The New STEM Zone is Open at CDM

The New STEM Zone is Open at CDM

Published On:
Mackenzie Steele

Creative Discovery Museum (CDM) is excited to add STEM Zone as the newest exhibit gallery to open as part of the Ignite Discovery capital campaign! STEM Zone is presented by VW Chattanooga.

Photo: Adult and child building racecars.

CDM is dedicated to providing children with hands-on learning opportunities that spark imagination and curiosity. With the opening of STEM Zone, the Museum continues to create opportunities for children of all ages to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math through play. Henry Schulson, President and CEO, commented, “Interest in science begins at an early age and this gallery will provide a great opportunity for children to engage in so many different STEM topics. The exhibits are designed to encourage curiosity, problem solving, collaboration and creativity, all skills that are vital for our future workforce. We are honored to have VW, a leader in innovation and technology, as our presenting sponsor.”

The STEM Zone gallery includes four zones: Make It Zone, Robotics Zone, Build and Test Zone, and Energy Zone.

Make It Zone features the redesigned and expanded Make It workshop, where visitors can learn skills like woodworking and sewing, as well as participate in a rotating array of activities and projects or witness our laser cutter and 3D printers at work. Visitors can also learn about recycling and create products with old cereal boxes, plastic water bottles, coffee stirrers, and other items from our recycling resource center.

Robotics Zone includes the massive robotics table in the center of the gallery, where children (and adults) can compete to guide their robot around the table, fetching a ball to bring back to their home base. A robotic arm greets visitors at the top of the stairs – like the claw arcade game, visitors can maneuver the arm to pick up blocks and build structures. Children love the programmable dancing puppet, which wiggles and hops based on the commands it is given. It is a high-tech, kid-friendly introduction to programming (and arguably the cutest addition to CDM)!

Build and Test Zone has a car building station, prompting visitors to make racecars with a variety of wheels,3D printed car body shapes, and weights. The prototypes are then tested at the track to see who constructed the fastest vehicle. Visitors can take that same process to space by assembling a rocket with various wings and launching it at the planets in the solar system – some have even landed on Saturn!

Energy Zone is all about various energy sources and how they are used. Interactive kiosks allow visitors to test the difference between electric and gas vehicles, fly a plane with biofuels, or drive electric vehicles across the country.

The addition of STEM Zone has increased CDM’s ability to embrace the vision of being the best place for a child to grow up. These new exhibits are not only fun and engaging for children, but they are also exposing kids to new fields of study, allowing children from a young age to explore the possibilities of STEM for future hobbies or careers. These exhibits are also drawing in older children and keeping them engaged with interesting tasks and challenges.

Photo: Christopher Glover, President and CEO of VW Chattanooga, speaking at the STEM Zone donor event on November 4.

On Friday, November 4, CDM welcomed donors and supporters of STEM Zone to experience the gallery. Representatives from corporate sponsors as well as individual donors to the Ignite Discovery capital campaign had the opportunity to play and explore, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

“We recently began assembly of the all-electric Volkswagen ID.4SUV in Chattanooga, so to play a part in helping to develop the next generation of creative innovators, engineers and problem-solvers is something we view as a great privilege,” said Chris Glover, President and CEO of Volkswagen Chattanooga. “On behalf of Volkswagen Chattanooga, thank you to the magnificent team at the Creative Discovery Museum for establishing this exhibit in our community, for their partnership with us throughout the stages of the STEM Zone’s development, and for their continued dedication to inspire each and every child who walks through their doors.”

CDM is thankful for the generous sponsors who funded various parts of STEM Zone. Make It Zone is sponsored by the Clarence E. Harris Foundation. Robotics Zone is supported by Tennessee Valley Robotics. Additional support for STEM Zone is provided by Level 2D, Emily and Matt McGauley and Sheila and Dane Boyington.

To learn more about the Ignite Discovery capital campaign and the comprehensive renovations taking place at CDM, visit