Hagerman Foundation grants $1 million to Sloan Museum of Discovery

New early childhood gallery will be named Hagerman Street in honor of this gift

FLINT — Sloan Museum of Discovery received $400,000 from the Hagerman Foundation this week, bringing the foundation’s total contribution to $1 million.

The fundraising goal for the reimagined history and science museum is $27.5 million. The museum hopes to close out the campaign soon, with $1.8 million left to raise. Sloan Museum of Discovery is slated to open in early 2022.

“This generous grant from the Hagerman Foundation broadly supports the construction and design of the new museum,” Sloan Museum Executive Director Todd Slisher said. “We are very grateful for the Hagerman Foundation’s faith in the positive impact that Sloan Museum of Discovery will have on our community.”

As Sloan Museum renovates and expands, the new Hagerman Street early childhood gallery will embrace young families as key stakeholders in the museum. While science and history content will continue to drive the exhibits, Hagerman Street will ensure that the museum feels like home for the thousands of young children who visit every year.

Young visitors will explore, play, and learn in their own kid-sized community. Push carts will provide transportation down Hagerman Street while kids shop for healthy food choices in the deli and grocery store. Kids can prepare their meals, care for family members, and do chores in the house, garden, and garage. They’ll step into the roles of health care providers while driving the life-sized ambulance. The pocket park provides opportunities for physical activity, literacy, and play. As kids play in this vibrant urban neighborhood, they will be experiencing important concepts that support classroom instruction and move kids towards kindergarten readiness.

Construction of the building is ongoing and many new exhibits are in development. The new Sloan Museum of Discovery will include reimagined Flint history galleries and a hands-on science Discovery Hall. The Flint history exhibits will present inclusive stories, developed in consultation with community advisory groups. The Discovery Hall will engage visitors in earth and physical science exploration, featuring a multi-story Spaceship Earth exhibit, a Maker Space, water tables, and much more.

A new Vehicle City Gallery will bring rotating exhibits of historic vehicles inside Sloan Museum— formerly housed at Buick Gallery. Sloan Museum’s Perry Archives will also move inside the main museum, allowing for increased access to research services.

Three new Learning Lab classrooms will increase capacity for field trip programs from 60,000 students served per year to about 90,000. The Hagerman Street early childhood gallery is being developed in collaboration with Genesee County Head Start as a state-of-the-art resource for play-based learning for ages 0 to 6, designed to prepare children for Kindergarten. — G.G.