The following museum experts helped to develop the survey: Janet Rice Elman, director of the Association of Children's Museums in Washington, DC; Joann Norris, the Okeechobee, FL-based author of Children's Museums: An American Guidebook; Susan Delson, editor of Museums Magazine in New York City; and Ismael Calderon, Ed.D., science director at The Newark Museum Victoria Hall of Science in New Jersey.
Super Specialty Museums
Because some members of the Association of Children's Museums focus exclusively on science and art, we judged them separately. Here, the winners and runners-up in each category:
Winner: COSI (Center of Science and Industry), Columbus, OH
In its space exhibit, kids become armchair astronauts and use a computerized flight simulator to land a space shuttle, dock with the Hubble Telescope, and reach the moon.
Runner-Up: Science Museum of Virginia, Richmond
Children can check out a 36-foot-tall model of a DNA molecule, travel through a white blood cell, and solve a crime in the popular Science Sleuth Theater.
Winner: Young at Art, Davie, FL
In its Global Village, children can explore an ancient Mayan temple or create Haitian metal sculpture.
Runner-Up: Buell Children's Museum at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center in Pueblo, CO
Kids can have a great deal of fun creating imaginative computer art and pretending that they are artisans such as weavers and potters.