Rapids Public Museum has a new exhibit thats only a scan away.

    Sturgeon Excursion uses QR codes to teach visitors about sturgeon and their history in West Michigan.

    The goal is to get people thinking about the natural science and implications of this amazing fish that has made its home in the Grand River for thousands and thousands of years but is now so rare that we dont see it very often and we dont know a lot about it, GRPM chief curator Alex Forist said at the WOOD TV8 Digital Live Desk Tuesday.

    The premise is simple: You scan QR codes at specific exhibits that are involved and answer questions related to sturgeon. As you answer the questions, you earn food to feed a virtual sturgeon. If fed enough, it can get released into a virtual Lake Michigan.

    Forist says you dont have to download any apps and if you have an iPad or smartphone with a camera, you can participate.

    This is really just the first experience and were looking forward to developing lots more content and games using this same platform, Forist said.

    See the full conversation with Forist above.

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    Grand Rapids Public Museum Floor By Floor

    Before you dive into the museum, consider picking up the A-Z scavenger Museum Hunt. This scavenger hunt offers you clues and will easily take you all around the museum.

    Grand Rapids Public Museum is three floors of discoveries. From Streets of Old Grand Rapids to rotating exhibits, there is something new to explore on every visit.

    Grand Rapids Museum School

    Partnering with the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids Public Schools worked to renovate the 1940s WPA Public Museum into an experiential learning center.

    After a rigorous 11-month application and evaluation process, XQ: The Super School Project awarded the Grand Rapids Public Schools a $10 million grant to create the Public Museum High School from the existing vacant historic 1940 Public Museum building. The Public Museum High School is focused on creating experiential learning that leverages cultural artifacts, local impact projects, and museum studies to spark student inquiry and creativity. Attached to the current Museum archive storage building, students will access artifacts to study, archive and document.

    The design of the facility was an exercise in Design Thinking since an actual educational program had yet to be developed. Kingscott in collaboration with Lott3Metz, Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Valley State University, Kendall College and City of Grand Rapids transformed the existing concrete shell into an exciting, flexible learning environment featuring four guilds with common collaboration space, a multi-purpose space, an archive lab and maker space all around the existing great hall.

    Designed for 360 students, the first freshman class of 90 students will start in the fall of 2019. These students are graduates of the Public Museum Middle School, also designed by Kingscott/Lott3Metz and located in the present museum.

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    Grand Rapidss Super School Origin Story

    The Grand Rapids Public Museum School finds its roots through a civic and community response to the XQ Super School Challenge. Community members from the mayor to the president of the Public Museum, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Valley State University, parents, and young people mobilized to create a school where students could be problem solvers, communicators, and innovators to revitalize downtown Grand Rapids. They collectively proposed to build on the partnership that formed the Grand Rapids Public Museum Middle School to create a high school in partnership with the museum, two colleges, and business leadership. After the school district acquired the closed Public Museum Archives building, they transformed it/the space into the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School with the help of partners, community research, and exciting place-based learning experiences to create a public school option to compare with the best in suburban high schools. In 2021, the school welcomed its first class of seniors who will graduate this year.

    From A Point Of Despair

    GRPS unveils new school in GR Public Museum

    When Teresa Weatherall Neal graduated from Creston High School in 1977, she went to work as a receptionist for the Grand Rapids superintendent by day and attended college at night. By the time the school board asked her to take over as interim superintendent in January 2012, she had worked her way up to assistant superintendent.

    Those 35 years had taken a toll on the district. Between 1997 and 2015, enrollment dropped by 12,000 students. Over a third of Grand Rapids schools had fallen below 60 percent of capacity, including two brand-new ones, as more and more families decamped for local charter and private schools, or moved to other districts.

    From Neals vantage point, the district needed to make significant changes to get back on a sound financial footing and bring families back to its schools.

    We had just come to a point of despair here. I told the board if I was the interim superintendent I would make drastic changes. I would close schools, she recalls. Everybody told me, Youre gonna die on that hill and be done.

    Neal spent the better part of her first year meeting with everyone she could on a listening tour, asking for feedback and ideas for how to make the district better. Parents and community groups called for technology and building improvements, more specialized schools, and an end to the constant upheaval.

    After closing 10 more schools, including her alma mater, Neal turned back to the community to put their ideas into action.

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