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Our mission


Merced city and county are vibrant communities rich in culture and tradition.  The area is appealing as an attractive place to live, to work and to raise a family and it offers many unique opportunities for further growth and development.  The goal of bringing a Children's Museum to Merced is to further enhance the quality of life for the youngest residents of the county and their families. 

Our mission is to provide environment for Merced children and families to engage in joyful play and discovery.  We aim to create a place where families are brought together to play and to learn, where their curiosity and imaginations are ignited and where kids and adults alike can explore our world in all its diversity.   

We only want the best for Merced County's children, so ensuring a safe environment where children of all abilities are free to let their imagination and creativity guide them is a priority. 

Why children's museum

In addition to enhancing educational and entertainment options in our community, a children's museum can have a broad impact on many different aspects of life in Merced county.  Informal education has long been recognized by educators and researchers as an important component of learning (e.g. see Learning Science in Informal Environments Report by the National Research Council).  A child who gets curious about the way pulleys work during a visit to the Exploratorium is likely to be more engaged when this topic is discussed at school as part of the regular physics curriculum.  Multiple studies showed benefits of stimulating learning environment in and outside school for healthy development of a child starting from very early in their life (e.g.  Additionally, investing in quality kid's programs was shown to have positive effect on reducing crime and improving life of families in the community (  These are just some of the reasons why bringing a children's museum to Merced can be beneficial to our community. 

Photo from Habitot Museum in Berkeley.

Our team and partners

The effort is led by Mayya Tokman and Lee Lor.  Mayya is a founding faculty and a faculty director of the CalTeach program at UC Merced who has lived in the city since 2006.  Lee moved to Merced in 1999 and was elected to the Board of County Supervisors in 2016. 

Bringing a Children's Museum to Merced is an effort that requires broad community engagement.  We are excited to partner with many exceptional individuals and organizations including

Merced County Library is hosting the children's exhibit August 1-21, 2018.

Multicultural Arts Center is hosting the children's exhibit May 28-June 9, 2018.

CalTeach program (UC Merced) is the main organizer and sponsor of the exhibits at the MAC and Library.

First 5 Merced County is sponsoring the Toddler Space at the MAC exhibit and sponsoring the

Library exhibit.

Our partners list is growing and we want to encourage you to join our effort, please contact us at