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Inside the OC&E – 2019 Winter Newsletter

The State of the Museum

If you take a step back and consider what the museum is today and what it has been able to accomplish in almost ten years, the list is inspring.

• The museum has been one of the premier visitor attractions in Northern Colorado, hosting 17,280 visitors in 2018 and is approaching 150,000 since the opening in 2009, generating an annual economic impact to the community of over $1.25M.

• The museum provides educational programs to community youth programs
such as Boy and Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, Innovation Schools,
and other area museum groups. Since beginning the program in 2016, over 2000 students have participated.

• The museum is self-sufficient financially, with a formal balanced budget, and is instituting an investor development activity. More on this in the next issue.

• The museum is considered one of the top displays of its kind nationally and many hobby publications and internet references often recognized the museum as one of the best.

• Volunteers have contributed over 288,000 hours to initially construct the museum and its exhibits, to continuously enhance, and to operate throughout the years. The calculated in-kind value is $6,099,731.

• The museum hosts one of the largest Department 56 collections in the
country.

• The museum recently negotiated a lease with OmniTrax for the Great Western right-of-way to 13th street.

• The museum has 154 Members.

• The museum now has a paid staff of 5.

• The museum has been featured on four nationally published model railroad magazine covers in the last ten years.

As always, since Dave Trussell began his work on the museum, there are, and always will be, LOTS of opportunities for volunteers to participate! These are exciting times. Each challenge we face also represents an opportunity.

Youth Program Update

By Norm Wolstein,
Youth Programs Committee Chairman

The CMRM Youth Program received the Littler Grant in late 2018 that has helped us to plan a very busy 2019. The grant was based on our mission to educate, inspire, and bring joy to the community. The Youth Program has a diverse program this year utilizing STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) programs.

To most of us, these activities are either extraordinarily fascinating and inspiring, or difficult to relate to. Our program is designed to utilize model trains and LEGO robotics because we believe curiosity, self-confidence, and creativity are significant drivers in getting kids excited about science. STEAM helps kids to understand the building blocks of life while giving them the tools to explore, question, and grow skills that can be applied in every field of work and play including
model railroading.

Boy Scout Merit Badge

We kicked off our program by supporting the Fort Collins Merit Badge University, helping six boy scouts achieve their Railroading Merit Badge. The Railroading Merit Badge was introduced in 1952 and has been earned by more than 189,000 scouts. To earn the Railroading Merit Badge, Scouts must demonstrate a general knowledge of the railroad industry, train engineering and design, and an understanding of railway safety precautions. Some of the requirements include: 1. Explaining the purpose and formation of Amtrak. 2. Building a model railroad car kit or a locomotive kit. 3. Building a model railroad car kit or a locomotive kit.

The students expressed their knowledge of the history of the industry and finished the program by assembling a LEGO train and layout to complete the requirements.

Colorado First LEGO Jr.

The Youth Program also began the First LEGO League Jr. Program with four teams of kids as part of our support of after-school programs in Weld County. Two teams were formed at the Fred Tjardes School of Innovation in Greeley, and two teams were established at the Boys and Girls Club in Galeton, Colorado. The teams will meet once per week for twelve weeks and show their completed project…

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