News Release: LaunchPAD Children's Museum

Sioux City, Iowa — The coronavirus has put a lot of businesses and especially non-profits, like the LaunchPAD Children’s Museum in jeopardy.

The response by Siouxland has been tremendous in supporting local non-profits. However, museums across the country like the LaunchPAD that do not receive city, state, and federal financial help will face a major setback and will be fighting to keep their doors open.

The LaunchPAD’s Executive Director, Rouleen Gartner, decided to close their doors on March 16th due to the coronavirus. Since then, the museum has lost $150,000 because of the closure.

As a non-profit, 70% of the LaunchPAD’s profit comes from earned revenue by people coming through their door. This includes admissions, memberships, concessions, and revenue from the Odyssey Toy Store.

Hands-on educational experiences and high parental and children interaction are vital in fostering a child’s development. With the current pandemic, it has never been more prominent.

The LaunchPAD wants to be able to continue to provide unlimited opportunities to the children of Siouxland once they are able to re-open. In order to do so, they need the support of the community through donations in order to continue to offer these opportunities.

The LaunchPAD is a hands-on discovery center that is 10,000 sq ft with over 15 STEM-based exhibits for children ages 6 months - 1o years old. Their organization fosters a child’s creativity and imagination.

Instead of in-person, instructor lead summer camps, they’re launching a new summer program called LaunchPAD Learners. This program consists of a subscription box that includes an educational based activity as well as a link to virtual instructions. These activities will give children a fun educational project to complete right at home with minimal parental assistance.

The LaunchPAD projects to begin in-person camps on July 1st. They will limit the number of campers to follow social distancing guidelines. They will also be renting out spaces for birthday parties at this time.

In order to limit the number of guests visiting the facility, families will be required to reserve in advance as well as retain current membership.

Safety, health, and the well being of customers have always been a top priority for the LaunchPAD. As a result of the coronavirus, they are committed to being much more intentional with their safety precautions then what they had been doing before. However, they don’t want to change things for the kids so the LaunchPAD will do their best to make these adjustments without altering their ability to learn and play.

Additional information:

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Misson: Siouxland’s champion of educational play and discovery.
Vision: To provide a hands-on educational experience which fosters a child’s creativity and imagination.
Values: Fun, Inclusive, Safety, Innovation, and Passionate


623 Pearl Street • Sioux City, IA 51101 • 712.224.25.42 •