The EarlyWorks Children’s Museum Embarks on a Journey to Re-Imagine Itself

earlyworks stem events

Huntsville, AL–Since opening to the public in December 1998, the EarlyWorks Children’s Museum has been a prime destination for schools on field trips and families with small children. Motivated by an ever-evolving community and the desire to work along with community leaders on the goals they have established to encourage quality of life initiatives, promote school readiness for preschoolers and plant the seeds of workforce development at an early age, the EarlyWorks Board of Directors has retained California-based, Gyroscope Inc., a world-class museum master planning firm to help craft a visitor experience plan that will lead the way to enhancing the community relevance and educational impact of the Earlyworks Children’s Museum. Dr. Terrance Vickerstaff, Chairman of the EarlyWorks Board of Directors explained “Our goal is to completely re-image the children’s museum for our community, providing a creative play/learn space that embraces north Alabama’s evolving and diverse culture, while inspiring our youngest learners with new STEM and place-based exhibits and programs.” Dr. Vickerstaff added, “Gyroscope Inc. was selected to be our partner in this process based on their extensive experience with numerous award-winning children’s museums and their philosophy that “placed-based learning” is key to creating a community-relevant museum experience.

Gyroscope Inc. is an award winning, museum planning, architecture, and design firm that specializes in emerging museums and cultural organizations undergoing change. They have built a reputation as a highly- imaginative firm with projects spanning a wide spectrum of internationally respected museums and science centers. Gyroscope has completed projects with clients, such as Explore & More Children’s Museum, Buffalo, NY; Louisiana Children’s Museum; Thinkery, Austin, TX; Minnesota Children’s Museum, and MOXI: The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, Santa Barbara, CA. They are known for pushing the envelope and have won awards for both design excellence and family learning.

Gyroscope’s planning regiment will include consulting with key community groups, tech companies, educators, children, and their caregivers to infuse the many facets of the museum with the unmistakable flavors of the Huntsville and Madison County area and its population. Gyroscope Inc. strives to create a strong sense of place by carefully considering architecture, exhibits, and site, as well as their relationship to each other. The approach allows Gyroscope Inc. to weave multi-faceted place-based learning into a variety of museum experiences, some large and dramatic, others personal and intimate, resulting in a one-of-a-kind destination for informal learning through play.

Gyroscope Inc, along with their partners ConsultEcon, will be collaborating closely with EarlyWorks Children’s Museum to build on their reputation and work to date, to develop a Visitor Experience and Market Research Master Plan. This Master Plan will take the Museum one step closer to re-envisioning themselves and their visitor experience to best fit the needs of the Huntsville and North Alabama community. Bart Williams, EarlyWorks executive director revealed, “Gyroscope’s, planning process in Huntsville will kick-off in early May of 2022 with a series of fact-finding and listening sessions that will allow the planning team to engage with the community and learn what our citizens want the reimaged EarlyWorks to include. I applaud the EarlyWorks Board of Directors for recognizing and taking this exciting step to improve Huntsville’s children’s museum. The addition of STEM and technology inspired exhibits, rooted in the place we call home, will have a positive impact on our youngest learners for years to come. The challenge is to create a unique experience that goes beyond what visitors can do at home or school and then use these experiences to super-charge at-home and in-school learning. The days of ‘one-size-fits-all’ exhibits are over, replaced by customized experiences that respond to the visitors’ individual interests, connect with learning outside the museum, and take advantage of intergenerational conversations and social learning.” Gyroscope is expected to complete the planning process and deliver the new Visitor Experience and Market Research Master Plan in mid-November of this year.

The EarlyWorks Children’s Museum is a member of the Early Works Family of Museums and is located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama at 404 Madison Street. EarlyWorks is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 9:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. and on Sunday
from 12:00p.m. to 4:00p.m. More information is available online at

Tuesday – Saturday, 9 AM – 4 PM
Sunday, 11 AM – 4 PM