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Building Big Ideas highlights the wonderful world of engineering at Cincinnati Museum Center

Take on design challenges, meet experts and get up close with construction equipment Sept 23

CINCINNATI – While cranes and crews are busy outside Union Terminal, Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) is building something big inside. CMC is inviting budding builders, designers and dreamers to explore the worlds of construction and engineering at Building Big Ideas September 23.

Whether your child loves construction equipment, is fascinated by taking things apart or marvels at superstructures like skyscrapers and bridges, Building Big Ideas is ready to fuel that passion with building and design challenges, meet and greets with experts in their fields and a firsthand look at how the manmade world around them is built.

Building Big Ideas is too big to contain in just one room, or even one museum. The ideas are big, after all. Experts from around the community will be sharing their expertise and leading activities throughout the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, the lower level and Rotunda lobbies, even the parking lot outside.

As you make your way from the parking lot to the building, stop and visit with Turner Construction Company and check out pieces of heavy construction equipment up close. Forklifts, scissor lifts and excavators are just some of the large machines you’ll be able to see and learn more about.

Inside the Rotunda lobby, explore a 3D model created by GBBN Architects that is helping them restore Union Terminal. Try on virtual reality goggles to go inside the walls of the National Historic Landmark. You can also visit with members of OKILUG (Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana LEGO Users Guild) to learn how construction techniques, science and engineering helps them build incredible displays that delight the imagination. And try your hand at their build in a bag challenge – can you build a simple creation without opening the bag? It’s harder than you think!

As you head down toward the Duke Energy Children’s Museum, catch a glimpse of some of the newest technology in engineering courtesy of Xavier University’s Community of Engineers. Hamilton County Engineers will help you design the strongest bridge, grade roadways and excavate hillsides. LEGO bricks come in handy once again as Lithko Contracting uses them to demonstrate how they restore historic buildings by putting them back together, with LEGO bricks and pips serving as the brick and mortar.

Inside the Duke Energy Children’s Museum tomorrow’s engineers can pick up their very own hard hat provided by the Construction Advancement Program of Greater Cincinnati (while supplies last). Once properly geared up, they can erect a spaghetti and marshmallow skyscraper, build a bridge using only straws or LEGO bricks, rebuild a wall using brick and mortar, mix and pour plaster and even control tiny robots while exploring the basics of coding. If that’s not enough, design a catapult and test its might by launching projectiles against a tall tower.

Building Big Ideas is free for CMC Members or is included with admission to the Duke Energy Children’s Museum. For more information or to purchase advance tickets, visit