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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 May 6

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 May 6. 

Whether your child loves backhoes and bulldozers, 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. Aspiring architects can also meet and greets with experts in their fields and get a firsthand look at how the man-made 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 for a chance to see pieces of heavy construction equipment up close. 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.

Head down toward the Duke Energy Children’s Museum to catch a glimpse of some of the newest technology in engineering courtesy of Xavier University’s Community of Engineers. Engineers will help you design the strongest bridge, grade roadways and excavate hillsides. LEGO bricks come in handy to demonstrate how historic buildings are put back together, with LEGO bricks serving as the brick and mortar.

Experiment with traditional and unconventional building materials as you 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.

After a temporary closure to accommodate construction activity, the Duke Energy Children’s Museum is reopening May 4. Building Big Ideas will cap off a weekend celebrating the reopening of the Duke Energy Children’s Museum.

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

Groups participating in Building Big Ideas include:
Allied Construction Industries, Inc.
CHC Fabricating Corporation
Cincinnati Museum Center STEM Girls
Cincinnati Observatory
ESI Electrical Contractors
GBBN Architects
Greater Cincinnati Apprenticeship Council
Greater Cincinnati Association for Women in Science
IBEW/NECA Electrical Training Center
Turner Construction Company
Xavier University Community of Engineers


About Cincinnati Museum Center
Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) at Union Terminal is a nationally recognized institution and national historic landmark. Dedicated to sparking community dialogue, insight and inspiration, CMC was awarded the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums in 2012. CMC is one of a select few museums in the nation with both of these honors, making it a unique asset and a vital community resource. Union Terminal has been voted the nation's 45th most important building by the American Institute of Architects. Organizations within CMC include the Cincinnati History Museum, Duke Energy Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History & Science, Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX® Theater and Cincinnati History Library & Archives. Recognized by Forbes Traveler Magazine as the 17th most visited museum in the country, CMC welcomes more than one million visitors annually. For more information, visit