Energy: Powered by Play


Learn all about energy–and generate it yourself–in this new exhibit!

The Grid electricity learning experience in the Energy Powered by Play seasonal temporary exhibit at the Childrens Museum of Southern Minnesota in Mankato

Kid Power

Can you crank hard enough to power a light bulb or lift a ball at the Power Tower? Explore where your electricity comes from, use the wind turbine in the off-grid neighborhood, or turn on the LEGO Ferris wheel as you make your way across The Grid. Make a pledge as you discuss what sustainability means for your family. And, finally, take a test drive. Will your next car be a plug-in?

This exhibit is great for...

learning about big concepts through hands-on play.


What will you do? We have the opportunity to take action that can lead to more jobs, greater prosperity, and better lives for all, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building climate resilience. This exhibit helps visitors playfully engage with our silly story starters to problem solve the way to a better tomorrow. In what ways could you use a fly swatter or a slushy maker to help our planet?


Power generation, transmission, and distribution are big concepts and many of us don’t know the basics about how electricity gets to where it's needed so our homes, businesses, and communities can operate. What is the electric grid? How do solar gardens and coal-fired power plants allow us to turn our lights on and run our air conditioners? Become a better-informed consumer by exploring Energy: Powered by Play. Join in on the fun!

Circuit Play

Spin, buzz, and light up the boxes as you make connections and learn about simple circuits with our hands-on kits made for little hands. Discover what happens when you connect wires and an LED light bulb to the power. Add a switch; will your circuit buzz or spin?