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Creating a Creative Space for Spark!Lab

Earlier this summer we installed Spark!Lab, a new exhibit by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. The exhibit opened on July 1st in the National Museum of American History, and is an interactive space where children ages six through twelve can become inventors through creative experimentation and invention.

In order to spark the imaginations of these young inventors, the walls of the exhibit are stacked with almost 100 boxes, cases, and drawers full of building materials and inspirational objects from the museum’s collections. Our fabricators put their own creative talents to work as they installed these boxes throughout May and June. It was no easy feat: each individual box was first built and painted in our facility, then transported to the museum where the boxes were carefully arranged and mounted to the wall one at a time. Then our team wired up lights and attached graphic panels, while curators from the museum helped place the objects into the cases. Before we knew it, the completely blank walls had turned into this:

Spark Lab Composite (1 of 1)

Check out the photos below to see what our installation process looked like!

angle 1 together
We weren’t exaggerating when we said “completely blank walls.” But over the course of two months, Spark!Lab turned into a space teeming with creativity.


angle 2 final
The orange section features “Things that roll” – like wheels, rollers… and the glides on our pullout drawers.


angle 5 final
Over the summer the walls went from a few stacked cabinets to a space filled with graphics, objects, chalkboards, and craft paper.


angle 4 together
Spark!Lab has a section about “Things that make sound.” We like the sound of happy visitors working in the lab.


The green section, “Things that help us see,” includes information on light bulbs. We included quite a few light bulbs ourselves.


Spark!Lab is open from 10am to 4pm every day, except Tuesdays and December 25th.