Winter has arrived at the Putnam’s Build! Create! Innovate!

The Putnam Museum and Science Center is calling all Quad Cities adults and youth of all ages to take advantage of the triumphant winter return of the Build! Create! Innovate! STEM exhibit to the QC.

The Davenport museum said in a recent news release that it is “thrilled to bring back KEVA planks, this time with a fun wintertime twist!” The exhibit, which initially ran throughout the summer, introduces visitors of all ages to problem solving and abstract thinking using mathematics, physics, and design with fun, simple building materials.  

The Putnam’s Build! Create! Innovate! includes 3,600 square feet of building space and more than 15,000 KEVA Planks, along with photography of local architecture and a pre-built bridge, Kone Tower, and the Putnam’s iconic Velie automobile.

In addition, the Winter Edition includes 3,600-square feet of building space and more than 15,000 KEVA planks, along with a pre-built castle, snowflakes, a sled, and more. 

“Back by popular demand, this exhibit will be a crowd pleaser,” said Christine Chandler, the Putnam’s curator of natural history. “We’ve taken original elements and given it a wintertime twist. We know that museum-goers will be thrilled to see Build! Create! Innovate! Winter Edition and the KEVA planks are available once again for all those budding  engineers, architects and artists to set their imaginations free.”

Equally appealing to children and adults, the release said, the KEVA building planks require very little instruction and allow users to unleash their creativity, and discover the joy of physics, engineering and design.

Adults will build alongside kids, testing their own abilities at a higher level and taller heights. Teachers will be empowered and equipped to challenge students to imagine, design, and build their own structures, all within the Smithsonian-affiliated Putnam Museum and Science Center. 

Precision-cut, identical construction blocks, KEVA planks are about a quarter inch thick, and three-quarter inch wide, and four and half inches long and stack with surprising stability, without glue or connectors. Using only gravity, visitors will engage with physics to achieve balance, optimum proportion, and  a steady structure.  

The exhibit was made possible with support from IMPACT Illowa Construction Labor &  Management Council, Tri-City Building Trades Council, Associated General Contractors (AGC)  of the Quad Cities, Mechanical Contractors Association (MCA) of Eastern Iowa & Western  Illinois, Finishing Contractors Association Quad Cities, NECA Quad Cities, and SMACNA Quad  Cities.  

“We had such an incredible response to Build! Create! Innovate! and the innovative KEVA  Planks over the summer that we were happy to bring it back for the winter season,” said  Rachael Mullins, the Putnam’s president and CEO. “We’re excited to see the new creations that visitors will come up with as they explore the exhibit and the rest of our treasured museum over the holiday season.” 

Exhibit admission is included in the price of general admission: $9 for adults, $8 for youth (ages 3-18), seniors, college students and military. Through the Putnam’s Museums for All program, admission is $1 per person for households with the presentation of an EBT card. Admission is free for members.

For more information, visit here. For groups, or to plan your visit, call (563) 324-1933.

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